Time approached the upcoming festival of the Goddess Melodia in the kingdom of Nolava, and the moment arrived in which our dear Sonitrus, chief of all bards, was to submit his special song to Queen Kulambria. The queen met Sonitrus the Golden in the corridors en route to the music chamber, such was her anticipation of the song--and rightfully so--for this song was to serve as her public announcement to all the kingdom that she sought a man's hand in marriage. No one, of course, knew who the queen would choose but the queen herself--not even dear Sonitrus.
Sonitrus and the queen walked briskly toward the music chamber, and Sonitrus tuned the guitar he carried while they exchanged pleasantries. After they had entered the music chamber and sat down next to one another, Sonitrus removed the newly-written song from his pocket and handed it to the queen. A gentle smile fell upon her face as she looked it over and started humming the melody softly. "It's wonderful, my dear Sonitrus," she said, "but what about the words?"
"Yes, of course, my Queen:" he responded, "I have them written down in my other pocket; but with your approval, I'd rather you hear them first in the context of the song before you read them." The queen agreed it was better than way, and Sonitrus began tuning his guitar once more.
"Sonitrus, my dear, did you not already tune your guitar on the way in? You're killing me with anticipation...please get on with it," said the queen.
"Yes, of course, my Queen," Sonitrus answered. "I apologize for the delay, but I must re-tune now, if you don't mind." Sonitrus continued tuning the instrument, though noticeably more quickly. "You, see, my Queen, I must tune it to the frequency of your heart for it to be proper. The frequency of your heart has changed a bit since we entered the chamber. I am nearly finished now."
Queen Kulambria gasped, "My word, dear Sonitrus, even with all my years of study in song and melody, I have never heard of such a thing. Truly I am blessed to have you as my chief of bards."
"It was once common practice among the bards of old," Sonitrus replied, " but is oft forgotten in our age; few bards see much need to learn this craft since electronic devices have entered our realm, I am sorry to report." He then straightened himself in his seat and continued, "I digress. I am ready now. With your permission..."
"Yes, please do, my dear Sonitrus; I can hardly wait," the queen exclaimed. Sonitrus began to play, and the queen was moved almost instantly. The soundwaves took hold of her, embraced her, and massaged her heart as her eyes fell shut. When Sonitrus' voice emerged, and the words he'd written took shape, the queen found herself fighting back tears from the sheer beauty of it all.
Sonitrus completed the song after a few moments, and sat silent awaiting words from his Queen. There was a moment of silence before she spoke as she gathered herself. "My dearest Sonitrus, I don't know what to say--honestly. It's as if you know the workings of my heart better than I. Always shall I remember and cherish this moment, my dear friend." She dabbed at a single teardrop that glistened upon her cheek, stood, and sighed. Now completely gathered, she continued "I knew you could never fail to disappoint. Truly you are blessed by the gods."
Sonitrus stood, then knelt before his Queen,"Thank you, your highness. It was an honor and pleasure."
Queen Kulambria went on, "So now, my dear chief of all bards, you must tell me what troubles you. You hide your emotions well, my friend, but you cannot hide them from me--I know you too well by now."
"My Queen," Sonitrus replied, "I am a bard--always we carry burdens--our own and those of the poeple whom we love. It is our way, you konw."
The queen tensed a bit, "Sonitrus, I ask this as a friend; please do not make me demand it as your Queen. There is something you are not telling me, and I need to hear it."
"Yes, of course, my Queen, if you insis--"
Queen Kulambria placed her hands upon her hips and exclamed, "I do."
"Very well then," Sonitrus went on. "It is one of the prophecies..."
"Come now, dear Sonitrus, surely you're not troubling yourself needlessly with ancient writings again," she replied.
Sonitrus continued, "You have asked, and I answer is all, my Queen. I know well your thoughts on the ancient books of the bards, which is why I hesitated to tell you."
"Very well," the queen responded, "You may as well get it out of your system: what is this prophecy that troubles you so?"
They both sat down again, and Sonitrus replied, "It goes as thus:"
A shadow shall fall upon the kingdom of song,
When the magic of melody has become undone;
For the Queen, part Goddess, forsooth to wed,
Her children slain upon their bed.
Queen Kulambria exhaled deeply while standing up once more and said, "Dear Sonitrus, Sonitrus the Golden, I do understand why this should trouble you; but I assure you, you worry needlessly. You'll recall as a young girl, I myself was required to study many ancient works of the bards, and I remember also some of the prophecies. The prophecies, it is well-known, have been interpreted many different ways throughout many different ages, and can mean just about anything one's imagination is inclined to want it to. Sincerely, my friend, I appreciate your concern for myself, my children that do not exist, and even the fair and blessed people of our kingdom, Nolava." The queen then put her hand upon Sonitrus' shoulder as he stood once more, and continued, "Please, my friend, do not place this burden upon yourself. Be happy for me, for yourself, and for our kingdom. The festival of my dear mother will soon be upon us, and much merriment is to ensue. Unburden yourself, and join in!" She smiled kindly at Sonitrus as she led him out of the music chamber, and added, "Besides, my dear friend, ancient religions are no match for a great song in one's pocket."
Sonitrus smiled back at his Queen once more as they prepared to part ways now in the corridor. "I hear your words, my Queen, as always, and shall do my best to not be overcome by this. Only remember, your highness, I am a bard, and burdens of some sort of another shall I always carry with me." He bowed to his Queen once again and concluded, "Thank you for honoring me with your trust and appreciation. The gods smile upon you, my Queen."