Steve Macdonald

by Ju Honisch (2005)

You would imagine him with a lute. A bloody loud 12-string lute.

There he stands in the courtyard. Gargoyled pink sandstone walls rise before him and around him, turrets stretch towards the sky. Pennants and flags are flying from towers and windows.

It's a feast day.

A moment ago everyone was bustling through the yard, shifting carts across the cobblestones, leading horses towards the stables, stacking food on coarse wooden tables, adorning entrances with garlands of spring flowers. So much to do.

But life has stopped. They are listening. The groom is holding the horses by their bridles. A moment ago the mounts tried to bolt, now they stand motionless. A cook has turned away from the pot. Workmen have stopped working. A whole group of pretty, young serving maids stare at him lovelorn. Hearts get broken today.

He sings and time stands still. His tenor voice booms across the yard, echoes from the castle walls, rings loud and clear, reaches the window where his beloved waits. Reaches all windows, enters at will, enchants the listeners. A splash and a wistful sigh from the moat proves that he even reaches hearts other minstrels don't bother with.

The moat monster is a fan. It possesses the full set of collectibles, silvery magical disks with sound on them called Gather Day, Crossroads, Playing in Traffic, Reap the Wind, Journey's Done, Songspinner and the famous Book of Songs Crossroads. (You can get them, too!)

The wind is in his hair, blows the long, light brown strands about. His face is almost apologetic, as if he were a little embarrassed about the fuss he is creating. 'It's only me!' it seems to say. 'I'm harmless. Trust me.'

He is no warrior home from battle, he has no dragon head in his bag as a memento from the latest glorious victory. He is no king. He is no prince. He is no knight.

A song pervades the ether, passion is changed into sound.

Let's face it: who would want a knight if you can have a bard?


Copyright ©2005 Steve Macdonald