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 Rhythm of the Rain

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Charm
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PostSubject: Rhythm of the Rain   Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:36 pm

A timepiece ticked. Water dripped outside on the windowpane with a stead plop. On the other side of the room, someone tapped a stylus against wood. The syncopated rhythm was too much for Coferiel; he slipped out of the common area and to his rooms to fetch an instrument. Which one would be best for the occasion? After a moment of deliberation, he picked up the lyre and returned to the common room of the Living Quarters.

Yes, the sound of the lyre would blend in well with the constant patter of rain outside. When you lived in such a tropical place as the South, you had to deal with the rain that kept it so lush. Cofer didn't really mind it though; in rainy days you could curl up inside with hot klah and a warm blanket and wait it out in comfort, something that Coferiel enjoyed to do. He didn't particularly care for the rain itself - he wouldn't voluntarily spend his time out with it - but the opportunity it presented was a welcome one. After all, if you were inside on a beautiful, sunny day, it gave you an unsatisfied, cooped up feeling. But the same circumstances on a bleakly rainy day was so much more appealing.

The blonde settled himself down in a chair in the center of the common room, lyre in his long fingers. Though this was no day to be outside, but that did not make the common room crowded as one might expect; true, there were more in here than Coferiel might have chosen, but far more were in their rooms, or waiting out the storm in the kitchens with a hot meal, and there were but a few scattered around the large space, reclining with a book in their hands or playing a quiet game with a friend. The pleasant warmth and soft lights coupled with the soothing patter of rain outside - this was a quiet downpour, not a thunderous storm; the rain was a friendly visitor rather than an angry trespasser - gave it a very cozy, homey feel that Coferiel enjoyed.

He ran a hand over the strings, checking them. They were tight and firm as ever, and gave off a sweet, pure sound that rang through the air. Honestly, with the amount of time Coferiel spent using it, it was blasphemy to think the tune wouldn't be true, but carefully-honed habit taught him to check anyway. A few heads turned at the sound, and Cofer gave the curious watchers a small smile. A few seconds passed, in which the candidate waited to see if anyone would object to his playing - if they would, then of course he'd move elsewhere to do so - but nobody did, and so he turned his attention back on the harp-like instrument.

It was a beautiful lyre, given to him by his mother. The frame was almost vase-shaped, or pear-shaped - nearly round at the bottom, curving in in the middle, and then the ends curving outward slightly. Several strings stretched down the middle, held in place by a slim piece of wood that stretched between the ends of the frame. It was an old instrument, but still held true, and was still beautiful. The wood shone even now, a reddish mahogany, and was subtly carved throughout the framework with a simple swirl pattern, simple but intricate. It created a light, sweet suond.

Of the three instruments he knew well, the lyre was his favorite. The guitar could produce a deep, resonant sound than the lyre, with its smaller soundbox, could not muster, and the flute trilled above them both in a piercing but pure song, and yet it was the lyre that he favored, with its sweeter, more subtle ability; it could weave harmonies that the guitar struggled with, and that the flute could not hope to achieve.

He closed his eyes and thought for a moment, and a tune he knew floated to the front of his head, one that, he knew, would be perfect for the occasion. He struck the first, strong note and held it until it started to fade into the rain, and then his lithe fingers ran over the strings, and the song started.

It really was absolutely perfect. The melody sang with the rain, adding a clear voice to the steam of rhythmic patters, and the harmony wove between both of them, intertwining them so well that sometimes it was hard to tell which was really making the sound - the shower outside or the simple strummings and pluckings of Coferiel's lyre. It was nearly eerie, in a fascinating way, the way it linked nature to the music, so that you got lost in it and couldn't quite discern the line between reality and fantasy anymore...the clear, normal sound of rain had been transformed into something magical.

After several minutes - Coferiel had prolonged the song, not wanting it to end - the last chord faded into the silence, and Coferiel sat back, smiling with sheer joy at the music. This, this was what he loved doing more than anyone else. During his playing he'd even managed to completely forget there were others in the room; he glanced about almost sheepishly, before returning his gaze to his hands, resting lightly in the lyre. He was tempted to play another - perhaps one that as more homely, reinforcing the comfortable, cozy feel of the quarters rather than whirling away from the real world into realms of beautiful unreality. But not now; he would allow himself time to rest his fingers, for the work had tired them.

Oh, how he loved music. He would never understand why anyone wouldn't; it was amazing, it was beautiful, and it was the most wonderful feeling in the world to create it. His mother had taught him as much, and he agreed wholeheartedly. Ah, his mother....his heart ached slightly for her. He understood her suspicion of such experimental creatures - wasn't the reason they'd left Earth, after all, to get away from all the technology and havoc of the experiments of humans, to start over? - but he couldn't help but love them, the dragons and whers. And if he had a chance to try and Impress one - he didn't really care which it was, a wher or dragon - he would go for it....even though it hurt that he knew he was hurting her by leaving. He hoped that one day, when he'd Impressed and showed her his Lifemate, and that they could fight Thread and such...He hoped them she would see why he had to do this.

It was selfish, but until that time he was glad he had moved away, so that he did not have to see the effects of his perfidy on her face when she saw him. With a slight shake of his head, he strummed the lyre lightly, and it emitted a pensive, wishful sound tinged with sorrow that echoed his feelings.
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Aesar



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PostSubject: Re: Rhythm of the Rain   Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:56 am

Khifel

Khifel, upon hearing the sound of the music, ran outside into the common room and hurriedly, aswell as impatiently, located the source of the music. A man quite older than Khifel was playing an instrument, although Khifel didn't know the name of the musical item. Standing close to the chair, Khifel gazed longingly at the lyre, regardless of the fact he had no idea how to play it, or even how it worked. When he heard his mother call his name from across the room, he half-turned in her direction before the lure of the music stole his attentions away from her.

~~

Kerasza

When her son ran out of the room, she leapt to the door to catch him but he slipped past her grasp without knowing it and ran towards the man playing the lyre. It was a beautiful sound, although Kerasza didn't allow her expression to lighten at the sound.

"Khifel!" She called loudly, hoping to gain his attention. The call was half-successful, since he did turn to look but didn't come to her side, where she could keep him safe. So, her only option now was to come to his side, since he was too distracted to go to hers. She walked back inside the room, grabbing her sword sheath and strapping it across her back. Kerasza then took a second to focus herself before striding out, although she must be given credit for not running in panic. Once she reached Khifel, she half-stepped in front of him, reached one hand behind her head to clasp her sword handle. Kerasza didn't intend to use it, but she would if this boy posed a threat to her son. Rather rudely and defiantly, she adressed the musician for the first time,

"Who are you and what do you want?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rhythm of the Rain   Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:49 pm

"Khifel!"

Startled out of his thoughts, Cofer automatically turned to locate the source of the call. The name was similar enough to his own that he half-wondered if someone was calling him, but no...they'd definitely said it with an 'ee' sound, not an 'oh' sound. His gaze fell on a cute little dark-haired boy that had wandered up to him. The boy was staring at his lyre, and looked quite like as if he wished he could play it as well. Coferiel had no chance to do anything but smile at the boy before a woman was striding up to him, and by her face it was obvious she wasn't about to invite him out for a picnic, and not just because of the weather.

The pieces fell together quickly enough - the boy must be Khifel, as he half-turned towards the call, and the woman his guardian, or mother. Why she looked so hostile, however, he could not say - all he had done was smile at the little boy, after all. And Khifel hadn't done anything wrong that Coferiel could see - he'd only wanted to look at the lyre, so it appeared to the musician.

The woman reached him in another moment, and Cofer's eyes widened to see the sword she had strapped across her back - he was even more shocked at the hand she laid on it. Surely she wasn't about to use that thing? It looked deadly. "Who are you and what do you want?" The question was unexpected, the voice that asked it defiant. Cofer couldn't believe it - what on Pern had he done?

"I - I am Coferiel Tegansi, ma'am, a musician and candidate." He nodded respectfully at the woman, manners automatic despite his incredulity. "As for what I want...Ma'am, my only intent here is to make music." He glanced down at the black-haired boy, who had been staring so longingly at his lyre. "I have no intention of harming young Master Khifel here, and I hope you will forgive me for whatever it was I did wrong, though I confess to not knowing what that may be. It appears in my eyes that Master Khifel came merely to listen to my music - if you'd pardon my opinion, it looks to me as if he'd enjoy a bit of music himself. I'm certain the lad would be a good musician if he wanted..."

He stopped himself, uncertain how Khifel's guardian would take that. Anyway, it was none of his business. He hesitated, then moved on with: "I...was going to play another piece, but if it bothers you, ma'am, I can move elsewhere to do so." He was still bewildered at her behavior towards him, but he hoped that maybe that had smoothed it over. The candidate found himself glancing again at Khifel, who seemed truly interested in the instrument he held. The boy looked to be around five - it was just the right age to teach a little one how to play a simply instrument, really, and if Khifel wanted to learn....But only if he wanted to, and only if his guardian would agree, of course. Anyway, who am I to think he even wants to? He only liked the music. And I'm no teacher. He is very cute though, and if he does like music... Well, it would be neat to try a hand at teaching someone. However, turning Khifel into a guinea pig was not his intention...and not the subject here. Hastily he focused his thoughts back on Khifel and his guardian - most likely mother, but Cofer couldn't assume that.
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PostSubject: Rythym of the Rain   Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:52 pm

Kerasza stared at him suspiciously as he introduced himself, simultaneously combining respect in with introduction. Kerasza softened a little bit, since it was clear she was scaring Coferiel. It was clear he knew what he was doing with the instrument, although Kerasza knew it was likely from practice than talent. Or so she assumed, since she didn’t exactly know much about the musically inclined group. She glanced at Khifel and spoke his name lightly to grab his attention. “Khifel,” Kerasza began, “could you go pick me some flowers?” She questioned in the same devoted tone she always used, without fail, at her young son. Kerasza’s purpose in sending him away was to apologize for her aggression to Coferiel.

Once Khifel disappeared, Kerasza turned again to face Coferiel, although her expression wasn’t as fierce as it had originally been. She’d even take her hand off the hilt of her blade, since there was clearly no threat to her son in this musician. “Coferiel? I apologize for being so aggressive towards you. You actually didn’t do anything wrong, and there was no reason for me to almost attack you in defence of my son.” She blinked once before suddenly remembering that he had suggested Khifel might like to learn some music. Kerasza wasn’t quite sure how to respond to Coferiel’s offer, since she had threatened him, and he retaliated by offering to teach her son music lessons. Deep down, she knew it would be good for him to learn another skill, but Kerasza probably wouldn’t admit that to anyone. She felt that she would be able to educate him on her own without the assistance of other people.

Without really paying attention, she’d been staring at the lyre reflectively in a catatonic state, which was interrupted by Khifel running back in with a small handful of pernese wildflowers. “Mother!” He called loudly from across the room, causing people to stare at him although Khifel was too fixated on Kerasza to notice the extra attention. Khifel came running hurriedly across the room and proudly handed the flowers to his dam, who accepted them gratefully and with a small smile. She lightly placed a hand on his shoulder as she crouched down to speak with him. “Khifel,” Kerasza began slowly, with a slow and guarded glance in Coferiel’s direction, “How would you like to learn to play a musical instrument? Since I’m not always around to spend time with you, I believe it would be beneficial for you to learn a skill of your own.”

Khifel looked into his mother’s eyes with a slow smiled spreading across his face before he suddenly punched a small fist into the air with overwhelming excitement. Khifel really liked music, and the chance to learn how to make it himself seemed like a good idea to the four year old. He turned to face Coferiel, still smiling happily, and asked, “Really? You’d do that for me, Coferiel Sir?” Khifel remembered his manners at the last minute before his mother could remind him.
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PostSubject: Re: Rhythm of the Rain   Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:52 pm

Coferiel relaxed some when the older woman took her hand off of her weapon; in all honesty it had been unlikely she'd use it in such a place or situation, but still...he'd be lying if he said it hadn't made him edgy. It made the musician curious about this woman, though...who was she, to carry a sword on her back?

He watched as she sent her son off on a seemingly meaningless errand, and had to smile at the tone of her voice - so different from the oner she had spared for him. Nobody could be too bad if they had such clear affection for children, right? The candidate watched the lad run off with warm eyes; he really was a very cute kid, and his guardian obviously had much care for him. Said guardian turned her attention back to him, and he did likewise for her, listening as she made an apology. He wasn't mad at her; a bit aggrieved at the situation, but not angry. As the woman said, she'd been protecting her son...though it seemed rather paranoid to Cofer for her to become aggressive over her son listening to music. But what to he know? Maybe she had a good reason to.

"There's no harm done, ma'am," he assured her quietly. "Children must be kept safe, after all - though I can assure you my lyre is not going to eat him." Humor had crept into his voice; perhaps it was a rather watery attempt at humor, but he was trying to put a more relaxed light on the conversation. And he could finally submit to mother as her place - as she had called Khifel her son. It's what he'd expected from the start...but with the attack of Thread, so many parents had died. So many children left alone, or with friends or even strangers.

Yes, so many had died. Coferiel could relate to that quite clearly. It had been almost ten years, but the pain still burned when he allowed himself to think about it. His father had been a gruff, practical man...But he had been kind and hard-working and caring, always working so hard to give Cofer only the best. Archibal taught the musician everything he knew that didn't have to do with music....manners, defense, how to put food on the table. He'd taught him how to hold your head high and work through the pain, how to face life with a laugh. Cofer had loved him. Archy Tegansi had not deserved to die.

In a way, it had driven Cofer and Corala Tegansi together....but in a deeper way, had started to split them apart. The candidate remembered the time with painful clarity; suddenly his father had been gone, dead, body eaten by alien spores that rained silver death on the world. He had thrown himself into his music, doing little more than play for a long time, trying to drown his sorrows in song. In that way ,they were together...his mother still taught him, and they bonded through the lessons. But Corala also grieved a different way, a harder, more alone way. Even at barely seven years, Cofer had sensed his mother turning away, turning in. It had made him wary. Perhaps not fully consciously, but things had never quite been the same. And thewy probably never would be.

"Mother!"

Cofer started, looking up at the same time Khifel's mother did, jerked out of thought. The boy had returned, laden with wildflowers, which he pressed upon his mother. The musician's lips curled upward into a smile as he banished thoughts of the past. He absently strummed a light chord as he listened to Kerasza, but sat up, more alert, when he heard the content of her words to Khifel. He hadn't actually offered out loud to teach the boy....but obviously she'd caught the hidden meaning. That didn't mean Coferiel wouldn't be glad to try his hand at teaching...it could be fun. And if Khifel's mother didn't mind....Which she obviously didn't, as she was offering the chance to Khifel....well, then, why not? Yes. Why not?

And the look on the young lad's face was priceless. That slow, delighted smile spreading the width of the boy's face was a wonderful sight to see. Then Khifel suddenly punched a fist in the air, and Coferiel laughed. "If you like, Khifel, sir," he answered the boy, grinning. "I'm available anytime," added the candidate to Kerasza. He'd never expected to gain a pupil...but he was looking forward to it. Being a teacher could be very fun. And Khifel certainly had the will...perhaps he'd have the skill, too!
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PostSubject: Rhythm of the Rain   Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:29 pm

She looked at him strangely as he informed her he hadn’t taken offense at her maternal aggression. Suddenly, without warning, she came to a silent agreement between them. Kerasza instinctively trusted the young musician, and so would relinquish her son to his guidance. Kerasza did know that Khifel needed some independence in his life. His mother didn’t want to make him antisocial to others, or wary of strangers. She looked at him in surprise and quite sharply, before relaxing her facial features into a softer expression. The joke about the lyre not eating her son wasn’t that funny, in Kerasza’s opinion, but she wasn’t going to waste her time fighting with him over it. She would however mention to him, at least in a hinting kind of mention, what she was defending him from and why she was doing. If Coferiel was going to be his teacher, he at least had a right to know why she defended him so zealously. Kerasza owed the music player that much, if only for the reason that she had almost drawn her sword on him.

“I’m not guarding him from some inanimate object, you know” Kerasza spoke bitingly, bitter at having to inform someone about her past. “I guard him from actual dangers. For all I know, you may have harmed him. I cannot trust anyone who I don’t personally know. If I lose Khifel…then…” Kerasza had to break away from speaking before she choked up and her emotions flowed out. “He’s my life. Khifel is all I have left of someone who died. Protecting him is my only priority at this time. I…thought you should know, because, “Kerasza began again in a low voice, not wishing to reveal enough information for him to guess at her old lifestyle. “You seem to want to teach him music, and also because I owed you a more thorough explanation for almost attacking him. You have my gratitude and respect for agreeing to teach my son.”

Khifel glanced permissively at his dam, who nodded enthusiastically at him, before turning back to Coferiel, still grinning widely. Although he wasn’t too sure why he was being referred to as sir, since his mother had instilled in him, even though Khifel didn’t comprehend why yet-he was too young, to see himself on an even ground with everyone. Sir, he knew, was a term of respect, and only given to people with rank. Khifel wasn’t sure if that applied to him, so his face screwed up subtly with confusion as he tried to grasp the concept.
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