A Summer Barbaric of Shenanigans
Filly’s linked-on flow board had new invitational flyers blipping on it, next morning. The Lords of Ragefall were performing the next two nights. Tonight’s show was in the same village they played acoustically last night. But this time, they were in the central market tavern, with promises of a bigger crowd.
Tomorrow’s show was in the same town Tambeaux’s caravan was set by. There, they were playing with another, longer running band, Euphoric Roya. Apparently, the gents from Roya came from the same town as the Patriot Contenders, the band that Ragefall played with at the Standard Hotel.
(Euphoric Roya played at that same concert, but Filly missed them play while she said farewell to her family as they left for the southcentral country.)
She was thrilled to get to see them perform.
“It’s a small world,” Filly muttered to herself, looking through the connecting links to a few recorded songs by E. Roya.
She opened one recording and watched what quickly became her favorite lyrics,
“If Monday’s the devil, then Friday is Jesus and 5 o’clock, we all get saved.” *1
Listening to lyrics that crossed over into Bacht folklore always touched Filly’s heart. But, she was never truly sure if the Bacht stories of Jesus were folk lore? Typically, when a Bacht story told tales of great wonders and supernatural events, it meant that somewhere a Trevel was on the loose Upland.
But, Jesus, although he was a real human who lived in history, was no Trevel. He was a complete anomaly; neither Trevel or Bacht, but something much more. At least, that’s what the Oracle of Atlantis thought, in the secret depths of her heart.
The Trevel, and even Kentari, had little time to bother with Bacht history, except in places where the Trevel crossed over to interfere, intervene, or influence. Being the Oracle, Filly had access to secret histories that revealed many of the connecting dots between the hidden magical race of Energists, and their Upland powerless neighbors.
Of course, when someone like the man Jesus accomplishes wondrous acts, the Trevel like to claim that. It makes them look better. But when the same person gets murdered in such an entirely helpless way; a seemingly willing crucifixion… that baffled the most connected Trevel. So, they let it go.
Ignore the complication and let it be embellished in Story. That was the best route. That is what Filly’s temple training taught her to do with gaps in understanding.
But, Filly had another idea.
This Jesus claimed to be the Son of the Creator of the Universe. Logically, that meant he was either lying, totally lunatic in his estimation of himself, or… he was telling the truth. Even the minor Trevel, Clive Lewis, had made the same claim. Few listened to that argument of his, though. Yet, he continued to spend his entire life writing allegory and philosophy. Some of his greatest thoughts and most momentous doctrines were disguised as children’s stories. Filly considered him, her best loved mentor.
Thus, it was that she pursued the ultimate question in her own soul,
“Who is this Jesus?”
She saw his character everywhere, especially in the music of the artists she listened to. She followed those bands where she saw the presence of Divine Character spilling through the most. She couldn’t wait for the next two nights’ concerts. Divine character, being splashed upon her in music, was her favorite source of ecstatic inspiration.
Rehearsals with the children were going solidly. Especially with Filly not doing much in these first weeks. The children were kept busy learning their songs with the choirmaster and beating out their dances with the choreographer. Filly watched and made a few comments here and there. But mostly, she made notes to block the action that was to take place on the stage, scene by scene.
But, the evenings remained entirely hers.
“You headed up to see Ragefall, tonight?” Marin asked, drying his hair with a fluffy towel, after his shower.
“Mmm-hmm.” Filly responded distractedly.
She kept her head in her flowboard, writing notes and catching up with friends near and far away.
Marin insisted on teasing her with every opportunity that he could. So, Filly blinked, diligently training her eyes on the screen in front of her as she noticed the towel around Marin’s middle drop off. The man wandered around her peripheral vision, completely nude.
Filly sighed and shook her head. She picked up her work and moved off the hover-craft.
“Where’re you going?” Marin called after her.
Filly stopped and turned to stare at him; bored disgust etched clearly into her face.
“Despite your love for the naked body, particularly your own, I do not feel the need to be graced by your exposition.”
She turned to leave again, but Marin teased her, still,
“When did you suddenly become a prude?”
He followed her, still naked, exposing himself to the whole camp. His loud voice being only partial reason for drawing everyone’s attention to their conversation.
In her mind, Filly pulled out her mystical Field-Guide to Women, intent upon teaching the arrogant man a needed lesson.
“I am no prude, sir. I hold a great love of the male body. Indeed, I love all things that are of men. I have no problem with you wandering naked or clothed, or whatever you choose to do. That is your choice. However,” she paused to press her point, “when your attitude is one that is constantly flaunting yourself before me, to show off, in an attempt to make me feel uncomfortable, or to impose your prowess and control upon me in this manner of pursuit: that is harassment. I will not stand for that.”
She swallowed, trying desperately to control the anger and embarrassment that was rising in her voice.
Calming her nerves, she breathed deeply and continued,
“I will not react to your childish imposition by throwing the same back at you. Nor will I scold you, or ridicule you. I am the master of my own being. You do as you will. I will send you my grace. But, I will extricate myself from your pursuit, informing you of my reasons when you inquire. Now, kindly let me be. My temper is raggedy at best and I may not be able to continue in grace.”
Marin fought off his shame with disgust,
“Uppity bitch. Some Oracle you are.”
Filly’s boiling calm spewed,
“Fek off.” And she stalked away.
Sir Guftson handed the Count a robe to cover himself and politely asked,
“Lover’s spat, my lord?”
Marin snatched the robe and growled as he stormed back into his private quarters.
That evening, the Tambeaux private cruiser burst at the windows with spilling limbs. Inside the bus, revelers packed together, on their way to the Ragefall concert. Alcohol flowed freely, as did the laughs and physical connections.
But amid it all, the silence between Marin and Filly was palpable. They ignored each other, which made their tainted connection only more obvious. Filly laughed loudly, letting the frenzy of the crowd intoxicate her as much as the whiskey that Marin consumed, intoxicated him. By the time they reached the tavern, rational thinking was lessened by several degrees.
It was a whirlwind*2 show. By the second song on the Ragefall set list, Filly spun around the dancefloor in the music that whipped a cyclone of sound about them all. Her ecstatic muscle spasms flooded through her, one after the other, and the woman let go all her inhibitions. Hiding in the jumping and writhing crowd, she worked through all her pent-up emotions and joined as one with the chords and beats. It was like virtual sex with all four bards at once.
When the lyrics, it’s a perfect day to die*3 burst out, the Oracle’s soul was no longer on this physical plane. She was a spirit being, flying above the crowd of revelers. She saw a warrior in everyone’s heart. She saw the demons they battled against. She saw the darkness that pressed upon them and drove them to drink, to drugs, to dance and sex… to the music that healed and soothed the anger of agony that they all hid within. She heard the silent screams. Filly stretched out her hands and lifted the spirits of the beaten warriors about her. She flew with them into the heights of light and poured out the healing grace that flowed through her own heart.
In the final flame of music that crackled off the stage and burned in the hearts of everyone listening, Filly returned to her body and her consciousness. She breathed more calmly and smiled in the relaxing conclusion of sound. Everyone’s eyes were closed and they swayed as one in the soul lullaby, marching on into the reign of fire. *4
Later outside, as the inner circle of friends chatted and helped the crew repack their trailers and hover crafts with tired instruments, spirits were still soaring. Filly was constantly amazed by the energy that flowed around these four Regents of Kentari.
Ionny approached her with a hug and whispered in her ear,
“How many this time?”
Filly giggled and blushed a little,
“Fifteen this time.”
“Wow! That’s amazing.” He laughed.
Filly shrugged and joked,
“It’s your fault. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He grinned at her. “I started reading your book. I’m enjoying it.”
“I’m so glad.” Filly was thrilled.
Ionny paused a moment before commenting,
“It could use more.”
But, they couldn’t finish as Kaid joined them, with his arm around one of the girls who’d been working the sales table for another band. He caught Ionny in a quick talk before they were both called away on Court duties.
Filly was left wondering what “more” her story might need. He heart dipped slightly, but that was likely only a natural swing back from the excessive high she’d had during the show. She went back to Tambeaux’s bus and climbed into her bunk.
“You ok?” Marin asked her as he walked past her.
Filly smiled at him,
“I’m feeling much better, now. It was a good show.”
“Yes.” He agreed. “Get your rest.”
He gently lay his hand upon her arm, smiling back at her. Then he moved on in the dark, to his own rest.
And all was silently soothed between them.
[*1 Lyrics from the Royal Bliss song, “Livin the Dream”]
[*2 Title of the October Rage song, “Whirlwind”]
[*3 Lyrics from the October Rage song, “Valkyrie”]
[*4 Lyrics from the October Rage song, “Reign of Fire”]
If you would like to see more of Gregga’s books and other creative projects, check out her website: Gregga J. Johnn and Story-in-the-Wings.