Word Count: 459
Story: Spiriah's Song
Again, the pounding rhythm in her ears was threatening to split her head in two. For as long as she could remember, the beat had been with her. Of course, it hadn’t always been so torturous and agonizing. Before, it had only been a nuisance, with the squabbling of everyday life enough to drown it out.
The soft, melodious chatter in the market used to play as a background. The varying patterns of thumping footsteps entering and milling about her shop used to syncopate most elegantly with her own rhythm. Resonating tenors and sweet contralto used to swirl about her, harmonizing in pleasant accompaniment. The wind used to mosey on in through her open shop windows, humming a carefree tune, tickling the curtains into laughing some days. Back then, the song that she lived in was peaceful and harmonious.
And then Makuta Spiriah came to Zakaz.
Cursed Makuta Spiriah had distorted her gentle lullaby into Karzahni’s own twisted symphony.
No longer was the cadence inside of her steady and reliable. Now it hammered erratically and cracked like some ghastly kind of thunder, always trying to pound its way out of her head.
Even over time, the dreadful new throbbing didn’t subside. Once she realized that it wouldn’t go away, or get any better, decided to go on living live as she always had; finding music in everyday tasks to accompany the tempo.
But it was very clear that her old life was not enough to satiate the new rhythm. One day in the shop, one empty day, and she had almost been overwhelmed by the pounding monster inside her mind, deaf to anything else.
She lived alone, and she used to be solitary and content by nature. But there was nobody to stop her when she started going out and
experimenting with different ways to try and drown out, or at the very least, make peace with her new rhythm.
Arrows thudding into flesh, clubs crunching protosteel armor, bones being snapped over her knee, and extremities crushed beneath her stomping feet now played in counter to her beat. Swords ringing on armor and maces screaming through the air threw their respective notes into the din.
And on really and truly horrible days, like today, when the thrashing in her head threatened her sanity, the only vocals that could complete this new song, the only vocals powerful and worthy enough to soothe the beat within here were the agonized screams and final, howling curses of the enemies she’d made over the recent years.
All of this was now contained in a day’s work, a day’s musical and glorious work. After a job well done, the repulsive, echoing beat of her empty heart was just a bit calmer in her ears.