Chapter no 55: Flame and Thunder

The Name of the Wind

HELD ALL OF my mourning for Savien and Aloine to a few moments.

Knowing I was still on display, I gathered myself and straightened in my chair to look out at my audience. My silent audience.

Music sounds different to the one who plays it. It is the musician’s curse. Even as I sat, the ending I had improvised was fading from my memory. Then came doubt. What if it hadn’t been as whole as it had seemed? What if my ending hadn’t carried the terrible tragedy of the song to anyone but myself? What if my tears seemed to be nothing more than a child’s embarrassing reaction to his own failure?

Then, waiting, I heard the silence pouring from them. The audience held themselves quiet, tense, and tight, as if the song had burned them worse than flame. Each person held their wounded selves closely, clutching their pain as if it were a precious thing.

Then there was a murmur of sobs released and sobs escaping. A sigh of tears. A whisper of bodies slowly becoming no longer still.

Then the applause. A roar like leaping flame, like thunder after lightning.

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