Music of the Spheres

Kings are always busy.  I suppose it is part of the job description; that you have to be king all the time, even when you are being a husband or a father, or just wandering down to the bookshop. Our king, the one here in Jasper Cove, goes by the name of Alec. For some reason, that just doesn’t seem right. Looking back at the history of my homeland it seems like there is a limited palette when it comes to names for kings; William, Henry, George, James, Edward etc.  I guess that’s why the name Alec just sees out of place.  I shall stick to your majesty or sire until such time as I am told otherwise.  He was in the tavern for a short while, no doubt extracting payment for supplies from Aoibheann.  He greeted me politely enough, but was gone before I could reply.  I will manage to have a meeting with him some time.  Apparently there was a shipment of books to be looked at in the bookshop.   The queen, at least her name, Isabella sounds more queen-like, was there talking to what seemed to be a rabbi.  That should make an interesting addition to the community.  I didn’t get a chance to say hello, but there will no doubt be time.  The only other rabbi I knew was Jakob Blum, whom I met at one of Mother’s fund-raisers.  He was an interesting person to talk to.

Talking of new arrivals, we added to our catalogue of ‘mythical creatures’ today.  Since everybody else had left the tavern (Aoibheann disappeared into the kitchen to deal with a supposed bad smell), I thought I would wander down to the bookshop.  My supply of books is limited and I felt the need for something fresh to read.  Down at the eastern end of the gardens, was an honest-to-gods faun, playing the pan-pipes.  The music was very pleasant, so I stopped to listen for a while and tossed a few coins into her collecting cup.  The child, Riley, was there, apparently fascinated, but then, it seems hard to tell with her.  It was a busy day down at that end of the courtyard.  Emanuel and Anna, presumably one of them in charge of Riley, the king  and queen, and I saw Brigitte over at the far side with a new visitor, an attractive young lady.  It was no surprise that they soon disappeared off in the direction of the bath house.   Some things don’t change

Something was amiss with the queen. I couldn’t quite hear what was being said, but it seems like she has a bit of a chill.  She was despatched off to the infirmary with Anna, presumably for an examination or treatment.  The king, meanwhile, with the baby, perused the books. I had a look myself, but they did not appear to have been sorted yet, so it was difficult to find anything useful.  I gave up in the end and went back to listen to some more music. Emanuel made some comment about the tavern, and I added that I would be happy to serve her some food if she wished.  She said that a cup of soup would be very welcome, so I went back and investigated the kitchen.  Luckily, I was able to find some of Gwyn’s leek and potato soup from the previous day that was still useable.  There was something else there, but being one of Aoibheann’s concoctions, I did not feel up to trying to work out what it was.

The faun, Jade by name, came by shortly after, and was most grateful for the soup.  She thanked me for it and I told her she was welcome, but that I couldn’t promise her a free meal every day.  Given that she had a bow and quiver on her back I told her how she could earn her keep hunting, or fishing, or gathering herbs.  This latter I suggested because she had mentioned some skill in that area.

We had a very pleasant chat on such matters as the river Styx, the afterlife in general and related topics. She seemed a little concerned that people of her kind might be persecuted here, but I assured her we were very multi-cultural, with a full compliment of allegedly mythical beings.  I told her the myth I knew of Pan and Syrinx and it turned out that her mother had told her the same story.  Though, given her nature, I suspect it was told from a somewhat different perspective.  It was an enjoyable conversation and her company was most enjoyable.  I hope she sticks around.  It was getting late, so I offered the use of one of the beds, but she opted for the open air and the skies above her head. She departed into the night, leaving me alone with my glass of rum and the knotty problem of what next to do to Edmund.


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