Allegro 53: Messages

A mother should never bury her daughter, not in a shallow grave and not with hands soaked with blood of her child's murderer.

The Ghosts of the Mary Glory (Act 1, Scene 5)

Linsan smiled to herself as she slowly walked down the stairs from the bank. In her hand was a message from her parents, written in block letters after being translated by the strange device that allowed for communication across distances.

hope you safe. miss you. please respond. love mum dad.

She brought the back card up.

never give up. dad.

Her steps stopped as she looked at the other.

ghsts of mary glory. a4s9.

Linsan smiled as the tears burned her eyes. She knew exactly what her mother was trying to say and whispered the line, “Oh, daughter I miss you so. I reach for you but my fingers cannot touch. I call but no sound will travel. I long to run my fingers through your hair as you walk a path I have not been able to follow.”

She sobbed for a moment hoping it wasn't the next line that her mother referred to: “The icy waters on my neck tell me that I will be with you soon enough and I pray you are waiting for me at the crossroads of shadow and hope.”

Linsan sobbed through the rest of the cards to calm down but it quickly became apparent that the little abbreviated messages continued to keep her crying with joy. She shoved them deep into her pocket, along with the six hundred cukdins her parents had sent her, minus the amount to send a message back.

She sighed and continued down the stone stairs. At the foot, she saw a flutist playing classical music at the bottom. A wisp of a girl who stood there, nodding to the padding pedestrians who paid her no heed. Around her waist, a bright red badge had “Musician”, the date, and a number.

Linsan slowed with a desire to know how much it would cost to busk in the city of music. Then she spotted the same number on a pole above her. The flutist had to pay for a single day at a single location.

“Damn,” Linsan muttered to herself. It would make sense that a city dedicated to music would not only have heavy competition to play but also regulations. Playing for some cash wouldn't be an option for her.

She shook her head and tightened her grip on her violin. With her awe of the city diminished, she headed down the street toward the hotel that Brook had selected; Linsan had never heard of a place only dedicated to sleeping with no food or drink available.

Along the way, she admired the architecture and art while listening to the music around her. There were musicians but relatively few performers at almost every corner, each one with a red badge for that day.

At one corner, she came up to a town crier holding up a newspaper. “Breaking news, auction for priceless artifact moved up to tonight!”

Icy claws raked along her senses. She spun on her heels and hurried back. At the sight of Palisis as an ink drawing on the front, her throat tightened. She frantically bought a copy and read the announcement.

Private sellers have procured a promise of sale for the legendary Palisis Sterlig, a virginal violin rumored to have been destroyed in a devastating fire thirteen years ago. The artifact has been split from a previously scheduled event for a one-night-only opportunity for local collectors to acquire to this treasure. Minimum bid, five million cuks. Bidding one bell after sundown. Lord Xasnal, 18 Xasnal Court.

Her hands trembled as she read through the rest of the article. There was no mentioned of who was selling it by name, but an ink drawing of Tilbin, Mayforn, and Gabaw wearing black suits next to the violin said enough.

“Shit!” Linsan turned on her heels and sprinted for the others.