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Village Life

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Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:15 am    Post subject: Village Life Reply with quote

I found an old gem today - I wrote this back in 2008, and I was sure I'd posted it somewhere but I guess I didn't. Anyway, look! It's a bit of Lyric Prose, my invented form of poetry where every word corresponds to a note in a particular piece of music. This one is the story of "Voyage of the Stardancer: Overture" by David Arkenstone. You can listen to the song here, and I highly suggest you go do that a couple of times before you read the story. The flow will be much more obvious once you have. I can add 'stage direction' if you think it's necessary.

I see this animated in the style of Hayao Miazaki, influenced by The Castle in the Sky.


You're back? Good! Here's the story, called Village Life.

The sun rises slowly above the rooftops of the houses in the village and the farms beyond it, gilding the thatch with gold and promising a bright, beautiful clear day, full of light and good things. Birds begin to sing in the trees, ruffling their feathers and waking people to their daily business. A farmerís wife throws open her door to the dawn, letting the dog out as she goes to feed the chickens, and her husband heads for the barn to care for the other animals. The other farming families do the same, following the same pattern as the early risers. One loads his milk cans onto a cart to carry into the village, slapping his horse with the reins to get him moving. The farmer trots down the dirt road to the village in the burgeoning morning, hailing the first man he passes with a wave and a broad smile. A woman comes out with a basket of laundry to hang on the line.

Her son goes running past her to join the slew of tumbling, laughing boys chasing a ball down the street in care-free abandon, past a group of gypsies opening up for the day. They laugh as well, and several start to dance to the pounding of feet and clapping hands. Swirling, multi-colored skirts and flashing ankles are joined by a set of drums and a tambourine as well as a flute, playing a lively, catchy tune that sets the blood moving and the heart racing with life, with joy in the day ahead. The gypsies dance for themselves as much as for any profit they might make, for they take joy where they can get it and donít stint on what they have. The milk cart comes into view again, holding half as many milk jugs but loaded with other goods, and carrying a passenger. It passes by a certain house and the woman jumps off.

She rings the bell and is pulled inside by a frantic man in rumpled clothing, and the door closes behind her. Smiling, she shakes off his hand as he tries to pull her up the stairs, and lays a finger on his lips when he turns to protest. She shakes her head and motions him to wait, then goes up the stairs herself. He stares up after her disappearing form with obvious worry, then begins to pace up and down the hall with his hands clasped behind his back. The midwife, for that is what she is, goes into one of the rooms with the door open and hurries directly to the side of the pregnant woman on the bed. She pauses to study to woman and sees sheís near her time. The mother-to-be is red and clutching at the sheets as she rides out a violent contraction, then opens her eyes with relief when the midwife lays a comforting hand on her shoulder. The midwife helps her safely deliver her first child as the father continues to pace, until the midwife appears at the railing with a pink bundle in her arms. For a moment the father stares at her, frozen, then leaps the stairs three at a time to take his daughter in his arms. He goes to the window in his wifeís bedroom and throws it open to show the world his treasure and pride.

The village bursts into song street by street as the news travels, at first person by person, then whole households open their hearts to the bliss of the new family. The gypsies being a complicated pattern dance to celebrate new life in the world, and little girls imitate them all over town in simpler rings. As word reaches beyond the borders of the village to the farms beyond, the circle of celebration renews again and again. Women run to their neighbors to lean on fences and spread the joy, and old matrons turn to each other and clap their hands in happiness, remember their own children and grandchildren, already planning the naming ceremony. Nobody cares if it will storm tomorrow, for today the elation of birth is the important thing, and that is all that matters in the bright beautiful day, as sun shines high overhead.
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