The Bard of Ganbo
By Ariana Aislinn


Author's Note: I somehow became inspired to write an entire fic in iambic pentameter. @_@ You may pick up the rhythm if you read carefully, but it doesn't rhyme (usually, although a couple rhymes slipped in accidentally), and it is written prose style rather than poetry, so lines are broken up by punctuation rather than line breaks. It intended it to be very fluid and flowing that way (let's hope it worked). This story takes place during the celebration in the village of Ganbo (I like that better than the American spelling of Gumbo), when Justin and Feena see the spirits floating out on the water. It's written from the point of view of an outside observer - a half-drunk bard on the beach. ;) So, anyway, enjoy!

The Spirits danced upon the briny waves, as I, in gentle shadows safely hid, contentedly did gaze upon the stars - so silent, softly sailing through the night - and quietly I thought of drifting dreams. My head is always filled with fantasies, with yarns and tales and epic poetry, and oft I find I must allow some rest - time for the puzzle pieces of my thoughts to form coherent stories from the mess. And so I came to be upon that beach, the shifting sands a pillow for my head, and watched the constellations overhead, when I, astonished, spied two awesome sights. Attention caught, I turned my head to look, and there I saw the brightest, rarest thing - the Spirits, green and bright, did dance that night, their misty, glowing splendor swirling past, o'er gentle rolling of the midnight sea.

And then saw I that I was not alone. The guests of honor from the revelry had stolen out to walk about the strand, perhaps in search of quiet 'midst the noise. They spoke in voices low I could not hear, and just as well for I would not intrude. I was observer only on that night, that night I somehow felt was meant for them. A simple bard, his head too full of wine, I watched and noted this was not a dream.

So often do two lovers walk this beach, enfolded in each other's ardent arms, and seeking secret shadows, share a kiss. Yet I, who've seen such sights a hundred times, could tell that this was somehow something more - each smile, each glance, each touch of hand, meant more than any passionate embrace. No loving kiss was offered nor received, no words of love or amorous intent. They spoke not of romance, but of the stars, their gaze turned upwards toward the nighttime sky; though I could hear no words I watched them walk, soon settling on the private islet not far off. Celestial bodies danced together then, while earthly bodies chastely did not touch, but though the lovers did not know the truth, I knew that it would not be long at all…and soon true love would run its destined course.

They said inconsequential things, perhaps, and maybe shared a dream or two, I'd guess. And then the Spirits, who had danced away - perhaps to give them privacy to talk - returned, their emerald light a herald bright, announcing that they came with good intent. The lovers clasped their hands and watched in awe. I knew the Spirits were not here for me - they came to give their blessing to these two, adventurers and wanderers of land, and sailors of the open fearsome sea. Divinely chosen to complete their quest, they'd share something beyond a simple love - a loyalty in battle and at rest, the camaraderie that springs from friends, unspoken promises and iron bonds, to never, ever leave the other's side, not even when the night is darkest black. At their most desperate hour, they'll steadfast stand, and back-to-back they'll fight till dying breath - for they have hope and faith in coming dawn, in Spirits' promises, and in their love.

They do not call it love, I think, but someday they will know what I do now. And so I rise in silence, with one sigh - that I might one day know so true a friend. And off to bed this lonesome bard, he goes, his footsteps stumbling from the food and drink. My head will ache tomorrow, this I know…but worse than that, I have a wondrous story now - but one I cannot tell a single soul, for it does not belong to me at all. Adventurous, unknowing, loving youth - one day, I think, you'll know the simple truth. And when the Spirits dance upon that day, I hope you'll think of me, a simple bard, and ask me then to sing a song for you - a song I'll sing upon your wedding day.