The knight looked out over the rolling hills, hands on her knees and sword resting on the ground in front of her, ready to be snatched up at a moment’s notice. It was dark, with only the moon and the faint flickering firelight providing any visual on the surrounding area, but her eyes were sharp and well-accustomed to seeing in near pitch-black. The plains where they had made camp seemed to stretch endlessly, grass rippling with the slight night breeze and interrupted only by the occasional tree or boulder. There wasn’t much to see, and yet she continued to scan. It was her duty.

The stillness of almost midnight, white noise of rustling grass, crickets, and the occasional distant howl of some predator hunting was familiar. What wasn’t familiar was the soft notes of a lute being plucked out behind her, weaving a soothing sleepy tune that somehow stood out from the sounds of nature and blended perfectly with the symphony of the night. The music was enchanting, alluring in a way that only the bard could make, and the knight shook her head as if to rid his influence from her brain. The sounds would surely give them away to any stalking bandits—the musician did not pay attention to his surroundings when he played, opting to concentrate instead on the weave of dynamics and scales, leaving him vulnerable to any attacker looking for an easy target. Herself, as well. She was in his bubble, responsible for watching over him and the others, and so any danger to him was a danger to them all. 

“See anything interesting out there?” he called out, as quiet as a man of his profession could be. Sometimes it impressed her how loud he could make even his whispers—someone so used to being in the spotlight was bound to be terrible at stealth. She shook her head, not even bothering to turn and look at him before replying.

“All is still.” A drawn-out sigh responded, and she could practically feel him rolling his eyes as he shifted and settled back into his nook under the tree. His strumming resumed, this time accompanied by a gentle hum that pleasantly filled in the gaps in the music that she hadn’t even noticed were there until he added the extra layer. 

“How do you know?” she spoke again, keeping her eyes resolutely trained on the landscape in front of her.


“How do you know what to play? I have never seen you carry any paper to write your notes on or a book from which you read.” The music slowed as he sat up slightly in his spot and let out a soft chuckle before responding. 

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Author Bio

Daniel is a current freshman at Emerson College studying Creative Writing. He enjoys writing and reading fantasy and literary fiction, and after graduating hopes to become an editor for the same genres. In his writing, he likes to subvert and play with the expectations of a certain genre or trope, especially in character studies.