A Bard’s Tale (Excerpt) 12/18/18
“Wake up!” Goddard said shaking Neil. “Father is going to be furious if you don’t get up. You needed to leave more than an hour ago!”
“Oh, no,” Neil moaned as he rolled out of the bed. His mouth was dry and his hair was sticking to the side of his face.
“That’s more like it,” Goddard said, “I have to head for the fields. You make sure that you double-check all the deliveries on the cart before you leave.”
Neil rubbed his eyes trying to get the haze from the corners of his vision. He looked up at Goddard who looked nearly identical to him with the exception of size. Where Neil was thin and agile, Goddard was a behemoth capable of lifting a horse. Goddard’s gray eyes looked down on him judgmentally
“Alright, I’ve got it,” Neil said as he saw a flit of movement to his left.
“What’re you looking at?” Goddard said following Neil’s gaze.
“Nothing. I thought I saw something move,” Neil replied seeing that nothing was there.
“I’ll get moving.”
“I’ll see you later,” Goddard said as he left the room.
Neil rose, washed quickly, and ran down the stairs to the kitchen where the smell of fresh cakes still lingered. His mother was furiously washing dishes in a tub.
“Good morning, little bard,” she said with a smile as he stumbled into the room.
“Good morning, Mother,” Neil replied reaching for the single cake that waited on the table.
“You slept late today,” his mother said. “You missed your father.”
“Goddard woke me,” he replied, “I’ve got to get moving with the milk. Credence will not be happy about the time. I suspect neither will the rest of the customers.”
“I don’t know about the others, but Credence should understand. You don’t generally play that late when you do. Next time you should consider staying the night down there if you plan to be gone so long,” she smiled.
Again, something flitted past Neil’s vision. Almost as though he had passed a reflective surface and caught a beam of the sun in his eye. He winced from the sudden light but tried to follow it. His mother’s laugh echoed through the kitchen good-natured and melodic as he spun trying to follow the light.
“What has gotten into you?” she asked, “Are we practicing dancing this early in the day now?”
Neil shook his head. “No, I thought I…” He trailed off. “I’ll see you later, mother.”