Chapter 7 – Matinee

Serene music filled the air. The melody rolled over the crowd as wind would roll over a hilltop. Captain Bacchus found himself mesmerised by the sound. Gently his head swayed from one side to the other in time with the tune. His finger tapped a beat in turn as a flute cut through the harmony and weaved itself into the rest of the palette. Together the notes continued to climb. Lights burst into being just as the two sounds reached a summit. A woman walked into the spotlight; each step fell in line with the rhythm of the woodwind instruments. 
Blue hair ran over the woman’s shoulder and covered the front of her spectacular gown. It was like the inverse of the night sky. The stars glinted black whilst the dress was a brilliant pearl. Her cobalt mane shifted as she raised her arms. That cannot possibly be real. Thought Bacchus as he fingered his own luscious locks. Then she lifted her head and her eyes met those of the crowd. Her lips, a cerulean blue to match her hair, opened and out came the most celestial tone the captain had ever heard. He could not make out the words for they were from a language that was alien to him but even still, they rang out into the auditorium.

As the songstress sang she moved her arms and where her delicate fingers pointed, light unveiled elements of the scenery. A crystal clear river with a lone bridge, rich grasslands that seemed to flow with an ancient city of man in the backdrop and then finally a soaring sun that flared bringing the rest of the stage to life. The singer’s vocals continued to rise with the orchestra. Her voice was a very instrument onto itself with each note, tender sweet, drawing the audience in to a build up. Then she added an element of immense sorrow and she begged the crowd, palms outstretched, who were ignorant of her cries but not of their meaning. Grief led to heartache as she wailed one final sad tone that pierced through the spectators. Bacchus brushed away a tear as it ran down his cheek. The woman’s gaze sought out the sky for answers, her arms up high to match her eternal note as it reached a crescendo. The glass of wine in Bacchus fingers felt as if it would shatter at any moment. Then it was at an end.

A rush of silence and a sudden blackout encompassed the stage. It was for but a heartbeat. When the light returned it came all at once and lit up the entire set. Men with raised swords and protective shields stood to one side, steadfast. Their full plate armour shone silver. In opposition on the other side were beasts in the shape of men with hair of scarlet, the colour of blood. Great white wings sprouted from their shoulders. Their bare chests gleamed in the sunlight. For protection they wore surcoats with ornate intricate gold patterns that covered their bottom halves. They levelled spears with honed tips at the knights.

The song started once again, the voice, angelic, pleasing to the ears. This time the tune was nimble and came in short swift beats. The vibrato was rapid with slight variation in the pitch which produced such a rich, euphonious, tone it made even Captain Bacchus sit on the edge of his seat. The words from a foreign tongue, she narrated the battle between the forces; the meaning was not lost as the emotion from the Soprano depicted every scene.

After an intense battle both graphically and audibly the fight was at an end. Only one of the creatures remained in a standoff with the leader of the knights. They clashed and the drums sounded to match each blow. A furious set of strikes sent the knight’s only weapon, a bastard sword, flying away. The beast rose into the air to show its dominance before it tucked its wings in and dove for the man. A clever trick from the knight let him redirect the spear and instead impale the monster with its own shaft. A dramatic finish as she alone turned to stone, frozen in place for eternity with the human champion as the victor. The crowd roared. Bacchus noticed the rope tied to the performer. He had remained in a trance for most of the show but that one detail knocked him back to reality. He no less enjoyed it though. As the curtains closed for an interlude he was among those who applauded. 

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