So this little part of ‘The Price of Empathy’ (Chapter 5) - which I’m currently reading - made me smile and I decided ‘Eh, why not.’
He could hear Pitch rummaging in some dark shadows behind him, followed by a sound that could occasionally ( when no one was looking of course, and he was feeling somewhat more nostalgic perhaps, or maybe just drunk) move him to tears.
Pitch was tuning an instrument.
Despite himself, Sandy pattered over just to see the low light playing off the elegant dark lacquer. The nightmare king sat with his back to Sandy, hunched over a simple instrument. It was a guitar, very old by the look of it, but carefully preserved. It was made of a dark satiny wood, with a mother of pearl inlay. Pitch strummed a few chords, flexed his gaunt fingers and began to play softly. Sandy was transfixed. He stood, the sound of that old guitar seeming to emanate from the walls, resonating to the very grains of his body. He had always loved music, always felt a glow of pride when he could hear a faint melody played somewhere below, wondering if the thing had taken its first tentative steps within the ethereal boundaries of a dream. Without bidding it, he could feel that his face had melted into a wide syrupy grin, as his ears strained to take in all of Pitch’s voice, low and velvety, barely audible over the guitar.
I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls, with vassals and serfs at my side
And of all who assembled within those walls,
that I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches all too great to count, and a high ancestral name,
but I also dreamt which pleased me most,
that you loved me still the same
The song and the singer continued, a rolling wind across a distant field. Sandy’s eyes closed, and he felt a luscious vertigo of longing, the kind that only came from hearing certain chord progressions, certain notes dancing in just the right time. Occasionally his heart would beat with the strum of the guitar, and the resulting synchronicity would take his breath.
The last note settled slowly, and the world seemed to shift back into focus. Pitch was gone, but the guitar lay in the chair.