Five-String

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Five-String

Post by Brixtul on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:53 pm

Brix’tul was in the back corner of the VOH under the Toad Tree. He lowered the jug of Special Reserve from his mouth and set it beside him in the dirt. People were starting to mill about and set up shop across the stream in the early morning light.

Must have stayed up all night.

He sat with his legs crossed in front of him and Elle’s guitar in his lap. It looked small to him, built for smaller hands than his own.  He reached out and grabbed it by the neck, spinning it and tucking it against his chest. Instinctually his left hand found its way between the frets and his right came to rest above the sound chamber on the strings. He played each of the strings with the back of his nails and cracked a smiled. A few different chords came to mind, and he played the notes individually with a bounce to his hand. After a couple more, he found his thumb reaching for the lowest string to create a drone. The low discord startled him and he couldn’t help but let out a small laugh at himself.

It’s not one of those, dumb ass. It’s one of these.  With the six  strings. And with the playing all the notes at once.


He let out a sigh, playing slower and allowing his hand to drift over all the strings as he played each note. The fingerboard felt so small in his hand that he struggled to press the strings with accuracy. With a sign, he let the guitar’s body slide back down into his lap. He drummed out a rhythm with his thumbs on the hollow wood.  Its thick ‘thunking’ sound was satisfying to a certain degree. Still, it made him miss his old piece with its drum head and simplified stringing.
There was a quick pang of regret for selling it that day.

----

“Well, Brixy, Seventeen is a big deal. You’re going to stay in Sen’jin, right?”

Brix’tul grabbed a rumpled pair of pants with a hand swollen from bloody knuckles. He tucked the pants into a leather satchel with his other few items of clothing. He glanced around the small hut through his one blackened eye, trying to avoid looking at the girl who'd spoken to him. He licked at the scab on his lower lip.

“Nope. They’re never getting back the islands.  I won’t stay here while they wait to have this place taken from us, too. The old ways are dead. I’m taking Kaz and we’re going someplace else. Maybe the Orc city.”

“He isn’t old enough, Brix. You can’t expect that doughboy to-“

“Don’t call him that! He can lift twice his weight like it’s a pile of leaves. Trust me, they’ll need him too. When he’s ready.”

“He’s NOT ready, yet. And you BARELY are.” She reached out and touched his arm gently where a fresh bruise was. He withdrew from her, refusing to make eye contact.  

“You don’t get to call it, Nejah.” He got up from where he was on the floor and stuffed the remainders of his small items into the bag. Last was his banjo, which hung from a handmade strap on the wall. He grabbed it by the neck, putting the strap around him and swinging it upside down onto his back.    His hand looped through the straps on his pack and hefted it onto his other shoulder.  The troll girl was still standing in the doorway, unmoving.

“Brix… He’s going to get killed.”

“I won’t let that happen.” He couldn’t help but speak through clenched teeth. Nejah put her hand out to stop him.

“Enough. It’s time to admit that ‘they’ don’t need him, YOU do. You’re just a loser using a child to fix all the loss you’re refuse to feel. He can’t fill all that emptiness on his own, Brix! And neither could I. It’s not his job! You need to let him stay here until he’s ready. ” She glared at him, knowing her words would get through. He simply stared right through her to the outside and took a few steps closer until he was inches from her. He grabbed her by her outstretched wrist, giving it a squeeze in anger.

“I won’t ask you again, Nejah. Move.” He threw her arm out of his way and his shoulder pushed into hers as he moved passed her through the threshold. “You shouldn't be here, anyway.”  

It took his eyes a moment to adjust, causing his eyelids to flutter in the sudden brightness.

“KAZ! Let’s go! Long walk, buddy.” After a few moments, a pudgy young Kaz’kali came around the corner. He was bouncing as he carried a blanket wrapped bundle of items on a shield that still dwarfed him. Brix reached out and gave the top of Kaz’s head a ruffle.
“Just one more stop we need to make, okay?” He pat him on the back to get him walking in the right direction down the path out of Sen’jin to Razor Hill. Something really made him want to turn around to see the face Nejah was making, but he restrained. Soon they were out of her view anyway and he was already feeling better.

“Left up here. KAZ. Left.” He tapped Kaz’s left shoulder just as the child had started veering to the right. He laughed and shook his head as they approached a larger hut with a roaring forge in back.

“Wait outside, okay?” He dropped his back pack in Kaz’s  shield-pile and swung his banjo around to his front.  He strode through the open doorway.

“Hey Brixy! Big day, huh?” Dinic greeted him with a smile, nodding  with a wave to Kaz outside.

“Something like that. Listen. I need a favour…” He put his banjo up on the table that separated him from Dinic. “I need whatever I can get in trade for this, for him.” Brixtul pointed through the doorway to Kaz’s awkward frame beneath the pile of items.

“Oh… jeez. Brixy, I dunno if I can help you out, man.”

“Please. Something to keep him in one piece when I can’t be there. We're going to the Orc City”

"Orgrimmar?" Dinic obviously struggled in thought. Finally he let out a sigh. “Well. I do have some used pieces. But they’re all different sizes! I doubt some will fit him, and if it does- not for long! He’s a huge child, and still growing!”

“We’ll make due. Please. We’re trying to make it to Razor Hill before dark.” Brix was close to pleading. Dinic shook his head and put his hands up with another sigh.

“Alright. But it’s a shame to see you giving up your Five-string. Hope you have some other way of making coin in the city, kid.” After a moment the older man returned with a stack of mismatched armour. Among the items were a set of oversized shoulder pads. Dinic gave a simple shrug and his best ‘good luck’ smile as he slid the items to Brix.

“Thanks. I’ll see you later, Dins.”

“Hope so, kid.”

Brix motioned to Kaz with his head. “Drop that stuff for now, Kaz. You need to get fitted into this.”

After nearly an hour of struggling to learn how to dress Kaz in plate, they managed to fit most of the pieces onto the young troll. Sure, at first glance he looked like he fell into an armoury, but it was more than either of them had ever owned. At least that part of it felt like a win. Brix grabbed Kaz’s shield, sliding the blanket and satchel off of it and putting the wall sized wood into the boy's hand. He patted Kaz on the oversized shoulder piece with a proud smile, giving him a look-over. In orcish he spoke to him quietly.

“We gonna beh jus’ fine. Not’in’ keepin’ us ‘ere nah moah. Jus’ gonna beh yoo n’meh. Okieh?” Kaz started to answer back in Zandali and Brix shook his head. “Nah! Gotta talk wit’ de orcses or we’ll beh run outta town. T’as wha ah ‘eard.”

Kaz just nodded underneath his mismatched plate. Brix bent over and picked up the blanket bundle and his own satchel, swinging it over his shoulder. He tapped Kaz on the lower back with his elbow as he walked past.

“C’mon. Long walk, an’ yah gotta learn t’move in t’at.”

---

Brix’tul snapped out of his daydream upon hearing the drums sound for the morning. He put the strap of Elle's guitar around his neck and arm and swung it onto his back. It  had a good weight to it, leaving him with a fond feeling of his former self. For an instant, he found himself wondering if Dinic still had the instrument.  But it was just as soon forgotten on the next strike of the drums.  He had to get to the portal soon.
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Brixtul

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Re: Five-String

Post by minstrelofmyths on Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:11 pm

I adored this! Very Happy
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