Happy Wednesday! My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and they’re coming from my current WIP (work in progress), Striking Balance. You’ll be able to find all the ones that pertain to Striking Balance under the Categories drop down to your right.
Striking Balance is a Queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy story set within my Appalachian Elementals series. It’s a freestanding tale, so you don’t need to have read the other stories within the series to delve into this one.
This is installment thirty-four, “Wild Mountain Thyme” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “Leave Me Be” ended. The main character in Striking Balance is Benjamin (Nub) Schnell, the possessor of secrets twice his size and seeming age. He’s been working for nearly a decade on the same small farm as his friend, Conall Baldwin, who acts as the farm’s manager. This story begins during the American Revolutionary War years, 1779 to be precise, in the Nolichucky river basin of Northeast Tennessee.
The setup: This picks up where it left off last week with the part in orange coming from then. Remember, we’re in Ben’s POV.
I always enjoy hearing him play, but this time he holds the case out to Alexandria.
“Time ye played fer more than just me, an’ this be a smaller audience than back home.” He glances over to Master Gow who nods. “An’ ‘tis good practice fer ye.”
“Aye, but only a song or two.” Alexandria peers up at the moon. “Ah plan tae go shroomin’ tomorrow before it warms. The morels should be ready an’ some good sauce is in order.” She places the case at her feet and undoes the clasps, revealing a red velvet lining and the fiddle cradled within it. “Ah will retire afterward.”
I draw my knees to my chest as she tunes then listen to her play “Wild Mountain Thyme” then “Chester” the first of which we sing along to, Ceardach accompanying her with a pair of silver spoons that were tucked into his case. This is an excellent night even with Ewin’s drunkenness, and we all thank Alexandria then bid her goodnight when she finishes playing.
So Ben’s anger and fear have mollified with a friendly singalong. Let’s hope this feeling lasts.
And Happy Samhain or Halloween or whatever it is you follow. I follow the former, which means Happy New Year!
Oh, and here’s Ed Sheeran’s version of “Wild Mountain Thyme” if you aren’t familiar with the song.
Until next week…