Welcome to Olympus, where the Muses of Greek Mythology are charged with the responsibility of discovering, inspiring, and guiding the young incarnations of legends past until they once again take the form of greatness.
Embark on an enchanting journey through Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1), a YA fantasy novel series inspired by my backyard neighbors, Biltmore Estate, in honor of George Vanderbilt‘s extraordinary legacy.
Join me, and a cast of brilliant film composers, as we awaken your imagination to the magic of the mountains during this year’s international A to Z Challenge (representing #TeamDamyanti).
▶ For a detailed PHOTO TOUR of Biltmore Estate, including the Winter Garden where a glass roof illuminates the center fountain sculpture “Boy Stealing Geese” by Karl Bitter, click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!
Muse of Music
GLEAMING CHESTNUT winked in the firelight, its restless strings silent. I could almost feel it trembling, eager to escape my abuse. “No. Really,” I puffed out a sigh, “I can’t play the viol–”
“Tsk, focus!” Euterpe chided, circling me like I was her next meal, her silky crimson sari flying behind her back, struggling to stay in stride.
The Muse of music was nothing if not intimidating. Her piercing eyes, one a gleaming gold, the other an emerald green, could reduce even the most challenging pupil to a quaking pile of flesh.
Euterpe propped a hand on her mahogany corset and cocked her head, studying me. “Your placement. It’s all wrong.” She manipulated my hold on the confounded instrument until I was a hundred percent more uncomfortable than I was five seconds ago.
The elaborate pattern painted on her honeyed skin caught my eye. Burnished henna vines encircled her arms, curling into her palms and winding through her fingers as if it had a life of its own.
“Now. Close your eyes and feel it in here,” she gently touched her hand above my heart.
I humored her and shut my eyes, praying the little bronze boy on the fountain would set loose his geese and disrupt the slow death of my music career.
I’d never played an instrument, unless you counted the xylophone I had when I was five. I was fairly certain my past lives did not include a musical prodigy, if the barely suppressed laughter rippling through the class was any indication.
In lieu of the snickering, I imagined hearing whispers of wonders fill the winter garden, their secrets soaring with abandon to the top of the leaded glass roof. I fancied the feel of the bow as it glided across the bridge between music and magic, coaxing the voice of the strings to sing.
My eyes flew open, the last of the notes hovering in the humid air, the students shocked into stillness.
Euterpe gently lifted the violin from my grasp, a glint of triumph in her eyes. The intricate leaves and birds that wrapped around her wrists shifted into a symphony of shimmering copper notes. “A soul born of music never forgets how to sing.
© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary
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24 thoughts on “Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Muse of Music”
“A soul born of music never forgets to sing.” Beautiful phrase to end the piece with. 🙂
Thank you:) I channeled my inner philosopher in this one:)
The way you use language, the way the words sound together, is like a composition. Even without listening to the musical accompaniment, I can hear the melodies your stories sing.
I’m thrilled! I create my stories whilst listening to scores, each word influenced by the motions of the music:)
Ditto what sdneeve1 and Julia said Sam … the imagery is very real and makes my heart sing.
Garden of Eden Blog
Aww, thanks, Susan, I’m elated when hearts sing to my words:)
Ah! I love it! So beautiful–and I completely agree. We are born into music, or were aren’t but those of us who have it in our blood can never lose it.
True Heroes from A to Z
I’m glad you could identify, Crystal! We’d be lost without music:)
i wish i could learn to play the violin that easily!
loved the descript’ of euterpe. the henna is fun.
Haha! I’ve always wanted to learn to play the fiddle *like my Irish lads over at Gaelic Storm* The shifting henna markings on Euterpe is so cool–it changes throughout the book, depending upon her mood:)
Born of music. Ahhh. How lovely is that? Keep up the great work, Sam. I don’t know how you do this, but you do.
Thanks my dear:) Coffee, lots and lots of coffee + music = coherent sentences:)
Lovely piece. I liked it.
One can become so lost in the music as to forget stress. Thank you for the lovely reprieve from daily life.
Gail visiting for AtoZ
Anytime Gail, we’ve an endless supply of magic and music:)
The start with the chestnut is so rich and wonderful, the last line evocative. And the in between was just as delicious. Great writing, Sam.
I appreciate that, Mary, thank you:) Now I’m craving a chocolate violin!
Wonderful, my son played the violin – such a beautiful instrument!
One of my absolute favorites, Yolanda (piano being #1)!
“Her piercing eyes, one a gleaming gold, the other an emerald green” reminded me of your avatar image/picture… 🙂
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Wonderful last line. I love that Anise is discovering that there are things she’s doesn’t know about herself…hmm…