Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Rule of Three: Week One Entry

Without any ado, here is my entry for the first week of the Rule of Three Blogfest.

The Singer

The note began in the bottom register leaping and bounding in long, luxurious steps to reach the sky. It rang through the smoky Inn drawing all heads in his direction. In the shadows behind him, Bulsara’s partner strummed out a chord on his lute, and Bulsara began singing.

Dear husband, dear husband I’ve baked well thy bread,
I’ve washed out the stains from thy garb
And into them I have poured all of my love
so that nothing shall bring you to harm.

The lady’s eyes had sparkled playfully as she had approached him in the market place of the town of Renaissance that morning. “Bulsara of Farhad, I’ve heard of you. They say you can make a room of hardened men weep with the sweetness of your voice. But can you cause a room full of drunks and gamblers to return home to their wives, and give them the love they deserve? Can you make a man regret his acts and change his nature?”

“An interesting challenge, my lady,” Bulsara had said as he bent low over her hand. “To even attempt to change a man’s nature through one’s own power is a dangerous thing. It should not be attempted.”

Yet husband, oh husband, where are you this night?
Where are thy boots by the door?
What keeps thee away from thy wife and thy child?
Away from thy cottage so poor?

The lady had laughed. “I see, Sir Minstrel. I see that you cannot do it.”

“My lady! You are trying to tempt me with an appeal to my pride. But I have been in this business long enough to ignore such things,” Bulsara had scolded her.

Husband, oh husband remember thy child!
Remember thy wife all alone.
Remember that thou left us here in the night,
alone with thy knife and thy gun.

“What can I offer to entice you,” the lady had teased. “Jewels? Gold? A peacock feather for your hat?”

Bulsara had grinned. “A kiss.”

Dear husband, dear husband, I kept thy bed warm.
I kept thy bed warm til I died.
Though now it is stained with the blood of us both,
who would fain have been by thy side.

Silence descended on the room. There were no tears among his audience. But here and there the brutish faces began to show concern. And one by one, in silence, they left their seats and went out the door. 

“Nicely done,” the lutist said as he packed away his instrument. “Do you think you actually made a difference in them?”

Bulsara shrugged. “My voice can affect their emotions, increase their guilt, inspire them, but it can’t actual change their nature. At least, I don’t think so.”

“I suppose we’ll find out.”

The Innkeeper emerged from the tap room holding a tray full of foaming mugs. He took one look around the room and yelled, “Where are my patrons?”

Bulsara and his partner looked at each other, grabbed their gear and made a run for the door.

“Fantastic!” cried the lutist. “We’ve lost our place again!”


I'll be honest and admit that I had no idea what I was going to do when I sat down to write this... THIS MORNING! Yes, I'm a procrastinator supreme. I've been thinking about what kind of story I might write for a long time, but never had so much as a tiny spark of inspiration. I had also forgotten that there were going to be prompts for each week. Fortunately, I happened to accidentally fit one of them with the above story, that of having a "humorous circumstance". Also, this is the first time I've every written any type of poetry that wasn't for a grade. I don't do poetry. I barely even read it. But I think this came out fairly well, for me anyway.

I think I have some idea now of where I want to take this story in the following weeks, so check back on the 12th, 19th and 26th for the rest of the story.

Edit: I didn't realize we were supposed to post word counts. The above entry is 510 words. 


  1. Great job! I love the subtle anxiety in here and the humor. :) So well done- this blogfest is fantastic, isn't it? :)

  2. Nice! This is a really complete and satisfying scene. And funny too!

  3. You plopped me right in the midst of the scene. I l wondered where everyone was going; I lingered to see what would pass between the performers . . then they ran off and I am left all alone UNTUIL next WEEK?!
    Well done, Sarah.

  4. Thanks, Bethany! The blogfest is certainly a challenge, which is good. :)

    Colleen, thank you. I always try to write complete scenes. Though I wasn't even really trying to make it funny.

    Thanks, Lisa. I hope to escalate things next week and give more context to the performers.

  5. Thanks for sharing your piece! I did mine yesterday as well. ;)

    I liked the song, and how you interspersed it with the conversation that had taken place earlier, and the reactions to his singing in the present.

  6. Funny! An interesting challenge for the musician. Looking forward to next week. :)

  7. Love the beginning. Seems like it could be it's own little standalone already, so I'm curious to see how you develop it and in which directions. Great!

  8. Kelworth, thanks! I was hoping the structure would work.

    Thanks, Corinne. Not such an uncommon type of challenge for this musician, who's always trying to outdo himself. ;)

    Kurt, thanks. I'm still figuring out the rest myself, but I hope to make it good!

  9. Nicely done. As one of the hosts, you know I can't gush or anything, or I have to gush on them all.

    Glad to see people taking chances. That makes this all worthwhile.

    Sarah: please don't forget to post your word count.

    Tale Spinning

  10. Hi Sarah:
    I thought the post the word count was part of the "rules/guidelines". WAY too tired right now to triple check...not a biggie. Thank you for doing that.


  11. Thanks, Stu. I'm sure it's spelled right out. But, I admit, I haven't fully read the rules post since I first signed up. I will make sure to do so before next week's entry.

  12. I love the poetry in between the prose! It nicely broke up the story. I'm looking forward to reading what happens next. :)

  13. Stopping by on my way through the REN3 entries :-) Thanks for joining us, looks like you're off to a good start!

  14. Wonderful! I can't wait to see what happens next week!

  15. Good balance between story and song. I'm curious who the lady was. Obviously not the tavern owner.

  16. I like the way you interweave the song and the story.

  17. Very well done. Satisfying, yet causes anxiety. Can't wait for more.

  18. Love this. You say you can't write poetry but I felt it was very well done, and interspersing with the earlier action was spot-on excellent. The pacing felt exactly right and the story is great!

  19. Wow, you just made minstrels cool! Heading over to your second post to read on.


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