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The Dulcimer that took Twenty Years to Finds

Writing Rambles #17

The hammered dulcimer is one of my very favorite instruments. I just might have to send a Message in a Bottle about them sometime, I love them that much! On this prompt I was feeling self indulgent, so I decided to combine three of my loves: the ocean, South Africa, and dulcimers.

There’s nothing like hearing the magic of a dulcimer in person, but if you’ve never even heard of one, do yourself a favor and look them up, the recordings are pretty great too.

As always, if you want to join the fun, write your own story off of the promt before you read mine and post it in the fireside room! I’d love to read it!

Prompt: “We’re buying it,” she said, determined…

The Dulcimer that took Twenty Years to Finds written September 21, 2019

“We’re buying it,” she said, determined.

Billy’s eyes grew wide. “You’re kidding, right?”

Cordelia didn’t look at him. She wouldn’t dream of entertaining the thought of joking about such a thing. Billy should know that. They’d been married for two years now and he’d known her for five times as long as that. But Billy could only look at the price.

“We don’t have that kind of money!”

Cordelia’s eyes found the price for the first time.

“You just saw how much it is, didn’t you?”

She bit her lip. “Okay, so what if I did? Can you really put a price on something like that, Will?”

Cordelia lovingly stroked the bronze and silver strings of the dulcimer, eyes wide with wonder and adoration. For as long as she could remember, she had been searching for this instrument. It was her mother’s and it should have been hers, but it was sold to help pay for the care of her and her siblings. Ever since she met Billy, she had been dragging him in and out of instrument shops to no avail. Who would have guessed they’d find it half way across the world in a little sea side shop on the coast of the South Atlantic.

“You don’t even know how to play,” Billy argued.

“I’ll learn.”

A little man with a nimbus of white wisps for hair came trotting up. “How’s it? Can I help you with anything?” The Cape Town charm was thick in his voice. “Or would you like to try anything?”

Billy raised a hand. “No, we really can’t afford—”

“Nonsense! The young lady wants to play. And playing doesn’t cost a thing.”

Cordelia pleaded with her eyes, one blue, one green.

“Very well. What could it hurt?” He never could withstand those tide pools for very long. With a personality like a sea breeze, he had learned long ago, her heart could not be tamed. And he loved her for it.

Cordelia practically squealed and the white haired gentlemen handed her a pair of wooden hammers.

Cordelia grasped the handles and though there was no sane reason why they should be, she just knew they were the very same ones her mother had held so long ago and played so often.

“Oh! Before you begin, I should like to let you know. Those are the original hammers that were made specifically for this dulcimer.

Cordelia smiled at him. “I know.”

She started slow, just a few hesitant, light taps on the strings.

The little shop keeper beamed and nodded. “Go on.”

The ring that played out had, bound in it, every lost song her mother ever played. Oh how she missed that sound!

Cordelia gave a wily grin, before absolutely letting fly, her hands, her song, her soul.

Billy stared in disbelief as the song poured out of her, fluid and running like a crystal clear stream. It danced like a Celtic myth and at once he was no longer in that little shop, but caught up in a fantasy realm on high blustery hills.

And then it was over.

The shop keeper began to applaud, Cordelia beamed as bright as the sun, and Billy... Billy just stared, ready to pay any price, so long as this instrument and Cordelia could stay together, as they were always meant to be.

Thanks for reading!

Your captain,

Ellie Maureen


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