The nocturne whistled through the little village, thready and almost lost on those long in their beds. Its notes pricked the ears of prowling cats and curled hounds’ tails. Like an icy brook’s pervasive gurgle in an otherwise quiet wood, the song seeped its way through the streets and scratched at skulls. Soon, all the village tangled their blankets in agitated sleep.
Behind the little fenced yards and down the long dirt paths, the tall moor grass rustled their own melody. Koli, perched atop an old stone, leaned back and harmonized. He pressed the bow harder to the fiddle’s upper bout, making the strings buzz against his fingers. With the wind in accompaniment, Koli closed his eyes and set his bow to string, sending new notes to echo into the restless village.
The night air spiraled about him, momentarily deafening his song. Like him, it was a cold mischievous thing setting teeth on edge and creeping fingers up unwary spines. The zephyr’s caress tousled his hair, it played its fingers across his shoulders, whispering a warning that pulled his skin tight with fear. Summer is here.
A soft crackle of brush erupted into a storm of percussive hoof beats. Wild roars, the sonorous cry of horns, and vicious baying all rolled over the rough hills and down the dirt paths. The village roused, for all the good it would do them, at the summer hunt’s song.
Koli slipped from his perch and the winter winds closed fog over his path. The summer court had no place for his creeping mischief and subtle melodies.