Jay sat on his lute today while he was in his dragon form. I had told him earlier in the afternoon that he shouldn't have left it out on the lawn yet he still hadn't bothered picking the thing up. He ended up with splinters in his behind and a completely ruined instrument. I promised I'd buy him a new lute for his birthing-day considering it's only a couple of days away; this was despite the fact I'd already both bought and made some gifts for him. He seemed pleased by the offer though; that squashed lute had meant everything to him. It was a hard task trying to figure out how to get the splinters out of my mate's bum, though.
I had to hide Jay's new lute at the Forge today. It was the only place that I could think of where Jay wouldn't discover it. I thought that the flames of the hearth and the heat in the building itself should be enough to deter him from getting too close to finding it; sometimes it's handy having an ice drake for a mate! I only hope the lute's not ruined by the heat.
The lute was fine and unaffected by the atmosphere in the Forge. I've never seen Jay quite so pleased as when I handed him his present. I hope that the new one will bring him just as much pleasure as the one he sat on.
After he'd had a go at playing it, Jay told me that his new lute handled better than his previous one and had a better tone. I felt relief when he said he liked it. His pleasure shone in my head in bright pink pulses. Very happy indeed.
I couldn't sleep last night. Neither could Jay, for that matter. The lute I had bought for my mate seemed intent on keeping us awake! It kept playing and vibrating as though its strings were being plucked by invisible hands. At first, I thought it was an earthquake making the body resonate queerly, yet Jay pointed out that the earth was still and there was no earthquake. The sound grew louder and louder and turned into a definite eerie tune. An hour went by before I decided I'd had enough. I took the lute out into the garden and hid it in the privy. Jay laughed at me when I came back and said that I was acting like a typical grumpy Alpha dragon. I thought that he might have been right in that instance; then again, anyone would act like a grumpy Alpha dragon if kept awake by weird means.
Jay was playing his lute indoors again yesterday and forgot to take it back outside to the privy once he'd finished. That seems to be its permanent place when the instrument's not in use these days. It woke us up again with its loud and insistent playing after we'd had only an hour of sleep; neither of us was happy about that as we'd both had long days at work and were tired. Jay got up that time and shoved the still playing lute in the privy. He returned to the bedroom in high dudgeon and threatened to shove it right down the hole next time.
I had to use the privy in the night and the lute was playing itself as I emptied my bladder. I felt like it was watching me too. I don't think I like nor trust that lute. Jay didn't believe me when I returned to the bedroom and told him about it. He went to have a look for himself and came back swearing. He told me the lute tried to have a look at his unmentionables while he relieved himself. That made me laugh despite the severity of the situation. I promised to go back to the Esterloch Luthiers to try and find out the instrument's history as soon as I could.
Both Jay and I had another broken sleep last night. It seemed as though the lute's playing had grown louder since the previous night. Our dragon-ears are very keen anyway yet the music seemed extra audible even from our bedroom; our bed is placed several feet away from the privy. Jay wanted to throw the lute onto the flames of the wood-fired oven; he even suggested I take it into the Forge when I go into work and burn it there. I refused both as I knew that my mate was partially joking. He looked tired enough to do something drastic with the instrument, however.
I popped into the Luthiers and found out that the luthier there had bought the lute in turn from Robin Puck. I wasn't surprised by that; Robin Puck is often found to be the purveyor of dodgy goods in Esterloch. I popped into the marketplace to visit the Puck at his stall. At first, he claimed never to have heard of the lute yet when I threatened him with a blast of fire from my mouth while I was in my dragon form, he told me that he'd got it from a traveller who was known to rob graves. The lute, according to Robin, belonged to a long-dead bard who'd had his lute ensorceled at a price from a mage; anyone who dared steal it from the dead bard's earthly possessions paid the price in lost sleep. When I told Jay about it later that night, my mate was as unsurprised by the tale as I had been. I told him that I'd managed to track down the traveller in question and bribed him to tell me where the bard's grave was. Jay and I are going to visit the grave when we can.
The bard's grave was easy enough to find. It was located in the hills to the south of Millcliff Bay. We've both been to the bay often enough to be confident of finding where the grave had been placed. The bard had been buried in some kind of sarcophagus at the back of a cave. The lid had been disturbed, undoubtedly by the grave-robbing traveller I'd spoken to earlier in the week and various items poked out such as bones and a rusted, snapped sword. We placed the lute back with the remainder of the bard's belongings and crept out. We stayed awhile in Millcliff Bay and enjoyed an afternoon of fishing in our dragon forms. We dove beneath the waves to snatch at the tuna-fish and made quite a good meal out of them.
We reached home safely enough. Two nights have gone by in our cabin and both Jay and I enjoyed a blissfully undisturbed sleep both times. I can't say that I miss the bard's ensorceled lute yet I knew that I had to buy Jay another new instrument. I always hate to deprive my mate of a gift, doubly so when I had already made a promise to replace his previously broken lute. Promises should never be broken.
I made good on my promise and bought a new lute for my mate a couple of days ago. Just to make sure, I bought the instrument from the luthiers in Sunderloch; I doubted that Robin Puck's dodgy influence could have reached as far as that. Sunderloch is ten miles away, after all! Jay is once again pleased with his new instrument and, luckily, so far it has given us no problems, nor has it kept us awake at night. Hopefully the only noise I hear from it from now on is the music that Jay himself makes! Definitely preferable.