Object Post 148
From Court in Between
Source: D’Chevalier conjured it
Significance: It was something he gave to Tansy Thrift for their joint goal
Fate: Court Leopold kept it
“Ha!” he yelled in apparent triumph as a flared tube of glowing metal appeared in his hand.
“What is that?”
“Who knows, mistress? It’s a clarion, I believe. Mon beau cheval may answer to this, I think. It’s keyed to his note.”
Tansy Thrift was having a trying time. She’d spent seven years as friend and caretaker for the horse she called Art. Now his true owner had arrived to take over, so in theory, Tansy’s obligation was over. Unfortunately, no one had informed Art. Newly manifested as a cloud-stepper, he would carry his new owner. No one had thought to explain that his owner would manifest too. Now Tansy was not only stranded on an island with the reluctant courtfolk man named Court Leopold, but she was also intermittently in the company of d’Chevalier, the horse lord, a talkative rogue with an agenda of his own. To get off the island, Art had to manifest again, but Court and Tansy had no idea how to set off the change.
Finally, d’Chevalier gave Tansy a gold instrument he said might be a clarion. Tansy gave it to Court, who was, after all a musician.
Tansy saw Court didn’t know what it was. He turned it in his hands with what looked like absorbed interest.
Of course. He’s a music maker.
“D’Chevalier said he thought it was a clarion,” she said.
“It could be, but if so it’s an awfully primitive one.” He examined the mouthpiece and then ran his fingers along the length of the tube. “There are no valves, or stops, and no slide.”
“So?” She’d expected him to be angry with her for withholding the thing until now.
“Over there, a clarion is a kind of mediaeval trumpet, I think. I’ve never seen one, but I’d have expected it to have some way of varying the note. This looks more like the ones you see in old paintings of angels.” He raised it to his lips.
“Wait.” Tansy grabbed his wrist.
Tansy had quite mixed feelings about being stranded on the island, and no particular desire to go back where she’d been for the past seven years. Once Court blew the clarion all bets were off.
He raised the clarion for the third time.
The sound it made was high, and almost beyond hearing. Tansy felt it through her skull. She saw Court’s ribs move as he blew, bringing the note out full and loud.
It was bright, gold, and exciting, and she turned apprehensive eyes towards Art.
The effect was almost instantaneous. He had been grazing, but he swung his head up, ears springing forward. His eyes widened and he sank back on his hocks, lifting his front hooves in a flash of gold. His mane creamed out his chest broadened and he neighed on a note that exactly matched the clarion.
“It worked,” Tansy said.
It was, of course, the horse lord…