Blatant Disharmony

© 2001 by Sofía 'Toffee' Francisco

This page was last modified: 2001/01/22

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Author's Note:

Yeah, this is also in the Unbroken universe, I mean... everything else is, so why not?

There is one thing to be said about humans, as a whole.

Music rules them, beyond the boundaries of language and time, a single song can break the ice between two complete strangers, its beauty forcing them to communicate if only, to say it is lovely. Music has lasted over the centuries and become the greatest legacy that can be given to a child, the greatest gift. Humans are creatures of war, of death and bloodbaths that cover the world, but they are also creatures of dream, weaving their hopes through their lives into something.

A harmony.

I used to think that every single thing that lived, was a song. Every bird was a little three note ditty on my harp, every fox a short and fast melody, both sweet and inquisitive; the trees were long and deep ballads, and the shrubs were the blooming notes to the great orchestra of the forest. I would sit among them, playing for them, and playing them. Pulling the strings of my harp in simple or intricate patterns, with flat tunes or overlapping hums of music to bring out the world around me into focus.

Humans were like that too. Each human was a song, not as simple or defined as that of the noble animals, whose souls were pure and untainted, but strange and soulful. A complicated weaving of notes both sharp and sweet, yet sometimes bitter and cutting. They wrote music themselves, seeking to bring out that which lay within them, and so one musician could easily compose the gayest of melodies and then the next day an adagio so sad and long drawn only death could soothe its mellow burn. No human could be happy forever, pure forever or evil forever. Thus their songs were not really a pile of disorganised notes but a full concert, a whole life gone by that could be told in high pitched subtleties and deep moaning undercurrents. Their songs were made to be of beauty and horror, perfect in their human-like flaws, born to attain perfection yet stained with a thousand stinging notes of jealousy and hatred and finally... war. So even though I sometimes strove to create a song that was perfectly human, my young and dazzled artistic mind gave it too much beauty and made the darker angles all too sharp. My life was the forest with the simple tunes of its inhabitants, that put together made the most perfect kind of music I knew very few humans, the few people around me simply passed by, afraid of upsetting me and thus angering my father; those were real fools. Had I had a song for them it would have been of mocking and cowardice, coupled with severe blindness.

It did not take a genius to see my father's approach to me was not the best one could wish for. I was more an excuse to look the perfect hero he was believed to be. Smile Mime, and prove your father is as perfect in family as he is in war. But he was not. Words were scarce and smiles a mere unattainable fancy, he was cold to me, and I did my best to be cold to him.

"Someday, you will be a warrior just like me, and defend our land," he would say at night, his eyes dreamy and far off as he gazed into the snowy forest. He loved Asgard more than me, that was for sure. So I never understood why he kept me. My mother was yet another mystery, a long forgotten moment he never mentioned. I suspected he didn't even know her name. The servants of the house did not answer my questions, nor did the friends that came to see him. When I was really small I thought the best tune for my father would be an alienated one, brisk and full of questioning notes, never finished crescendos that were brought up short by cold and slicing depths. I knew nothing of him, save that he was the strongest warrior in Asgard, and that everyone loved him. And I would watch him ride in from town, stroking the scruffy manes of smiling children who ran beside his horse. But once he was through the door his smiles faded, and he was lost to me.

I tried to understand him, to puzzle out why I was such a pain to him, why his eyes would grow hard and glassy when he looked at me, as if I was the remainder of something horrible he could not banish. Why he seemed to hate me so much. I learned early on the he did not like my playing the harp, thinking it a joy too soft and peaceful for a future warrior. I was a creature born for music, but my father would forge me into an instrument of war. He pulled the strings of my soul as he pleased, gifting me with his smiles and approval only when it encouraged me to aggressiveness, not when I created some new melody that would have everyone but him swooning and fawning over me.

But I did not care for the rest, I wanted only his assent. I wanted him to find my music lovely, so everyday I tried harder and harder, seeking the perfect harmony for him. I thought that if I found the right song, the combination of notes that described his heart and soul, he would understand. A song that carried all his bravery and bravado, his gentleness with the people of the village, his tall and mighty presence. I was a child, impressionable and full of dreams, so I created beautiful melodies for him, and forgot the rest. At that time, had I had a song for him, it would have been a long and pompous dive of ups and downs and wide arcs like slashing swords and the grandness of his being.

I was a fool, I forgot the truth about a human song. I was too eager to please him, so I composed things of beauty that described him not in the least bit. I left out his hate towards me, my stinging cheeks after he slapped me, his harsh voice and unloving gestures. I made songs of perfection for a being whose true nature was more of bloodied steel than artful arrangements. So when I played my harp at night, hoping it would reach him and move some unspoken emotion in him, it was to no avail. Sometimes he came himself, and I could tell by the heaviness in his step that he had been drinking, and the he did not take kindly to my nightly concert. After some time I stopped doing it all together, resent burning its way over my love for him and turning it bitter.

My songs during that time were uncomfortable to hear, and few people liked them. I fought to regain the purity and joy that had been a part of me, so my music would not go on like this forever. During this time I did not go to the forest, ashamed of my war-like music in the face of the deep baritone trees and the cheerful rabbits. It was a while until I managed to play beauty. My love for my father took roots once again, and I tried to please him as much as I could, I trained to humour him, wondering at the thought that if I became as strong as he wanted me to be, he would love me. I fed my hopes with this meagre little flame and pushed myself forward for him. But there was no gentleness or understanding in him, he would hit me savagely and hurt me everyday, regardless of the protests of those who saw. He did not teach, he simply hurt, and this angered me against him. I did not play songs for my father during this time, but if I had done it they would have been full of rebellion and confusion, full of hatred and saddened pain.

I just knew he didn't love me, and I could not understand it. I simply could not swallow the thought that I was this man's son, and he hated me. Every time he looked at me there was that pain, that sorrow... but never love, I doubted he knew how to show the last. I had tried for so many years now to find a melody for him, a sound that would express him as a human because through my music would be the only way for us to really see each other. The only way I might come to understand him, yet he never gave me any help, he never contributed to my song, all he caused me was pain and humiliation, the growing sense of loneliness and of my existence being something wrong. I trained for him, but he did not see this as a sacrifice on my side, but as my duty as his son. He did not want my songs, my music and love were nothing to him.

At last one night I fell asleep on my bed, my childish body curled upon itself as I tried to will the pain from my bruises away, the sheets uncomfortably hot and rough against me as I shivered and cried silently. I cursed my tears, and I cursed him for making them fall. No song was more heart breaking than that of a child crying, a small drop tracing lines of sorrow into the cheeks of a little boy. I sobbed into my pillow, convinced that there was no song for my father, and no hope of him loving me. From then on I just kept to myself, running off whenever I could to soothe my ache among the animals and the trees of the forest, immersing myself in the making of their music once again.

Until he followed me.

I had been silently forbidden to play the harp, yet I ignored him. It was all I had! So when he saw me sneaking off in the mornings, his warrior reasoning led him to believe the obvious all too soon and he followed me. I was as always, wallowing in the harmonious pleasure of the forest with the soft warm bodies of the animals around me. And he came. I did not have time to react, or to speak as he took the harp from my fingers in one violent motion and threw it onto the ground. The animals scattered, fearing this tall brute that had come from the shadows to steal my song; all I did was stare. My harp, my heart, my whole life... was smashed into the ground, crunching to pieces on a rock. I heard and felt the tuneless twang and groan of each string as they were cut, snapped and finally disjointed. I heard the bone-like cracking of the fine wood as it splintered and arched into nothing, the strings pulling the open cracks further and throwing the perfect song into eternal oblivion.

But most of all, I listened. I heard each uncalled clang and the jarring scree of chords being pulled tight until they snapped. I heard the sound of wood creaking over this unmusical line of tunes, like some cruel and mocking repercussion to the death of my dreams. Finally I stared at the broken instrument, feeling my eyes burn and my heart bash painfully in my chest. I looked up at my father... and knew.

I had found his song, the perfect melody to describe what he was and what he represented. The absolute sound of my harp dying, so final and complete in its disharmony and so perfect in its similitude to he man that so strangely looked down at me. There was nothing more attuned to him that those sounds, those tearful whimpers of lost music brought to shrieks of death. For so long I had tried to make music for him, to find his song like all humans, but there was no song for my father, only this. Only disharmony.

In the years to follow I would train on with him, hoping for the day I could be strong enough to kill him, to erase this songless creature from the earth, this being who had shattered my forest songs forever. My innocence left with that day, so even though I got another harp I was never the same. He forbade me to play it, I just disobeyed. And when I was in the blooming years of adolescence I found out the truth about my origins, and did the only thing I could.

But I was young and foolish then, too, and I did not understand that there is no creature whose song is not livened by beauty, no soul without a touch of sweetness in it. I judged my father and executed my sentence, for not having a song and trying to steal mine. I did not know then that his song was not unmade but simply confused, and that for a warrior love is not something that needs to be said. And because he thought of me as an equal he never considered I might need the eternal reassurance of an artist, that requires to be told it is loved. My father knew only war, thus his song was too passionate to make sense, love and hate too mixed to be discerned. He thought I was a warrior, so he assumed I understood.

He was convinced I knew he loved me, so he never thought of saying it himself.

The End


This is a late B-day present for my friend Romain! Okay, it was not ready for your actual birthday but I DID send you a card so not hard feelings! Right!? Right...? Well, with all my love to you Milo, I hope you like it! *flings fic in his direction and runs off* (I still have another late B-day fic to write.... ha ha ha....)

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