Mary's raison d'etre has always been music. Even before drinking from the chalice, Mary's life was centered on singing: from cantoring mass, to her job as a choir director, to her training as an opera singer. When the chalice transformed her into a river nymph, her singing voice is no longer simply magical, it IS magick. A patina of musical references flows through her story. Here is a playlist of some of the pieces referenced in the series. Enjoy!
Mary let out a heavy metal scream as she sang the river a new voice of its own. A voice of power, a voice of selfishness, a voice of claiming.
It was an old hymn, so old that even the language in which it was written had long since been forgotten. A song of light in darkness. A song of making and becoming. A song of promise.
Some people eat or drink when they feel anxious: Mary went shopping.
Past the cypress swamps along the horseshoe-shaped lake and the beech trees that lined the banks further into the forest, Mary sang a lilting melody of safety and a rollicking hymn for fruitfulness.
"A song, song, song" chanted the creek with the military cadence of a march.
(start listening at 0:59)
The song she was singing was a simple blessing that didn't require much focus or magick. Just a gentle admonition that kindness will be repaid with kindness.
Mary smiled sweetly at Nga, feeling the barometric pressure rise with the waiting river's might. "Do you want to see the chalice you've chased me down for?"
Her ascending tones stretched supersonic into the stratosphere, circling the Earth and pluming northward in an ominous promise to those who had taken the river. Mary felt her words stitch themselves about her skin. Not an unpleasant sensation, exactly, but a prickling that settled about her wrists.
The two rivers’ distress was palpable for miles before their confluence with the Mississippi, and Mary’s song turned into a three-hour oratorio before she was able to assuage them.
Kresimir patted Mary's hand. "One day's delay. Don't let the rivers pull you from the proper course. Julia and I have both fought mages before. Trust us."
Every operatic soprano learns Puccini's great aria of hope. And for the first time, Mary felt as naïve and certain as Cio-Cio-san as she sang the young bride's song of unwavering faith in her chosen man.
Mary's gospel melody poured over the park in a deep alto that hovered at the very edge of her vocal range. Lake Itasca joined in, pulling at the mages in a rollicking accompaniment of horns and brass.
"But alas, I was no swimmer. So I lost my Clementine." Mary let the twang of her melody linger. The surface of the lake lay smooth.
"Don't you get it? I don't need you to do anything. I can counter your spells on my own. All your bespelled iron won't stop me."
Mary reached out and cut open the path between, resisting the urge to caress her cup, while allowing the river to tumble free. The music washed out of Mary, like the joyful rushing of the Mississippi, and she let the song pull open the veil.
"Sing something," Kresimir ordered in a low voice as he slowly led her past the silent fae.
Now Kresimir looked like a proper soldier, dressed in the same mottled green camouflage that Garuda was wearing.
Garuda had sheathed his sword; it was time she sheathed hers. The song came to her readily, and she held out her chalice.
A cinematic orchestral suite composed in 1926 by Ferde Grofe. The Boston Pops recorded it in the late '90s, but enjoy this 1927 recording by the New York Philharmonic.