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 became more than magical in an artistic sense: when she arrives at the Ohio River in Mississippi Missing, her voice IS magick. A patina of musical references flows through her story. Check out the following featured songs below, or listen to a full Mississippi Missing companion playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.
Mary’s angry roar morphed into a high A as she began to sing 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.
Mary screwed her courage to the sticking place as she started walking.
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, agreed the creek with the military cadence of a march.
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The melody she used for their order contained a simple blessing that didn’t require much focus or magick. It was a gentle admonition that kindness would be repaid with kindness.
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Mary forced herself to smile at Nga, feeling the barometric pressure rise with the waiting river’s might. “Would you like to see the chalice you’ve chased me down for?”
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The Ohio began to repeat itself in an Madhyamavathi Raga until Mary’s teeth were vibrating like the missing sitar accompaniment to its listless melody.
Mary sang the German lyrics in an ascending soprano until the melody stretched supersonic into the stratosphere.
The rivers didn’t understand the concept of resurrection, and weren’t assuaged by vague promises proffered by a nymph who hadn’t swum in their waters.
Every operatic soprano learns Puccini’s great aria of hope. Mary inhaled and extended her magick like she’d done with Boreas, blanketing the area in an iridescent cocoon that reflected her power inward, and unleashed her voice.
Her 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 an exuberant 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."
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Her gamakas swirled, undulating and spinning as she sang the twelve tones up and down again, and again, each churning note flowing upward in a sonic explosion that caused flashes of gold, red, and blue to light an incandescent display.
The tattered purple edges of the veil hung open, but the transparent bridge reflected the luminous sheen enough to show the mages the way.
Summoning her with the swirling melody of Wagner’s Rhine leitmotif — a rising, undulating swell that was picked up by her cup.
“Sing something,” Kresimir urged in a low voice as he guided her past the silent fae.
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