Blood Song

By: Lynda Hilburn

Chapter 1

“Awesome sound circle, Grace,” a dreadlocked woman said. “I’m so glad my friend talked me into coming. I’ve never heard anyone do what you can do.”

“Yeah.” A man wearing a kilt stretched his upper torso and sighed. “It was like your voice actually flowed through my body and gave me an inner massage. I was so relaxed I could barely get out of the chair when we were finished. Where’d you learn to sing like that?”

Grace smiled, locked the door to her studio, and then turned to the group of new attendees lingering on the sidewalk in front of the building. “Thanks. I don’t ever remember not being able to sing. It came naturally, like breathing. Even the healing aspects appeared without any help from me.”

And without any invitation. Lucky me.

“That really was an amazing experience,” said a tall man, dressed in a long, velvet cape and top hat. “My back hurt before we started, but now I feel great. I’d never heard of sound healing until I moved to Colorado. I looked you up online. You’re pretty famous. Why aren’t you living somewhere like New York or L.A., where you can make a bigger name for yourself?”

That’s the last thing I want...

“I have lived in both those cities,” Grace said, “and I made a lot of great musical contacts. But those places are too wild and crazy for me. I prefer small, quirky locations like Boulder, where I can keep a low profile and,” she laughed, “stay sane. I don’t really want to be on a national stage anymore. It’s exhausting.” And risky.

“Is it true you can heal people with your voice by long distance, without even being near them?” a short, blond woman asked. “How does that work?”

They all stared, eyes wide.

“Yes, it’s true.” She grinned. Participants were always so curious about this aspect of sound healing. Even though she answered the same questions over and over again, she didn’t mind. She was glad people were interested. She liked sharing her passion. “I use my voice to heal over distances, but I don’t pretend to understand how or why it works. People have lots of different theories, mostly based on the idea that time and space are illusions. Some think it’s magic, but it feels pretty normal to me. As a matter of fact, I’m giving a lecture about sound healing at the university in a few weeks. If you want to attend, I can email you information.”

“Oh, yes! Please.” The woman clapped her hands with enthusiasm. The others echoed her.

They tightened their half-circle, as if they sensed her eagerness to leave.

“We’re heading over to grab a drink at the pub down the street,” Top Hat pointed. “Would you like to join us? It would be so cool to hang out with you. You could tell us some of your famous musician stories. And,” he shrugged, “maybe you shouldn’t walk home alone. Even in a small town like Boulder, women can’t be too careful. We can escort you back to your place afterward.” They all began speaking at once, trying to persuade her.

She looked into their sincere faces. It was the same every time. Everyone got so energized after participating in the sound circle that they tried to stretch the evening out as long as possible. She, on the other hand, yearned for peace, quiet and a glass of wine in her living room. After a session, solitude was crucial in order to recharge. Walking home through the quiet, tree-lined streets at the end of the evening had become a private pleasure.

A true introvert, she selfishly guarded her alone time. Of course, sometimes she envied her extroverted friends’ active social lives, but not enough to actually step out of her protective bubble. She definitely knew better than to do that.

“Thanks for the offer, but I’ve been going non-stop since early this morning. I’m ready to kick off my shoes and crawl into bed.” Purposefully, she rummaged through her shoulder bag and pulled out a small aerosol canister. “And there’s no reason to worry about me.” She raised the container. “I’ve got my trusty pepper spray. I’m armed and dangerous. My house is only a few blocks up the hill, and in all the time I’ve lived here, nobody’s ever bothered me.”

She caught herself before saying she’d never even encountered a mountain lion, though they were native to the area. It wouldn’t be wise to give her companions any more ideas about why she might need company—whether she wanted it or not. Nothing scary had ever happened to her during her walks in the foothills, fanged predators or otherwise. Unfortunately, nothing exciting, either.

They continued their appeals for a few more seconds as she waved and started up the street before the group could foil her escape. “Have a good time at the pub. I’ll see you at the next sound circle.” She appreciated all her clients and circle members, but it had been a long week and it wasn’t over yet.

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