Today I want you to imagine your characters have stumbled upon a Renaissance Faire, which is going to be very tricky if you are writing Medieval Historical Romance. Interest in Renaissance culture and music flourished in the 1950s and led to annual events where the common folk could be entertained. Strict rules guided the cast as to costume and language while guidelines for vendor booths slackened every year. Imagine perusing a selection of translucent fairy scenes attached to nightlights while in Elizabethan rigging.
Be that as it May, ha ha ha, your characters are walking in the woods and hear music. Following the sounds come upon a beautifully decorated main gate to the faire. As they enter the faire grounds, they see a tall pole with many ribbons flowing down from the top. The ribbon ends are clutch in the hands of women, young, mature, and old alike. They are watching someone upon a stage to one side, singing the song from Camelot about taking Guinevere to the faire.
A man clad in motley takes your heroine’s hand and pulls her into the circle of ribbon holders. (If you write M/M, then pick the one most likely to enjoy the dancing. If you write F/F, perhaps both get pulled into the circle. And if you write poly, just do whatever you think would work) The singing stops, but then a man reads a poem in a very hard to understand brough. The words Beltane and Queen of the May.
Then a group of musicians begin to play. The women around the May Pole begin to dance and weave, as half are facing one direction and the rest, the other. There is a lot of laughing and singing along with the music. One of our characters adds a pirouette to her steps. Keeping step with her, our other character moves around the outside of the circle, smiling, laughing, feeling better than he has in a long time.
The music picks up speed, the weave of ribbons on the pole gets tighter and pulls them closer to the center, then they are having to duck to make it under the ribbons. The music is now as fast as the musicians can play, and the dancers are gasping for breath. A crescendo, then the music ends, and everyone falls to the ground, wild with laughter.
Our hero steps in, helps his love to stand up, and places a crown of flowers on her head. He doesn’t remember where it came from. She’s dressed differently, but so is he. They blend in with the crowd now, and follow the lead of others who are kissing and embracing, some are even disrobing. No, it’s too public for them. They move off into the green wood and in a shaded glen, they are at last able to give in to their passions. After, they cannon keep their eyes open. Sleep settles over their naked forms.
When they wake up, the day is nearly over. The couple walks back to where the May pole had been, but the clearing is empty. Not even scraps of trash or discarded wreaths show that anything out of the ordinary happened here. In a daze, they return to the car park, and drive away. They will never forget this particular and peculiar May Day.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.