Oh, I love this prompt! It’s adorable and it is something I’ve mused about here and there but not nearly enough.
To answer the question, no, Jacob doesn’t play any instruments. He’s definitely more of a sporty guy, and he is on his high school’s boxing team. The guy’s definitely not one to tussle with. Though now that you mention it, I could see him toting around one of those huge sousaphones. XD
Note: Long-ish post. A little over 1000 words of drabble.
Taking place the spring after the events of Bowman of Wellwood
The calm afternoon brought a feeling of peace that Jacob rarely experienced back home. It wasn’t that home was stressful or hectic. But out in the woods, with the sun shining on the clearing and the leaves rustling in the breeze, Jacob knew an entirely different sort of serenity.
For the most part. A shifting around on his head reminded him that normally, someone might be scolding his ear right off right now. He was careful not to tilt his head while he read the book in his lap. It could make Bowman fall off, and then he’d have to take out the earbuds connected to his iPod to hear him gripe.
The wood sprite was stretched out on his hair, basking in the warm sunlight that shone down on them. Wide, leafy green wings spread out and draped partially over the side of Jacob’s head, and the sensation nearly tickled him. Not enough to complain, but enough to know his tiny, four inch tall friend was there.
Many of his visits ended up like this. He would come out to the forest to see Bowman, and they’d mill around in the woods for a time. Bowman would tell Jacob about goings-on in the village, and Jacob would explain some new human thing to Bowman. There was never an end to the questions Bowman threw his way.
Unless, of course, he decided to catch some sunlight and some Z’s while lounging on Jacob’s head.
Jacob didn’t mind these moments of quiet. He’d visited several times since the previous Summer and had become good friends with Bowman, despite all the griping and scolding. Theirs was an interesting friendship, one that had seen Bowman bop Jacob right on the forehead more than once. His reasons were many, and Jacob stopped trying to find a pattern long ago.
One pattern he knew for sure he could count on, though, was that Bowman’s stirring on his head meant that soon more questions would likely spring forth. Bowman was stretching his little arms and legs, and even his wings twitched and fluttered, signaling his battle with the sleepy, trance-like state that sunning always put him in.
Jacob found a stopping point and closed his book before pulling his earbuds out one at a time and reaching for his hoodie pocket to shut off the music player.
“Waitasecond,” Bowman interrupted. Jacob turned his eyes upwards, but didn’t move his head. Of course, he still couldn’t see the sprite sitting up there, but he was paying as much attention as he could, all things considered.
“What? I didn’t move,” Jacob said, a smile leaking onto his face despite the indignant protest.
“No, giant, you’re always moving, but that’s not what I’m talking about.” Bowman scooted forward. Jacob could feel him army-crawling closer to his forehead and waited.
Sure enough, a leafy green wing reached into view, the outermost finger pointing vaguely towards the earbuds in Jacob’s hand. “What’re those things? Why do you stick them in your ears? Are they just supposed to block things out so you can concentrate?”
The curiosity had returned. Jacob smiled and drew out his iPod, pausing the music, and held it up to show Bowman. “I listen to music with them. They’re connected to this thing, and it sends the music to these earbuds here, and they play music.”
Bowman scoffed. “How does that thing play music? It doesn’t even look like it’d make a good drum!”
Jacob had to chuckle, which of course caused his head to shake. Bowman grumbled one of his choice sprite swears and pushed himself to a stand before fluttering off of Jacob’s head. He landed on the hand that held the iPod, and Jacob angled it so that he wouldn’t throw the little guy off balance.
“You’re telling me that this thing plays music,” Bowman said skeptically. The older model iPod was almost as tall as he was, and much wider. It was definitely heavier. “No way.”
Jacob smirked. “It’s not an instrument itself. It just stores the music as a recording. You remember when I explained recordings to you, right?” Bowman paused, then nodded. “So this thing is just full of recordings of music. I like to listen while I read.”
Bowman paused to take it all in before nodding and deciding that it was acceptable. His wings twitched and he looked back at the music player curiously. “Lemme hear some of your human music!” he demanded, an almost excited curiosity overtaking his expression. He twisted around to look at Jacob eagerly.
Jacob grinned. Bowman’s reaction to the music should be entertaining. “Alright. Just hold these,” he replied, placing the earbuds in Bowman’s arms.
It was a show all on its own to watch Bowman fumble them before tentatively holding them up to his ears. He frowned skeptically. “I don’t hear anything!”
“I haven’t started anything, you dork,” Jacob shot back, reaching past Bowman with his thumb to press Play on the iPod.
Bowman jolted as the brass instruments of a ska band blared out of the earbuds, and his eyes were wide as he listened. Jacob didn’t have the volume up high enough to hear it himself, but he could follow along well enough just knowing what song was playing. Bowman’s bright green eyes were wide and his wings flexed open and closed ceaselessly.
“How do they make those noises?! Why is he singing so fast? I can’t understand … this music makes no sense at all!” Bowman’s assessment made Jacob chuckle and he paused the music. Bowman sighed.
“Maybe I have something a bit more chill,” Jacob suggested. He got an exasperated look from Bowman, but noticed that the sprite hadn’t put down the earbuds yet, so he must be curious. He scrolled through his song list for a soft rock song instead.
This one seemed to go over much better with Bowman. Instead of getting agitated almost immediately, he looked confused, no doubt trying to identify the sounds of a guitar while he listened. He swayed a little in time with the song before glancing up at Jacob.
“All the words humans put to their music are so stupid. But otherwise it sounds interesting,” he determined. Jacob paused the song, increasingly amused by the way Bowman yelled his opinions to be heard over the music blaring in his little ears.
“Glad you approve,” Jacob answered wryly.
“I wanna hear more,” Bowman blurted, staring expectantly up at Jacob. That wide eyed curiosity was free of his usual snark, and Jacob only saw a will to learn more despite the complaints. He couldn’t say no to that.
“Okay, lemme see if I have something orchestral, we’ll see what you think of that…”