Changeling’s Return by Travis Pike

Changelings were believed to be trolls or fairy children left in place of stolen human babies. Morgen, an adopted foundling reared in Boston, Massachusetts, now in his mid-twenties, is the charismatic lead singer and songwriter for Beantown Home Cookin,’ a showband featuring a troupe of lovely, playful and sexy singer-dancers, embodying the ancient deities that preserved history, science, and inspired the creative arts, calling themselves, in light of their diminished influence in the modern world, the Trashbabies, contribute mightily to the band’s growing popularity. After the sensational live BBC broadcast of their May Eve concert from a ruined abbey in England, Morgen skips its wrap party for the international press to test drive a rented sports car. A squall causes him to skid into a ditch and daybreak finds him seeking help in Morningstone, an isolated village where it seems the storm wiped out all communication with the outside world.

In the village pub, Morgen sits quietly, not wishing to interrupt a filmed presentation of local folklore, after which he hears one teenage girl argue that Fates, Muses, and Furies represent the denigration of the Goddess, reducing her to a bevy of bickering departmental nymphs, and another challenge that argument, suggesting that fragmentation of the Goddess is a device of exposition, used to reveal a crisis through confrontation between various aspects of her character. Morgen quietly and politely follows the conversation until, exhausted by a sleepless night flight from Boston to London, his high-energy televised rock concert, and thereafter, a long night of exposure to the elements, passes out on the floor.

The phone lines are down, and the local pub is booked solid because of the impending May Day celebrations.  Laura, the attractive lady lecturer (who was the featured singer in the movie), arranges to take Morgen to an ancient cottage where he may rest until such time as help can be summoned. Her conveyance is a pony cart, decorated for the May Day celebrations, and as they trot off on their way, Laura points out salient features of the countryside, but Morgen only hears her voice singing an obbligato line “The Likes of You,” a song that comes to him at the moment, in which both, neither singing aloud, sing together in silence.

Small wonder then that when Morgen meets Fiona, the wise lady at the cottage who has been prepping it for his arrival, she tells him that song and chant used to mean the same thing, and Morgen, an increasingly popular singer and songwriter, is an enchanter by definition.  His songs are spells that once heard, will return, going round and round in one’s head, even when there is no music to hear.

By now, music and story, Changeling’s Return has crossed into a realm of metaphysical real estate where, within the Tomb of Every Hope, Morgen is destined to represent humanity on trial for crimes against Nature, where Muses seek to wean him from his folly, where Furies seek his death by fire, ice, or finally, a plague specific to his race, that other creatures spare whose lives are lived obediently to Nature’s Law. When the Fates withdraw to ponder his destiny,

When Morgen awakens in our “real world,” is he human, recognizing humanity’s dependence and obligation to nature for its survival, or a changeling reared by humans, reawakened to his supernatural origins, and if the latter, what impact will Changeling’s Return have on humanity? The lyrics to the final song offer one answer. “Dog, Roebuck, and Lapwing, your nonsense song makes my ears ring. Between the lines, I hear you sing. Dog, Roebuck, and Lapwing.”

 

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