Emily Rae Robles

the paradoxymoron

The Performance (Flash Fiction: Day 12)

Prompt: heartstrings

(This is the first I’ve written about music, which excites me!)

In the hush before her fingers first brush against the keys of the grand piano, time seems to stop for me.  She freezes against the wind of passing years, memories hurdling across her motionless face and into the depths of my mind.

She is eighteen again, her hair flying in the wind as she swings through the air at the children’s playground, pulling the chains back until she nearly flips over backwards.  She is nineteen, crying on the sofa at the death of her parents until my own heart nearly breaks for her.  She is twenty, grim-faced, with falsified smiles layered over each other so I can barely find her real self. And now she is twenty-one, sitting at the piano bench that has become her home, ready to unleash her soul for the scattered audience that has drifted into the hall today.

Time begins to move again, and with it comes the pain of reality.  I hear her inhale in preparation for throwing herself once again into the agony of performance.  Her eyelids flutter closed as she suddenly strikes the first grating chord, fingers flying across the keyboard with an anger she has never physically displayed.

The piece is a swirling frenzy of harsh rhythms and dissonant harmonies.  As the weight of her arms nearly lifts her off the piano bench, I feel similarly suspended in the single moment of beauty that is her nine-minute long performance.  The undiluted essence of her being overwhelms me, first lulling me into flight through the incommunicable, then stinging me across the face with sudden changes of mood.

When she finishes her performance, I can feel sweat tingling along my backbone, shaking me into reality none too gently.  I make my way up to the stage, my gaze directed towards the piano rather than to her.  I want to see if my theory is correct.

I peer into the instrument, shuddering at the realization of what lies within.  She has torn out my heart and replaced the strings of the piano with its material.



February 5, 2011 - Posted by | flash fiction, stories, writings | , , , , , ,

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