Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18.
Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.
I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the image prompt and Harmony’s Contribution.
The melodious and skillful playing on the grand piano rouses me from a deep sleep. Groggy, I reach my hand out for the mobile, thinking the sound comes from the wake-up alarm. But the device displays 00:00 and lies quiescent and silent in my palm. The hairs on my neck prickle a warning. My heart races along with the soaring tempo while the surge of adrenaline forces me into complete and alert wakefulness.
Always this French piece. Always at midnight precisely. And, always, I tumble down the stairs only to find the great hall empty. And still, I have to check. I need to make sure. After a month of this, you could be forgiven for assuming I know better. But the only way I can go on is to remember and hope. Otherwise, what’s left?
I stand framed in the doorway, and the hall light casts my shadow before me … impossibly long and slender and nothing like my old and bent body. A chill draft from who-knows-where sets my body a tremble. The grandfather clock tick-tick-ticks the seconds away. At the far side of the great hall, the piano sits at attention, its lid propped up, the stool pulled back, and the sheet music ready. Waiting.
A solitary tear trickles down my left cheek. So, just a dream. Always, the melody exists only in my mind. But why now? My love will never again sit at this magnificent grand or fill this empty mansion with her beauty. Even though I feel the futility in my blood and bones, and the wrung-out chambers of my broken heart, I ease across the parquet floor and stand behind the pianist’s stool. I lift my arms as I always used to do. Tonight, as with every night, my hands find empty air, for her shoulders are not there.
The blue-tinged moonlight pokes a finger through the slightest gap in the heavy drapes and shines on the decades-old sheet music. Yellowed, now, with age and neglect. My grief prevents me from changing one single thing. All is as Rose left it. Ready for the final performance. Though my reflection stands alone in the gilt mirror in front of me, the moon glow casts a shadow. Her shadow. Dainty fingers grasp a rose. A single note sounds and reverberates throughout the hall … high C … the perfect octave for my Rose’s perfect voice.
A sharp pain pierces my chest and sends cold shards lancing into my heart. My breath catches, and I slump onto the stool. A liver-spotted fist fumbles and grips at my breast. The shadows gather around me while the music plays … builds … reaches a crescendo. A single crimson petal drifts downward on unseen currents and comes to rest on the time-worn ivory keys. My eyelids grow heavy and tug my eyes closed.
My love has come for me. After all these years, my Rose and I shall make music again, together beneath the stars. Into this vast night, I go willingly. Behind the veil … eternal melody.
© Harmony Kent 2020
CONTACT HARMONY HERE …
Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks
Goodreads: Author Page
I can be reached here …
Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.