Tag Archives: music

Light Shines Through the Cracks of Darkness

My Indie Ink Challenge this week comes from Niqui. The challenge:

Violin music in the dark

This weeks challenge was really hard for me to get done. Not so much because of the prompt (though it did give me some trouble) but because I’m working 50 hour weeks right now and it’s been really hard to find time to sit and write. Anyways, I managed to get enough time to lock myself in my office and come up with this story. I hope you like it.

My challenge actually went to Niqui as well. You can read the response to my prompt, “Falling from a mountain of broken bodies,” here.

Enjoy!

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A set of headlights trails behind me way too close and blinds me through the mirror. I always have an inner debate with myself about whether or not I should just slam on the breaks with both my feet and teach that tailgater a lesson. I have never been in a car crash, I wonder what it feels like.

I can never bring myself to actually do it. What a shame; it would make the night much more interesting. No matter, the car has already passed me and driven into the nighttime oblivion.

There. Over there. In that house I just passed to the left, are two lovers embracing. The moon is full, and its light shines through vertical cracks of closed curtains. It creates bars of moonlight and darkness. It is exceedingly beautiful; as the man looks into his lovers eyes, through the bars, he finds himself trapped in a prison of beauty.

I know this because I have seen it. I have looked through the walls. I can see Everything.

Unfortunately, what the man does not know is that the woman- in about three hours time- is going to smother the man to death with a pillow. She’s been sleeping with his best friend. She is in love with him. And the two decided that the only way that they could be together is if they took the man out of the picture. As it were.

It sounds like the plot of a lazy soap opera, I know. But you would be surprised by how often real life emulates TV. Not vice versa, though. It has never ever been vice versa. Trust me. I can See.

The house is behind me and into oblivion now. Oh but this house. This house here up the road. It’s a sad story.

There is a boy, no more than seven or eight years old. Young, real young. He can hear the sounds of his mother and father fighting. Fighting and screaming and throwing and then fucking and moaning. This poor boy, he has had to endure the sound of it every night for as long as he can remember.

The boy, he is actually a musical genius. A prodigy; that’s the common term. His parents don’t know about it though, about his gift. See, one day as his parents were fighting he ran into the basement. He hoped that he could escape the noise. But he couldn’t.

Luckily, he found something in that basement. A violin. It belonged to his grandfather. The boy was maybe five years old. He didn’t even know what the thing was, sitting in its case collecting dust. All that he knew was that the thing made noise. Enough noise to drown out the sound of his parents.

Every night he makes the pilgrimage to the basement with a flashlight and picks up the violin. The boy has played every night since he found it. No longer is it simply about making noise. He uses the flashlight to shine a beam on sheet music- which he taught himself how to read, while teaching himself how to play- and plays beautiful music in the dark. The light is off so that his parents do not see what he is doing. He doesn’t need to worry about them hearing the music. Not ever.

I can hear the music. It is haunting. It is beautiful. The house has passed into oblivion.

Everything, I can see Everything. I can’t control it. It’s a blessing, but more so it is a curse. A fucking nightmare. You can not keep your secrets from me. When we’re introduced, I can see all of your triumphs. But I also see your Sins.

There, over there. That is my house. I stop and pull over. I get out of my car and walk to the door. I look up.

On the roof I can see Me. I am looking down to myself, looking up to myself. I am on the roof and I want to jump. I’m going to jump, head first. I don’t want to walk away from this one. Break free from this curse, this fucking curse.

No, that’s the easy way out and you’re not one for taking the easy way out, are you? No I’m not. You’re better than this, it’s a blessing too, never forget that. How so? What about that boy? From tonight? He has had it way worse, and you know what he does, he creates beauty from tragedy and you were able to see that. I guess you’re right. Good, now calm down.

I look up again and see myself. Playing the violin in the moonlight.

I can never bring myself to actually do it.


A Symmetrical Asymmetry

My Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week comes from Michael Webb. The challenge was one word:

Symmetry.

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about my thought process in writing for this challenge. This is the first instance in which I actually came up with the title of the piece first, so I worked from there. My thought was to create a story in which there are several different instances of ‘symmetry,’ but in an ‘asymmetrical’ sense, meaning that the symmetry is not quite identical. The italicized parts are supposed to be fleeting thoughts of the narrator, mirroring his narrative in a different way.

(You can read the response of my challenge to Illogical Being here.)

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The whiskey burns as the city comes alive. There are no stars in the city, we have to make do with the skyline. It’s a beauty of a different sort, the city at night. A demonstration to the wonder of mankind.

No one talks like that, at least not out loud. Though we should, I think. Some of the time. Especially while you sit on the roof of your apartment building with a glass of Irish Whiskey, listening to some good music on the first truly beautiful night of spring. Just watching the city move. Breathe.

A cigar would be good too, but I suppose you can’t expect to have everything you want. The music, it’s got a nice groove.

It is cloudless tonight, first time in what feels like weeks. It’s beginning to pick up, the song. Good whiskey drinking music. Everything feels more open with no clouds, it’s more peaceful this way. Though the peace has the tendency to be interrupted by the sound of sirens. Cops, medics, firemen, some kind of emergency somewhere, but who can tell, up here. The lights of the vehicles are more of an abstraction, a flicker of red and blue off in the distance; more lights bringing the city to life. Or maybe it’s more like a painting and those emergencies are like brushstrokes.

It must be the whiskey talking. The cello part, my favorite.

Time stands still up here, and yet you’re excruciatingly aware of the passing of time. Cars on their way home, trying to beat the setting of the sun. Homes coming to life with the flick of a switch. People walk by the building, it’s not high enough for them to look like ants. I doubt they notice me up here.

King of the Gutters, Prince of the Dogs. Good name. Hoo the whiskey burns good.

I am alone up here, and I have no complaints. It’s an unusual feeling, knowing no one knows where you are. My cell phone is downstairs, no contact with the rest of the world. Tricky feat to pull off today.

So why am I up here? I’m not sure I can answer that beyond ‘Why not?’ I was in the mood for a certain atmosphere, and this was the place for that. You need good atmosphere when drinking alone. More so when drinking alone to music.

No one talks like this, at least not out loud. Maybe we should. Some of the time. Whiskey’s gone. Well that’s too bad, but I don’t feel like moving. Not yet. Song’s over. Damn, there goes my atmosphere. Hey, I can see a star up there. Maybe a part of the Big Dipper. A demonstration to the wonder of nature.

I brought my notebook up here, now may be the perfect time to write, being free from distraction:

The whiskey burns as the city comes alive.