There's two brand new prompts over at Studio30Plus this week. They are WEAPON and TINKLE. I decided to use both in this story. If you'd like, let me know what you think.
Music was his only weapon. You could say he had me at his first b flat; that slow pull of the bow, his brow furrowed, painful, his eyes half closed. He was a piece of art up there, only half in the spot light. I can’t remember who he shared the stage with that night. I know my drink stayed at my lips: I didn’t sip it, nor did I put it down. I was held by that man, his fingers, his pointed, strong elbows, his straight back and shoulders I would later share with his beloved violin.
“You play the music?”
“No! No, well, yes, but not like you. You’re, you are something else.”
He moved around my cluttered and dusty apartment, then settled on the piano stool. I watched him read my knackered honky-tonk piano. I closed my eyes, forgetting to shut the front door. He touched the keys, slowly at first. Testingly. I felt his passion tinkle down my spine, chime through my centre. The tempo became off, a mosaic of emotions: fear, excitement, trepidation… love. What had we started? Whatever it was, he could play it.
Strangely, the only photo of him I have to share with the rest of the world. His album cover is in black and white, as he always dressed. He stares beyond me, seeing something magical in the distance. His violin is in his left hand, the bow in his right resting on his right shoulder. He stands square and unafraid, although the lighting is guarded. He never liked bright places, sunny beaches. Let’s find a cave and sing to each other. We went camping, far away from everything. Or we stayed in my apartment because I had lots of little lamps and no real lights. We stayed under the bed sheets while I peeled oranges and he played all night. All night.
When they took him away, he said he would write to me. It would be the only thing which would keep him going. My heart collapsed, for me and for him. He was a national disgrace, they said. He was a traitor, they said. His music was poison, they said. He had escaped and they had found him. The album didn’t matter. Protection didn’t matter. They snatched him in the middle of the night on a dark street near my place. He walked when he couldn’t sleep and I needed to. They knew that. They knew everything about him. Except one.
Sacha is four years old. He has the same straight back and he looks at you with knowledge beyond his years. He knows where his father is, though I have never told him or showed him the letters that stopped over a year ago. He can feel it when he picks up his father’s violin. He plays away his sadness standing in the hallway while I make dinner. He feels a fence around him when he holds that violin. He is safe. He is loved beyond his mother and grandma and he plays that love out to our dusty and cluttered apartment, our medley of neighbours, New York City and even further: to a place full of shadows and winter, and no music.
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