Welcome to Write or Die Wednesdays: A Writer's Link-Up! We are Vashelle and Mia inviting you to partake in some creative writing with us every other week.
If you are new to this link-up and are wondering what Write or Die is all about, check it out here!
Also, don't forget to join the #WODW Book Club! We have begun reading our second selection, The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes, and you have plenty of time to join in on the fun if you haven't already! We'll be reading and discussing this selection until September 30th. Click here to join!
The prompt for the next two weeks is the photo below. Happy writing!
The sunshine streamed through the window and warmed the already hot attic. He barely glanced outside because his attention was focused on the piano. He didn't touch it, he just sat there, staring intently, sweating right through his t-shirt.
It was the first time in a year that he had looked at the piano. It used to be in the living room, right off the main entrance to the house. It grabbed your attention as soon as you walked in the door. A beautiful, shiny, white grand piano. Well, it used to be, anyway. Now the neglect was the only thing you noticed. He doubted it even still played properly.
His chest felt tight. He closed his eyes and tried to remember the melodies she used to play. But that only brought tears to his eyes. He wiped them away angrily. He was tired of tears. Of sadness. Of missing her. Her smile, her eyes, her soft, sweet voice.
He wanted to smash the piano into a million little pieces. Just destroy it and break its hold on him. But he sighed and dismissed the thought immediately. He couldn't destroy his last link to her. He didn't know how to play anything other than Chopsticks, but he knew that the piano was now a part of him, just like it used to be a part of her.
He reached out and plunked a key with one finger. The sound of the note reverberated through the attic, startling him. He decided to end his trip down memory lane and get out of the sweltering attic. He started towards the ladder, but stopped in his tracks when the piano began to play a soft, haunting melody.
The hair on the back of his neck stood up. His heart started pounding. He wasn't sure what was happening. Was he having a heat stroke? Hallucinating? Maybe he was dreaming. He was afraid to move, so he stood frozen in place.
Then, the singing began. It was her. It was her voice. He was confused, mesmerized, delighted. He called out to her, anguished, yet illogically hopeful. Immediately, the singing stopped. The melody stopped, too. The piano was quiet, still covered in dust, as if no one had touched it. His heart dropped. He berated himself for calling out, for interrupting the song. The pain of losing her was so fresh, as if it had happened yesterday, instead of a year ago. He recalled many evenings before, watching her play, basking in the sweet sound of her singing.
The sadness became overpowering. His shoulder shook with quiet sobs. He couldn't bear to look at the piano, but he also couldn't bear not to. He wanted her back. He'd do anything to have her back.
She should never have tried to leave him. All he did was love her. All he wanted was to spend forever with her. What went wrong? Why did she push away his love? He clenched his fists. He heard her laughter, a wicked sound. Visions of a blood-soaked piano filled his mind. Splatters and streaks all over. Scarlet pools glistening in stark contrast to the shining white of the piano. He shut his eyes tight, trying desperately not to remember.
Suddenly, the piano began to play a thundering melody. The sound clanged in his ears, so loud he bent over in pain. The singing began again, only this time, the lyrics sounded like screams. Frightened, he ran over to the ladder, desperate to get away, desperate to forget. He climbed down as quickly as he could and ran to the front door. He stopped and took a shuddering breath before opening the door and running out into the warm, glowing sunshine.
“Love is a haunting melody that I have never mastered, and I fear I never will.”
-William S. Burroughs
*This is an original story written by me. Please do not copy or distribute without my permission. Thank you.*
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