Faded yellow letters on a flaking blue sign beside the door of a long-abandoned building read: Mrs M. Martindale, music lessons, top floor.
Gregor, a beggar, frail, toothless, and alone, spends his nights huddled by the front step. Sometimes he plays his tin whistle. Sometimes a distant piano accompanies him.
John Young is an old chap living in St. Andrews, Scotland, a ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf and, allegedly, many ghosts.
A man wrote a song and died.
Trembling, the song tried to sing herself. Each day she practised, flexing melodic limbs, strengthening pale notes, until she came to understand discordant beauty.
That day, her song spilled into rivers and comet trails, spread throughout galaxies.
The universe leaned in to listen.
Lisa Alletson is an emerging writer whose work has been published in The Globe and Mail, Ginosko Literary Journal, and The Write Launch. She was born in South Africa and lives in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter at @LisaAlletson.
He racked the pistol slide as the Byrds’ “Oil in My Lamp” played in the background. “Sing, oh sinner, to the King—keep me burnin’ till I burn away.”
He smiled with no hint of irony.
The crows outside the stained glass window flew dolefully away as the music faded.
Randal D. Williams is currently working on a doctoral dissertation concerning sacred and profane motifs in early hillbilly music. Mr. Williams proudly calls himself a hillbilly scholar and a scholar of all things existentially hillbilly.
Bravely, he sits at the piano, hands going through the motions. He feels every note of his last performance, his swan song.
Nine-thousand nine-hundred and ninety-nine people rise, applaud. One stays seated, head down, emotions too much to bear, crying.
“Dad, I’ll always miss you,” she says under her breath.
David Maher is an aspiring writer trying to gain the confidence to complete his first novel by sharing stories, viewpoints, and his attempts at writing fiction.
In our third hour,
Father left us
to the nurses
while Mother slept.
At home, he played
then fixed it
to the stairwell –
wood on wood,
lacquer on varnish,
Now Mother aligns
the tuning pegs,
wipes away dust,
but every string
is brittle and
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse.
My dad’s thunder would pluck you out of a trance before you realized you’d entered one.
“What’s that crap you’re listening to!? Rock ‘n’ Roll? That’s not music; it’s shouting!”
Sixty years later, every nerve twitches when bombarded by the “music,” all words and volume.
I’m irrelevant. Just like Dad.
Eileen is a writer on good days, a crafter on others. She wishes the muse would sit on her shoulder more often.
Folks at church think it be a sin just to pause by the basement doorway where that type music flowed raw. Our hymns was crumbs compared. But I took me a sip of saxophone, a gulp of jazz piano, and drank myself to heaven. Was blind but now I see.
Beverly C. Lucey prefers to write short pieces because she is always getting interrupted. Her work has been published online and in anthologies.
Lights are strung helter-skelter around the building’s rooftop garden.
When lit, it could be an outdoor bar in Mexico. I imagine a Mariachi quartet, plump men with thick mustaches and black sombreros embroidered with silver threads.
It’s a nice thought when the typical music is police sirens and jet engines.
Matthew Weigelt finds the best characters in McDonald’s, so he writes and eavesdrops, eavesdrops and writes, with a dollar-size sweet tea. He then goes to the gym. Someday he’ll need to find characters elsewhere. He has a YA novel, The Mysterious Matt Barnes, due out in March. See more at ReadBetweenThePages.com.
The boy gently accepted the withered violin, taking the neck. And holding the bow, he felt a sizzle, like the hot fence at his uncle’s house.
The violin lifted, fitted under his chin. The bow dragged his arm toward the strings. The pair met again in his arms and sang.
Matthew Weigelt is an author and journalist, a photographer and drone pilot. This story is a follow-up to Tamsin Seymour’s Lost Chords and Unbowed.
New strings, a polished case, and it was only then she discovered her uncle’s spirit lived on in the violin. The instrument wept tears of resin when she told it of her aunt’s death. That night the strings carved melody from raindrops, sliced moonlight into splinters, whispered chords of regret.
Mark Farley was only too happy to join in with Tamsin Seymour’s lovely idea of writing sequels to each other’s stories. This story is a follow-up to Lost Chords.