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
She came for the gaping sky and arctic terns. But winter is slowly encasing the huts, the interminable statistics, the bickering. And the birds have gone.
Shedding her coat and boots to lighten the load, she steps into the snow, migrating south.
Despite only being 51˚ N, Tamsin is also dreading winter.
Her palate was broader than her father’s. On her thirteenth birthday she ate the entire cake. But she’d still not spoken. Too much sky up here?
I led her to the nearest cave and she clattered inside with a thunderous, visceral bellow. I feared it was the sound of hope.
Tamsin and Mark Farley decided to write sequels to each other’s most recent 50-word stories. This is a sequel to Fostering the Minotaur’s Daughter
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
She touched the violin’s remaining strings. They quivered in fear. After so many decades in the cupboard, they’d forgotten how to sing.
Until now, the house had surrendered few clues to Uncle’s life before he fled Budapest.
The sudden grief floored her. She hadn’t even known he used to play.
Tamsin has started to ask her friends for 50-word commissions, and would like to thank Alison for the “musical instrument in the back of a cupboard” challenge.
“Awful man,” she muttered, kicking the encroaching brambles. “Beautiful woman,” he mused, as sunlight haloed her fair hair.
Every evening he’d toil, moving snails from her delicate beans and dahlias to his indestructible thicket.
She never wondered why her allotment flourished. Or who left the gifts of glorious blackberry jam.
Tamsin doesn’t have an allotment, and she has to be her own snail shepherd. Despite best efforts, her runner beans are still being severely chewed.
After weeks of making eyes from the other side of Fiction, he plucked up the courage.
His scrawled note said, “Coffee?” Her reply said “Convince me.” She’d read the novels: true love needs a little jeopardy.
But he missed her punctuating smile. He snatched up his satchel and marched away.
Tamsin also believes too much of what she reads in novels.
It’s so far up the beach, her first sandcastle. The bucket is too full. She stumbles. Water sloshes over the rim.
It’s scalding. Her leg blooms with pain.
A nurse prises the teacup from her knotted hand. He leads her slowly to a chair. It’s so far up the ward.
Tamsin wrote this story during quite a long walk.
A breeze scuttles through the jostling limbs of the coppiced chestnuts, and they clatter like masts in a marina.
In my imagination, when the hill is stripped bare, these trees will be crafted into green-winged ships, thrusting proudly towards the broad horizon.
In reality, I know they’ll become fence posts.
Tamsin keeps finding herself writing about trees – but then, literally, we can’t live without them.
That first, immaculate, unfurling leaf. It knocked her sideways every year, felled her with its soft, green promise.
So many dead months of waiting. Did the arms of the beech sprawl up in silent prayer? Did they cling to the same frail hope? Maybe… this time… spring would never end.
Tamsin is certainly very glad to have escaped another grey British winter.