Her Immediate World*

The sound of the piano would forever haunt her.
Her pale, willowy fingers delicately hovered over the keys of the aged piano and she was filled with a chilling, but attractive air. Her family’s prized possession dwelled in an abandoned corner of the house; unrecognized by human affection and neglected by all except her. Nevertheless, it occupied her home with a warmth and brilliance incomparable to that of the crackling fire which raged beside its shade and the radiators which engraved their mysterious connection in the tile leading up to the garden door. The desperate voice that shattered through the dusty haze of day and the cover of nightfall whispered with a peculiar tone as if it was hiding a secret under the keys that would be able to unlock it from its chest. The spirit of the beloved instrument screamed through the crumbling walls and the poorly insulated window; and yet she still found the space surrounding it to be placid and beautiful. Along every fissure streaming above the lusterless wood she traced her slim fingers, following the smoky trails that forsook her despite her various attempts to break free from the habitual darkness that shrouded every beacon of hope that glowed through her glassy eyes. She removed the luxurious ring that adorned her finger yet distorted her physical complexion when she searched for an honest reflection. She carefully pried open the hollow wooden board and beneath it, found the very heart of her piano, but possibly her own.
Amidst the clustered cobwebs that overwhelmed the interior of her only companion, she traced the rigid strings that were almost sentient, wincing as they became more deeply oppressed under the hammers. She played a c minor chord to assure herself that age did not alter that which she found to be beautiful. She closed the chamber door and proceeded to play…
She had an almost supernatural affinity with the instrument. On the dusky nights during which the world dreamt of an impossible life and unattainable peace, she sat quietly in the frigid corner, indulging in the occasional gusts of wind that squeezed through the window carrying the lingering scents of fresh rain and the last morsels of joy. Around midday when the sun left its comfortable dwelling place behind the clouds, she played the melodies an octave higher, listening to the twinkling trills trickle off the keys like morning dew and float to the high ceilings like evaporated rain. And all of this, with its morose pleasure, soothed her, as she wiped her exhausted hands on her woolen coat. Her habitual loneliness exiled her to a parallel world where the cold, dusty air echoed with laughter; an almost ephemeral tune that began to fade with each passing moment. In a world where she had nobody but herself and the love of music, she learned to communicate between her soul and that of the inanimate whole rests that were both filled with a stagnant blackness.
On the damp, miserable days of November’s autumn, she would hear curious footsteps stumbling down the staircase while she receded into the cushion of the bench, exposed to the unknowing eye of society that scrutinized her through the aquarium-like sphere in which she resided. She began to hear deep voices, interrogating what ought to have been lifeless but hunting it with a persistent sympathy. Gradually, the very elements which disintegrated the fibers of her being inflated her disheartened soul while she aggressively played Shubert Waltzes and Beethoven Symphonies, as if possessed by the angel of music, who lurked within the dark shadows shrouding her world, unfamiliar to those on the outskirts of her bubble. Between the foggy gusts that swirled through the creaking window and the warmth that simmered within maze-like house, the disputing voices collided to an abrupt halt in her undisturbed mind. Looking down at her callused feet, she lifted her head cautiously as if the elements that gave her breath and fulfillment betrayed her fragile senses, to forcibly seize her sore limbs and direct her eyes to the fate that loomed before her. Before her eyes clouded by a dream of Chopin Nocturnes and clear blue skies stood her beloved family, adorned in jewels that she once removed from her pale fingers and forgot to reclaim, wearing torn rags she delicately covered her keys with.

It was so, the Music had consumed her.

The already vague line separating passion and obsession blurred, as did the senses which hindered her means of returning to her immediate world. But this was her immediate world. That which would forever haunt her dwelled inside of her, in the abandoned corner where the lonesome puppeteer rusted the very strings which gave her both purpose, and internal chaos. Her existence was a mere silhouette, illuminated by the darkness that engulfed her.

Her Immediate World*

Marie Photography

Joined December 2010

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

Funnily enough, I wrote this short story a month or so after I wrote The Darkness Consumed Her, and it has the same mood and themes! So I decided these would go together :) This was also written as a journal assignment for Honors English. Constructive criticism is appreciated! :)

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