Nocturne

It was as if the boy had been conceived by music itself they said. His shrill cries a vibrato, his slow, purposeful movements imitating that of a legato, his rapid mind the embodiment of a staccato. Lessons had proven to just be another game, teachers merely an obstacle on the road of achievement. He was neither a prodigy nor a simpleton; for he never spoke, yet rarely ceased to amaze. One who fell under no social caste, purely existing.  

Cases of disorders were brought up only to fall moments later, his “exceptional ability” not to be questioned for surely his “learned mind” could have no blemish. His life was not his own, no, controlled solely by those he entertained, for this was all the boy did. A slave to his talent.  

By adolescence the boy was as worn out as those who had been performing for half a decade, his joints aching, his posture diminishing, his movements slowing. Yet, these issues were overlooked throughout the multiple years and evaluations, all assuming the boy simply had lost his talent.  

Born a bastard, his home was nowhere, his previous accomplishments overlooked during the process of adoption, seemingly cursed to forever remain at the Boys’ Home. As he aged, so did those around him, many either departing or dead. If he was ever sought out, he could constantly be relied on to be stationed at the small spinet which darkened the smallest of corners in the already cramped home.  

His music was never ending, yet ignored, his constant yearning for what had been, fueling his emotion.  The quality of his playing certainly dwindled since his early years, all speed now absent, still his emotion ever so much a part of him as it had always been.  

Lack of food resulted in severe weight-loss, lack of entertainment resulted in a constant gray space occupying his mind, and lack of love resulted in a feeling of loneliness and abandonment. However, every morning these conditions were set aside, music the only thing the boy wanting his mind to be occupied with. 

Many said, “it was as if he was trying to solve the world’s hardest puzzle;” others claimed, “it was an addiction, a mental state.” Yet, others still said he was, “simply not a part of this world, belonging to a higher plane of life;” the boy, confirmed none of these.  

His death came about a late November evening after a long bout with pneumonia, and for the first time in years, the house sat silent, those few in numbers left, grieving. His presence was never requested yet the absence of his music left the few with the same emptiness he’d undergone.  

After many more years had elapsed all left of the once overflowing Boys’ Home was the landlady herself, an old woman whom time had not been kind to, frail, descending into madness, and nearing her final days. She routinely cleaned the home, as she’d done in her youth, maintaining everything as if there were others she continued to care for. The old woman was only surrounded by a few relatives in her final hours, uttering what few words of departure she could to relations.  

Suddenly, a smile befell her face, her eyes shutting, softly humming an unknown tune. With fear her relations gently shook her, attempting to regain her attention. With anger she opened her eyes, protesting as to how they could interrupt such lovely music. Confused, they implored her to tell her from where the music was originating. Her final words shockingly clear, “Oh, that spinet. He never did stop playing it. Can’t you hear? It’s as if he’s playing the very Bells of Heaven.”  

Author : Tudor C

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