Broken Strings

Who was playing that day? And why can't Eleanor forget the tune?


10. Solo Duet

Whether it was nerves, excitement, or just insomnia, Eleanor couldn’t sleep. Her hammock was perfectly comfortable, and the temperature of the room was just right. But she couldn’t sleep.

She slipped out of her bedding with a sigh and placed her feet on the wooden floorboards. Her pale skin seemed to shine in the moonlight that cut across the floor from a gap in her blinds. She opened the wooden shutters and allowed the silver light to flood her room and bathe everything in its beautiful energy.

Walking over to the chest of drawers, she picked up her violin case and slid the handcrafter, mahogany instrument out of its velvet lined case. “It’s just you and me now...” she heard herself whisper to the strings as she lifted the violin to her shoulder and placed the bow lightly upon the strings.

Eleanor took a deep breath and closed her eyes, allowing her fingers to place themselves on the wire strings and poising her arm to begin playing.

But someone beat her to it.

It started so dynamically that Eleanor jumped slightly. A sharp vibrato of the E-string, followed by one of the most beautiful tunes Eleanor had ever heard. It was simple and slow, yet played with such emotion it seemed to stop everything. Eleanor ran to her window and pushed it open, allowing the sound to fill her room and mix with the silver moonlight. She stood, freezing in her pyjamas as the tune filled her body; picking her violin up to her shoulder once more and beginning to play along slowly.

It only took one false note from her to stop the other musician dead in their tracks. “No!” Eleanor cried softly, picking up the tune again and trying vainly to coax her counterpart back into the game.

A silent chill responded. 

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