The Cello


This piece, while not specifically answering the daily prompt, was inspired by it. 

She hadn’t gone into the room in months. Today, without knowing why, it was calling to her. The cello. The cello sitting in the room, in the corner, untouched and unplayed, gathering dust. It called to her and she answered.

Now she stands in the doorway to the room, surveying the dust motes in their aerial dance, seen only in the few small beams of light that were stubborn enough to force their way through the drawn curtains. The room is stale, dusty, unused.

What is it about rooms left unoccupied? Why do they develop a smell? The smell of abandonment. It’s as if the objects inside have souls and die of heartbreak when they go unused. Die and rot.

Like her husband, in the ground.

A year ago, she was newly married, playing in the city orchestra, loving life. Today, she’s a widow who wanders around her four bedroom house, mourning the soul of her mate and the souls of the children that will never fill the rooms. Why did they buy such a big house anyway? If they would have known …

She hesitantly takes a step into the room, the creaking floorboards cracking like a gunshot in the silence of the house. She shuffles to the cello, grazes a hand over the strings, looks at the sheet music strung on the floor. The music that had been forgotten the moment she got the call about the car accident. The moment she knew her life would never be good again.

She bends to pick up the papers, their shuffling sending another cloud of dust into the air, irritating her nostrils and causing her to cough.

She places the sheets on the stand, carefully, as if they might come to life at any moment and bite her. She pulls the neck of the instrument toward her and takes her place behind it, a position as second nature to her as breathing.

She picks up the bow and touches it to the strings, pulls it slowly across. Tears well when she hears the note, a single, perfect note. She lets the tears fall as she plays on, not needing the sheet music. She plays her heart, plays her pain.

She plays herself back to life.



13 thoughts on “The Cello


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