Monday, 13 May 2013

Orphaned Hope




(this image and the word "Orphan" - writing prompts from Write on Edge
The characters are Gaston Leroux's and while I would normally eschew using someone else's characters, the two principals insisted that the prompts fit them perfectly and refused to allow me to apply the prompts to another subject. I am not foolish enough to refuse the polite requests of the Opera Ghost since they rarely remain long as polite requests.)



I should never have allowed myself to become distracted.

It is something that comes too naturally to me I am afraid.   Reality is a vice of pain and tedium; memories and hope alike turn the handle of the vice,  and so I prefer to let my mind wander and play in the celestial heights and infernal depths of imagination.  

I should have been content with demonic dreams.  Angelic aspirations have proven far worse.

Her voice entranced me.   A perfection of tone and a natural ease in its deployment.   I listened from the dusty fringes and glimpsed her and became… distracted.    I abandoned all usual reveries and my thoughts were all for her.  I learned of her life from the gossip of others and from correspondence cunningly removed and then returned.   She was Swedish, orphaned, daughter of a mediocre violinist whom she missed with a longing that pained me.

Only in music have I known longing like that.   As my fingers move over the keys of my spinet my imagination guides them and music flows.  It is a dance of creation and my mind supplies full accompaniment, and I poor wretch that I am simply adore the emerging perfection and long for the revelation of the whole.

Sometimes I deliberately insert a jarring discord.   To remind myself.

I can’t recall the beginning of the deception.   She yearned for an unseen hope.  Whether she first voiced the nonsense about angels or whether it was some twisted inspiration of mine I cannot say.   But I became her Angel of Music and did not dare think ahead to where that nonsense would end.

A thousand times I resolved to end it, to use silence like a surgeon’s knife to cut her free of me, and to cure myself of her.   But I longed for her company, her conversation, the simple joy she showed in knowing me.   A thousand times I resolved to end it.  A thousand and one times I crept back to be near her and greet her with a whispered word.

Last night the music made me reckless.   The dance of creation had soared into celestial grandeur and made me believe the impossible.   She loved me, she loved me, she loved me for my voice and my mind and my great heart.   All else she could overlook, the music told me, and fool that I was I listened to the music.

I greeted her with song and took her hand.   She recoiled and did not know why, but I did.   Angels are perfect and fleshless.   I could fool myself with dreams but she did not have my skill or experience in self-deception.

I calmed her and led her and exhaustion and shock dragged her into slumber in a room, a pretty room I had made for her.

And I played at my spinet and prayed to emptiness that the music could deceive me again.  It did not.    Reality was a rare visitor to my little house but it crept in now uninvited and screamed truth in my ear.    I would end this folly, return her to her life, and then trouble the world no longer with jarring discords.   I would weave words around her as I carried her home, and it would all have been a dream.

I did not hear the door to her room open.

I should never have allowed myself to become distracted.