A Conversation of Song

Written by Warp Spade


The moonlit waves swashed back and forth over a stretch of sand two miles long. Gentle and soothing, its sound a dull wash in the back of the mind. A clear night’s sky stretched out above like a black canvas filled with flecks of white paint. Not a soul to be seen, the sandy shore was smooth and untouched, ready to be shaped by the footprints of hundreds of visitors the next day.

A wooden pier stood old yet proud, stretching out to sea like a great finger, pointing to a distant unknown. Empty but for a jet black piano that rested at the pier’s end. Grand it stood there, waiting to perform to the world under the great spotlight of the moon.

A figure appeared, a shadow, gaunt and tall. It stood beside the piano, looking around before sitting quietly at the keys. It had no discernible features, seeming to almost change in shape as it stretched its arms out to touch a key. A single note resonated, sending ripples through the water beneath. Another note, higher this time; more ripples.

Note after note came, each one as spine-tingling as the next. Yet there was no song, no melody. It was as if the pianist was lost, tapping note after note, getting faster and faster, more angry and frustrated, no sense of rhythm. The sea began to surge beneath the disgruntled figure, moving this way and that in a swirl of confusion. Each note causing the water to jump in a mist of rage.

Then, in an instant, it stopped. The figure slumped down, defeated. The sea receded and the calm from a moment ago returned. Sitting motionless, the shadow was fading and re-appearing as if breathing deeply, heavy with thought.

A sound. The pianist turned its head suddenly. Another figure, standing upon a huge rock at the water’s edge a short ways down the beach. With violin and bow in hand, it quickly slid the bow across the strings creating a shrill, rough sound that clung to the air around it. The pianist replied wearily with a long deep note.

A moment passed. The violinist tentatively created a sustained and wafting sound, and the air around breathed effortlessly as the music ebbed and flowed. The pianist joined in, beginning to find rhythm and fluidity and the two instruments began to work together, one following the other. The noise grew louder and stronger as the musicians began to feel more confident in themselves and each other. Melodies grew and changed, rapid one minute and slow the next.

As song filled the air, so too did the air begin to move with it, the sea erupted around the pianist like a sudden storm. Water crashed around the pier, excited and spontaneous. The two figures were speaking and the elements were listening.

They played together, minute upon minute, hour upon hour. A symphony of sound, wind whistling and the sea seething, working together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. The music between the two musicians was not meant to have an audience; it was a love letter to fall on only their ears, yet played on the world’s greatest stage. The pianist’s hands moved in a blur. Hunched over the ivory keys, the figure was pouring his soul into the song and the result was magic.

The violinist, head bent and arm moving to and fro, created a merry song that danced from the strings and into the air. The sensuous sound wrote words of love into the wind. The two instruments were symbiotic, crafting sweet music together from night ’til the approaching dawn. A conversation of song.

The black of the night slowly turned crimson as the horizon came alight, setting the sea on fire with the approaching sun’s rays. The violinist stopped suddenly, and the pianist turned to its musical partner perched upon the rock, pausing in anticipation.

The violinist turned to face the pianist before bowing long and deep, and letting its violin and bow drop onto the warming sands beneath, crumbling away into nothing. And with that, the early light engulfed the figure leaving nothing but a slight breeze behind.

As the violinist was engulfed, so too was the pianist, not by light, but by rage. It hammered its fists down on the keys, returning to its ways of frustration and anger. This time the sea grew monstrous, huge waves rolled high and crashed into the pier from all sides sending spray everywhere, covering the pianist in a mist of sea and salt. The noise from the piano grew and so too did the waves. Suddenly the pier was engulfed completely and with it the piano and its companion, swept away into the sea, drowning in the sorrow of loss. The loss of that perfect night, never to be recovered.


 

New contributor Warp Spade’s short fiction is eloquent in word choice. Wrapping together the beautiful sounds of music with the frenetic rage of the sea works so wonderfully, it gives us the chills just reading it. The personification of the sea within his short story keeps us gripped to the certain tragic conclusion. But all things come to an end, sadly, we’re just happy we got to read such a great piece. If you enjoyed Warp Spade’s work, feel free to leave a like or a comment below. 

Featured Image CC // 2thin2swim

 

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Hold My Hand

Lyrics by Miss Smiley


Verse 1:
I’m not asking for your tears
Don’t want you all upset
I don’t want to drag you down at all.
I don’t need a pool of salt
Or shouts of justice spent
I just want you to catch me when I fall.

Verse 2:
I don’t mean to be a nuisance
I don’t want to be a pest
But, baby, I just need someone to know.
Darling, I don’t want to make you
Lose one moment here
But honey, I just need a hand to hold.

CHORUS:
Hold my hand, guide me through tonight
‘Cause I just don’t know where I am and which light is my light
Baby, I’ve lost the eternal struggle here against my fright
And all I want is you to hear my plight
I’m sorry, honey, but tonight in your arms I’m going to fold,
Baby, I just need a hand to hold.

Verse 3:
I don’t want to drown your hopes
Or rain on your parade
I’d never want to drag you down as well.
But what I need is someone who
Will fold me in their arms
And let me maybe dampen their lapels.

Verse 4:
I’m sorry, my love, my love
After this, I’ll leave you be
I don’t mean to hamper you, my man.
But oh, my love, I need you now
To hold me in your arms
And if it’s not too much, to hold my hand.

CHORUS:
Hold my hand, guide me through tonight
‘Cause I just don’t know where I am and which light is my light
Baby, I’ve lost the eternal struggle here against my fright
And all I want is you to hear my plight
I’m sorry, honey, but tonight in your arms I’m going to fold,
Baby, I just need a hand to hold.

Verse 5:
And it’s so hard to see the light when darkness crowds around
Darling, do you have a torch to burn the shadows’ ground?
Can I steal one ounce of life from you to kindle mine again?
I’m so scared and mine’s blown out, my friend.
Yes, I’m terrified and mine’s blown out, my friend.

CHORUS:
Hold my hand, guide me through tonight
‘Cause I just don’t know where I am and which light is my light
Baby, I’ve lost the eternal struggle here against my fright
And all I want is you to hear my plight
I’m sorry, honey, but tonight in your arms I’m going to fold,
Baby, I just need a hand to hold.


Although it was written some time ago, the charm and appeal of Miss Smiley’s lyrical ballad has never faded. Hold My Hand, for those with musical ears, should be sung 4/4 in a minor key – preferably E minor – and is a regular, slowly sung ballad featuring a natural rhythm. But for those, like me, who are a little tone-deaf, it’s a beautiful ballad nevertheless. If you enjoyed Miss Smiley’s lyrics, why not check out her musical ensemble, “The Laurel”. 

Featured Image CC // Chris JL

We Listen To The Song

Written by X3naurus

pink_lillies

Remember the pink petals, too? Image // Gazeronly

I’d never play music too loud,
just loud enough for us to sing along.
I’d never speak of praise or hatred,
only when my thoughts are held alone.
A girl who sat by me once said she’d
heard the music.

She’d never wish in the night
until a star was born, her eyes closed.
She’d always give a glowing smile
to any dawned and dusked to fear.
A man who passed her by once had
saw the smile.

He’d sometimes stop to think,
just before he’d drown in wonders.
He’d come home to collect his thoughts,
and leave for thoughts to collect.
You looked at him and asked to
share just one.

You remembered a dying light,
but forgot the pink petals underneath.
You always screamed inside your head
when anything you loved was lost.
But I could only play the music for us to
sing along.

 
Though written a few years back, X3naurus’s lyrics are still a beauty to behold today. Stripped back and subtle, ‘We Listen to the Song’ flourishes on paper, and we can only wonder what it would be like to hear with music. Twinned perfectly with our theme this month, Light, we hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we did. If you liked X3naurus’s work, you can check out other pieces such as, ‘Minor Wounds‘ and ‘Tame‘.
 

The Sound of Silence

Written by Doishy

alien_wallpaper

But music? Who knows. Image // 20th Century Fox

They say in space it is silent. In space, no one can hear you scream. The latter part is correct but for a different reason. 

In space, all you can hear….is the music. 

My alarm shudders into dance next to my light control, and I slowly ease into a painful wakefulness. The auto injector immediately stabs into my arm, shooting stimulants through my blood steam, and kicks in roughly after thirty seconds. My time of wakefulness has begun. 

I drag myself out of bed, unhooking the auto injector restraint, and prepare to shower, get suited up and head to the mess, where I grab some sort of high protein, semi-decent snack. Forced into this dismal and annoyingly depressing routine, I pick up my bag of toys and head to my booth. 

In our little station there are six of us here on rotating shifts. It’s mostly self-sufficient, only requiring the occasional order of new parts – though if we get a break (which is never) then we’d be grabbed and deposited in another room for our time off, fashioned after those arcade crane games. Each of us has our own booths set up adjacent to each other. You can see the two people either side of you and they form a strange hexagon as they face one another. 

“I left you something slow on. Seems I got nothing, but for you it’s looking like a harsh one.” I nod in thanks. Something slow means a long song, ambient and calming so plenty of time for me to set up my gear. 

“Later.” I mumble back and head into my booth.


My little world of organised clutter greets me. The trinkets on my desk are all neatly arranged in no particular order and my monitors, five in total, slowly hum to life as if they sensed me. I boot up fully and dump my gear, then sit on my swivel throne and don headphones. Checking the primary channel, I hear a crackling and, peering in through the window on my left, the monitor shows me the time I have left.  Continue reading →

Time Was Standing Still

Has time ever stood still for you?

Written by Lost in a Dream

Frozen in that moment,
Time was standing still

The foreign familiarity of an old song
Forges a link
Between then and now.

The lyrics were hardly profound;
Yet, they seemed perfect at the time.

Now, the individual words are insignificant.

They didn’t sum up how I was feeling,
I doubt I entirely understood them
Five years ago.

But I remember singing them out
With conviction.

Time locked in lyrics and
Memories trapped in chords were free.
I had the privilege of indulging in the past.
Just for a moment, that memory came alive again.

It was as though nothing had changed.