The Writers Voice
The World's Favourite Literary Website

The Violin

by

Christen Chaffins

She never thought sheíd ever have to look upon it again. Yet there it was sitting before her as she had left it one year back. Clumsily tossed against the farthest closet corner. Hidden in the recess by shadows and darkness. Forgotten and forsaken along with the memories that accompanied it. Christy Harper now stood before it, remembrance flooding back with sickening anguish.

Lack of money had forced her to put her house up for sale, and she had been in the process of packing away her belongings. She had been busy all morning carrying cardboard boxes to the U-Haul truck parked in her driveway. How funny that this one object now before her could stop her from her work, and cause her to relive the pain that she thought she had long since left behind. Now she would be leaving behind even more memories. The like that she did not care to. She would soon move out of the place she had lived in since birth.

Her father had left the house when Christy was a mere child. As a result, Christy grew very close to her mother, and the two had shared wonderful times together. During spring they would sit on the wooden porch and watch the birds as they chirped the song of new birth and new beginning. Beautification came in summer as the duo planted colorful tulips and daylilies in the flower garden while being serenaded by the bubbly creek nearby. In autumn, Christyís mother would make leaf piles for them to jump in. Sipping hot cocoa in the chilly wintertime kept them toasty warm while they sat by the fireplace and shared stories. And so it continued all year round. They shared a loving bond between mother and daughter, as well as a common love and interest.

"You see here, this is the E string, the A, the D, and the G." Her motherís pale porcelain finger pointed to each of the violin strings as she said their names a loud. "Now letís see if you can say them."

That had been the start of their first lesson. Christyís mother, Jenny, had once been a student of Juliard for her skill with the violin. Her daughter, having practically grown up in prestigious concert halls across the nation, always had the same desire to learn the instrument as well as her mother. She agreed with her motherís view of the violin. "There is nothing with more aptitude for changing the heart as that of a solo violin playing out its soul."

Christy stared down at the violin case and thought back on these words. ĎNothing in the world can change my heart for the way I feel towards you.í Hot tears began to well up within her eyes, and she quickly blinked them away. She knelt to examine the case further out of curiosity. The once gleaming brown had been tarnished and scratched by the claws of age. Not many would be able to guess that this beaten and battered case was hiding a majestic beauty within it, much in the likeness of a cocoon and its butterfly.

"The time has come for me to pass this violin on to you, my girl! For it is only fitting that the worldís best violinist have the most amazing instrument in existence. This here, was made by the great Stradivarius himself, and there arenít many left of its kind. Yes, for it is said that a musician is only as good as his instrument"

The auditions for a spot in the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra were right around the bend and Christy intended to get that prestigious first chair. Her mother was working nights at a local restaurant and would not be able to come to the audition to watch. The day of the audition, nerves were running. Had it not been for her motherís kind words of encouragement, Christy may have backed out. "You are ready, and there isnít a doubt in my mind about this. You have trained long and hard for this. Use what youíve learned and show all of it tonight! Good luck, I love you no matter what..." That would prove to be the last time Christy would ever see her mother alive.

Peering down at the case, Christy slowly lifted the silver latches that kept the lid shut. Lifting the lid, she let out an emotional sob at seeing the wretched object. The beautiful reddish-brown wood still had its lustrous shine to it. The elegantly carved scrolls crowned the fingerboard with majesty. The soft blue velvet keeping it nestled safely. The long black bow had a small circle on the frog of it that had been made of mother of pearl. Its hairs were still dusted with the rosin that had been there on that tragic evening. Such loveliness was hard to come by. Odd how this grace had been the cause of tainting Christyís world forever.

When her name had been called to go in, Christy found herself full of confidence and pride. Her mother had been right. She was ready. Standing in front of the panel of judges, she answered their customary questions and introduced the piece that she was to play. Schubert's Ballade Erlkonig, one of the most difficult pieces ever composed. About half way through the song, a young man in uniform had rushed through the double doors leading into the audition area. "Are you Christy Harper, miss?"

It was then that Christy had found out that her mother had been killed in a head on collision with a semi. By talking to her boss at work, it was assessed that Jenny had taken off work merely to surprise Christy by showing up at her audition. Had it not been for the audition, her mother would still be alive. Vowing never to play again, Christy had left the violin in the closet and tried to forget about it. Giving up her music, she had been forced to find other means of receiving income. Carrying on odd jobs hadnít been enough though, and it was for that reason that the government was repossessing her house.

Now she was in front of the very thing that had caused all her problems. It was the only thing that could manage to get her out of them as well. ĎIf I could only play music again, I could save this house and carry on a steady career.í How could she do that though without feeling guilt? Guilt for causing her motherís death. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she thought of what all she had lost. This loss had been caused because of the violin. Because of her. What would her mother want her to do now with her life? It was then that she got the answer she had so desired.

"Iíll always be here for you daughter."

No, it couldnít be. In a shock Christy looked up. Standing before her was her mother just as she had remembered her. The long brown hair that cascaded down her shoulders in a pleasant waterfall. Her green cat eyes and the short nose that curved up just ever so slightly at the tip. She was smiling now. Beaming out at the daughter that had meant so much to her in her living life.

"Mother...how can this be?"

"I will always be here for you. For I am a part of you. Death has torn us apart, but it has not cut our bond of love. Life must end, but love does not. I want you to look inside yourself Christy, and become what youíve always wanted to be"

"How can I do that? I have given up on my dreams of succeeding through the violin."

"Why? Why should you forsake your one and only dream?"

"Donít you see how much pain your death has caused me? All because of the violin. I can not ever pick it up again. Never."

"Then you are already defeated in the battle of life if you believe that. You donít understand that I do not wish for you to stop with your goals in life because I have been taken from the world."

"Then what would you have me do mother?"

"I would have my daughter pursue the life she always dreamed of, and at the same time, honor my memory. Do not let my death stand in your way. There is nothing with more aptitude for changing the heart as that of a solo violin playing out its soul. No matter what...remember that I love you. Good bye."

"No! Donít leave me."

Yet the image of her mother had already faded. Christy felt confused. Her mother had come back to share this bidding with her, but she did not feel the heart nor the courage to carry it out. It had been a whole year since she had last played. "Believe in yourself" Wasnít that always what her mother had told her to do. Reaching down, Christy picked up the bow, and began tightening the hairs. Making it ready to play. Believe...

Gingerly, she grabbed for the violin. It had been so long. She gently swung the instrument upon her shoulder and struck a musical position. Her bow rested lightly in her right hand. She placed it onto the strings right betwixt the bridge and the beginning of the fingerboard. The place that had the most sound that is. Closing her eyes, Christy thought back to the year before.

"Thank you Miss Harper, please proceed with playing your piece." With that, the dramatic chords had begun the melancholy melody that chilled one to the bone. The bow dipped and leapt from string to string. Her fingers danced a long in a fast paced tarantella.

She was there again, but instead of the grand music hall, she was in her small house. She still had it! Her fingers felt a prickly sensation as she played the various notes. So long. Yet the talent remained. Her eyes were half-closed in concentration. Christy needed no sheet music for this song. For it was a part of her. The instrument and the girl were one. The relationship forged through diligent care and hard work. The long, strenuous hours had amounted into perfection.

"Are you Christy Harper, miss?"

"Yes. What is the problem?"

"Itís your mother. Iím sorry."

"My mother! What has happened?"

"She has been involved in a serious car crash. Unfortunately she did not survive."

Life is a song and love is the music, but from that moment on, the song of Christyís life had stopped.

Not anymore though. She continued playing even after this point. Onward. Ever onward towards the end Christy played. A faint pride swelled in her as the last arpeggio faded from hearing. She had done it! Her heart had been changed. With her music career back she would be able to collect money to regain the house. Christy knew then that she would once more reach for the stars to accomplish her goals, and strive for her dreams. Her life song had begun once more, and this time nothing could end it.

Critique this work

Click on the book to leave a comment about this work

All Authors (hi-speed)    All Authors (dialup)    Children    Columnists    Contact    Drama    Fiction    Grammar    Guest Book    Home    Humour    Links    Narratives    Novels    Poems    Published Authors    Reviews    September 11    Short Stories    Teen Writings    Submission Guidelines

Be sure to have a look at our Discussion Forum today to see what's
happening on The World's Favourite Literary Website.