Something short I wrote on a whim.


He was an ember that refused to fade. Black paint cracked over rusty metal, the wheelchair grieved under his weight, suffocated, much like he felt. Glossy ebony dress shoes protruded from deteriorating footrests, craving attention. On his face, translucent plastic tubing extended across from one ear to another, an oxygen machine droned endlessly next to him like the downpour that speckled the crusty ruby rug near his open balcony door.

He couldn't hear any of it. Not the machine, rain or the miserable television through which the morning news blared. No, what filled his head were the delightful melodies of his past, the exhilaration, the drama and the absolute roar of applause. Fingers yearned for the warmth that the mellow ringing of his cello provided. They trembled as they formed familiar shapes, created notes, a different universe.

The solitary flickering light bulb that hung above his grey head was a spotlight. The news anchor on the screen, an opera singer. Thin lips stretched up and eyelids fluttered shut in contentment as the piece reached a crescendo. He was glowing with life.

A faded cinnamon blazer, frayed and faded with wear, struggled to stay buttoned over his torso as his arms moved. Although creased, it was his lucky one. Never was there a performance without it.

The last sounds slowed and resonated into a mournful silence, a reminder that he was likely to never play again. Open eyes lost their glimmer as he realized that he was alone now, left only with a solitary cup of lukewarm tea on his coffee table, the only witness to his nostalgia.

Reaching for the remote control, he switched off the television with a hefty sigh of resignation. It was over. He was no longer a celebrated musician. He was left only hoping that the blistering gust that rushed through the windows murmured about him as people did then.

All feedback is appreciated!