When the Music Ended

Piano Keyboard Fur Elise 151019A

At last, she’s gone. Peace once more. When you look closely, not everything has disappeared. The dent where the bust of Schubert had smashed into the kitchen wall. Which was quite a feat, considering it been launched from the bay window in the music room. And all the scratches and missing paint along the hallway and the paint chipped from the front door – it must have been a struggle getting the Broadwood out. I’m glad I wasn’t around to help. I suppose she got her mates from the orchestra – that beefy chap who plays the trombone. And the bass player. You need to have a bit of muscle to lug one of those around.

But they’d taken everything else – perhaps in spite, or plain vindictiveness. I never liked her taste in furnishings, so no great loss – all those music notation-themed prints: a bunch of semiquavers and triplets get tedious – clichéd and always incorrect. There was no good reason for the toast-rack to be shaped like a treble clef.

There had come a point when Für Elise would drive anyone mad, especially when you had heard it, wrong notes and all, for the thirtieth time of a morning. But it was definitely troppo when the string quartet joined in. All that scraping and plinking – even the cat had sought refuge out in the back garden, or beyond. And then they’d huddle, poring over the score. Or that’s what they wanted it to look like from my position by the kettle, always on hand to keep them topped up with teas and coffees. They must have always been on a caffeine high to play like they did – with so little concern for the audience – in this case, me. I tried earplugs, but then I’d been attacked for insulting the guests, and for not hearing their orders for refreshments.

It didn’t take long to get through all the clean mugs. They put them under their chairs where I couldn’t easily get at them, so when I tried, I’d knock over their music stands, sheet music all over the floor.

But now the floor has only the deep indent of the piano castors; something to remember her by. Although that’s not the problem; it’s that tune I can’t get out of my head: Da-da da-da da-da da-da-dum …

© 2015 Peter Young

This was a writing exercise for the Creative Writing group last Friday.
•    You walk into your house and it’s completely different. The furniture is all changed and there’s no one at home.
Thanks to Cranes Music of Worcester for letting me photograph the piano.



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2 responses to “When the Music Ended

  1. Michael Chabon

    You seem a little bitter there, Peter.



  2. janet wortley

    Loved it!


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