short-story : refrain

Dust, like a constellation of stars, drifted through the sunlit room. It covered the books and photographs, the forgotten ornaments on the windowsill. A soft, silver coat fell on everything but the polished walnut piano against the wall, shining under the sun’s spotlight.

The door creaked as she entered, snow-haired and slippered-feet, and sat down on the stool. She slid the heavy piano lid open. Resting her fingertips on the keys, smooth as still water, she looked down. Her trembling hands were a chaos; twisted blue ribbons, creases and bones. She looked up at the framed black-and-white photograph on the wall. She didn’t need the picture to be in colour to know that the girl’s gently curling hair was black-coffee brown or her eyes ocean blue. The girl smiled through glass and dust.

She pressed on the keys, the notes quiet and hesitant. She nodded her head to the arpeggios, stretching out her stiff fingers to hit each note. The trembling in her hands stopped as the notes got louder and clearer. Memories itched in her palms, pouring out of her fingertips as she began to play. She leaned into the crescendo, and closed her eyes. The melody, one she knew so well, still struck her heart.

The skin on her hands fleshed out, smooth and pink, her fingers became slender and agile. Silk and coffee seeped into her hair and her dull eyes brightened to a starlit blue. She felt her spine straighten at the final cadence.

She kicked her slippers off, placing her bare feet on the cool pedals, and smiled as she began again.


A short-story written by H.E.E. Garrow

happy reading


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