The Fiddler Comes To Town

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the 19th Imaginarium House Picture Prompt.

Submitted: August 09, 2017

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Submitted: August 09, 2017



The Fiddler Comes To Town.

We live in a grey town, dull and dreary. There is rarely any sunshine and rarely any rain. It is dull and drab, just like our everyday life. Each day is the same as the previous one, and the next will be the same again. Boring, monotonous, nothing ever happening that is.....different. There are two exceptions to this each year though, two days when we get to experience a bit of color. These are the days when the fiddler comes to town.

In the spring he passes through our town on his journey eastwards; then, in autumn, he makes his return towards the milder west. I am twelve years old and he has done this every year for as long as I can remember, and my Mom....well, she says the same too! He is always accompanied by a donkey and cart. If the donkey changes it always looks to be identical.

Those that live on the edges of town get to see him first or last. News always travels fast of his approach and everyone stops their usual activities to gather gifts, to stand in the street and to wait and watch. The strings of his violin will be heard as soon as he comes in to view.

We place our gifts into his cart as he passes. All kinds of things will be given from preserves to cakes, from biscuits to cured meat. Some will give candles, some will bundle up kindling. There are even some knitted clothes; sweaters, fingerless gloves. And blankets, let’s not forget them.

In return he brings us the magic of music and of color. His strings sing out beneath his bow and although we know what is in his cart, that is not what we see. Sparkles and glimmers, rainbows galore. And all manner of things appear before our eyes. We laugh, we smile; some of us even dance.

The strange thing about the fiddler is that he never seems to see us. He never looks to either side but carries on steadily forward, his donkey keeping perfect pace. But he knows we are there – he must do – or why else would he bring his magic.

He, like us, is strangely grey; apparently unaffected by his own abilities. From his face it is easy to tell that he is old but he still walks on steadily for mile upon mile, going from one town to the next with his spectrum of music and color. He is clearly poor, surviving on our donations and those from all the other towns he passes through. By the time he reaches his destination, wherever that may be, the donkey must have a very heavy load to pull.

We’ll follow him as far as we can, to the edges of town, and will stand there and listen until the last strains of music disappear. Then we return home. For a while his magic will linger; here and there will be a touch of color, a shine, or a gleam, gradually fading as the days go by.

Our lives return to normal. It is back to the greyness, back to the monotony. Back to the everyday humdrum existence of our daily lives. At least until the fiddler returns.


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