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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

A short story written by Imaginarium House member Hullabaloo22. You can find her profile and portfolio at


Chapter 18 (v.1) - Symphony Of Grief

Submitted: October 22, 2017

Reads: 141

Comments: 2

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Submitted: October 22, 2017



Symphony of Grief.


She watches from a distance as Gerard enters the grave yard. His head is bowed, his feet drag. Amberleigh can see that he has lost so much weight. Every afternoon he comes. He has not missed one in the year since her death.


Amberleigh used to approach him. She would reach out her ghostly hand to touch his arm but he seemed to notice nothing. She would whisper in his ear but he never seemed to hear her. Gerard just knelt by the side of her grave. His face was always hidden from her view but she had seen the tears fall.


She would cry. She would weep for him, for herself, for their lost future. She would let the tears fall because the feeling of loss was so great. She felt the emotion but could not cry. Tears, it seemed, were not for ghosts.


She had known the instant that she found herself in the cemetery that her life had left her. That her father was responsible for it caused her so much pain. Amberleigh would never be able to forgive him, if he even was alive. Her grave had been visited by no-one other than Gerard.


If it had not been for her father's weakness for gambling they would have been happily living their lives out together. If he had not allowed himself to get so drunk that he promised the hand of his own daughter to such a brute of a man, she would be walking hand-in-hand with her soul mate.


Amberleigh had of course refused to do her part when she learnt what her father had done. If the brute was not there to watch, to demand that his debt be paid, she was sure he would never have gone as far as he did. She had never doubted her parents love for her and was shocked that he would raise his hand to her and strike her so hard. He had not meant to kill her, just to make her obedient. Her father had not known that she would fall, striking her head on the stone step so hard that her life was just extinguished.


Amberleigh wanted to forgive her father for his actions but she could not. Every day she was confronted with her loss. Every day, too, she was witness to the destruction her death was causing Gerard.


That she could feel physical pain was doubtful. Amberleigh only knew that she hurt in a way that could never be relieved.


There were other ghosts in the graveyard with her but they all wandered alone, trapped in their own misery. Occasionally they would happen to linger in the same spot simultaneously but they were solitary beings who did not communicate with each other.


Music had always brought her such joy in life. And Gerard had loved to hear her play. Many evenings they had spent by the piano. He would sit close beside her as she played. But her real love had been the violin. The notes would soar and sweep and hold Gerard spellbound. Everybody had loved to hear her play.


An idea began to form. She did not know if it was possible but Amberleigh was going to attempt to create a violin for herself. It would be ethereal, like herself, but maybe the music it would create would be able to reach out to Gerard as her voice could not.


Amberleigh stood unnoticed on the other side of her grave. She felt the effort it took for Gerard to stand, to make himself turn and walk away. She wanted to call him back, to keep him with her forever. She could no longer let herself watch his retreating figure.


Her grief was overwhelming. She could do nothing but scream silently to the trees and she was not sure if even they could hear her voice.


When she had recovered enough, Amberleigh set to thinking of her violin. She pictured its size, its shape, the warmth of the wood in her hand. Eyes closed, she felt the strings form beneath her fingertips, ready for her to press.


The bow was more of a challenge but she concentrated on the sweeping movement, both long and short. She thought of the bow gliding across each string. And Amberleigh found herself playing as she had in real life.


All day she practised. At first her efforts had been clumsy, unprofessional, but by midday she was playing as well as she ever had. With no music to read Amberleigh began to experiment. She poured her pain and her sorrow into her playing and was so carried away with it that she failed to notice the other ghosts who had gathered around, watching and listening.


Would Gerard be able to sense her music though? She would soon find out as it was almost time for him to arrive. There was a stone wall close to her gravestone. Amberleigh moved towards it, taking up a position to give her a clear view of the place where Gerard would kneel.


She stayed silent as the man approached her grave. She stayed quiet while he bowed his head. She could not hear the words he spoke but she could see the movement of his lips. It was only as she noticed his tears begin to fall that Amberleigh began to play.


At first she played quietly but soon found herself becoming swept up in the music. She was playing spontaneously, putting all her love and despair into the notes her violin produced. Amberleigh reached out to Gerard with all her grief over their lost lives together, willing him to feel it, desperate for him to hear her play.


And after a while she was sure that he did hear. For the first time in a year he looked up from her grave. He looked around. Amberleigh was sure that he looked right at he; that, even though he could not see her, Gerard had felt her presence.


He stayed by the grave for much longer than was usual. When he stood to walk away she was certain he looked less forlorn. Amberleigh knew that he would continue in his daily visits until eventually they found some way to be together yet again.


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