Splintered Man

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about an ailing father.

Submitted: September 16, 2012

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Submitted: September 16, 2012




The splintered notes flew through the air sharply as if they had something to prove to the world. The music didn’t flow well as I had heard so many times before listening to my father’s fingers glide over the keys of his grand piano. It was as if someone, something, had sucked all of the water out of the musical waves to put out the fire that stirred inside his body. Even his eyes had dimmed and no longer contained the depth that had so many times consumed me as I set next to him on the long black bench. Something was wrong. 


I walked to the door of the parlor and watched quietly as my father’s face became clouded with confusion and worry, his fingers becoming tangled amongst themselves. I waited momentarily to see if the confusion was simply the normal frustration that my father displayed while looking at a new piece. My father’s large hands fell into his lap ever so lightly as his head drooped down in defeat. I had never seen my father resign from any piece, even ones that he had diligently worked on mastering weeks on end. I remember a time when I was very young, my father locked himself in the basement where he pummeled the keys day and night before reemerging with an entire new set of classical notes seeping from his pores. This was the father that I had known all of my life. That was the man the had inspired me and pushed me on towards my own musical visions.


The man that sat before the piano before me was simply a shell. A face and a body that looked like my father, but that was completely void of the energy and joy that I had long known. I wept that day, not knowing if I would ever catch a glimpse of that man again, or if my last memories would be of this stranger sitting in front of my father’s piano.

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