ALangford

United Kingdom

semi on hiatus because i have decided i am no writer

Message to Readers

Would love any feedback, recognise that this is not traditionally a style of writing for very young children but I was thinking of an 8-12 age group? Thanks!

Con Amore

June 17, 2017

    The world was red the first time Lucian heard music. He spotted the sky whilst taking the tray to Signora, the way the one thousand nuances of streaky crimson, tangerine and gold aligned in perfect unity with one another - it made him stop in his tracks with admiration. It was that moment at which he heard it: the high tremor of a voice, but not a voice, almost like the noise he could make at night when the house was silent, when he raised his voice tentatively in a hum which cut the coolness of the night. But this noise, this music, was different to any that he had heard before; fresh,and beautifully raw.
    When the boy regained himself, he edged towards the door, still carrying the tray of tea. He set it down on the table, fingered the dainty china in an effort to stay close to the melody, the smooth course of note after note, rising and falling like waves on the ocean painting in Signor's study. It was coming from Signora's phonograph; its curved body was singing. With the curiosity that only one so young can feel acutely, he reached out, dirtied fingers outstretched as though to catch the sound in one small fist. He had never heard anything like it before.
    "Lucian." Signora's voice was shrill as she stepped in from the doorway. She avoided his eyes. She always did that. Lucian did not think he had ever really seen her properly. The brash tone of her voice, though, was enough to make him jump backwards in terror and, after bowing slightly, he hurried out, hopping down the stairs four at a time, feeling the music grow fainter with every step and his heart cracking within his young, thin body as the distance grew between him and the sound which had reminded him, potently, of his soul.
    Every serviceman or servant child dreams of escape and independence from his employer. But Lucian, raised to have the pragmatism of an adult rather than a child of his age, had never really considered it; perhaps he would enjoy the pure largeness of the world outside, being able to run down cobbled streets to the countryside or the sea, but without money he knew he would not get far. The music, however, had changed everything. It made the boy want to run, to feel the wind against his face and the sand between his toes. It made him want to fly to where the birds sang, so that he could join them. It made him want to find whatever could have made that sound so that he could simply lie, listening, for an eternity, never needing anything or anyone again.
    It was this notion which made the boy pack his bag of what little he owned, determination hardening within his gut. Having something to live for, some portion of optimism, had changed him irrevocably within minutes - the idea of living without ever hearing something of that nature again filled him with repulsion for the lifestyle he was forced to lead. Beauty, he thought, belongs to those who can afford it. They get it for free. He must work for it.
    With the night's first intake of breath, the boy climbed from the back window onto a narrow passageway behind his room. Bare feet against cobbled stone. The boy ran. Its roughness grated against his soles. The boy ran. Owls screeched at him in Signora's warning tones. The boy ran. And the stars watched him. And the moon's silvery blessings dampened his skin like holy water, until they were gone again and the sky turned pastel blue and white above his head.
    At the turn of morning, Lucian dropped his bag underneath the dawning light and creased over, panting, finally allowing himself breath. Scrawny hands rustling through his possessions, he discovered a stale chunk of bread and bit into it with the savagery of a dog. His hunger clawed at the inside of his stomach. But there was no going back along the meandering road that had brought him here.
    As the sun brightened with Italy's customary scorching heat, the boy stood again, trembling on his bloodied feet, and limped around the square, hoping to find perhaps a Panetteria from which he could beg food. It was then that he spotted the wooden shop.
    A halo of sunlight glimmered against its silvery windows, highlighting its contents to Lucian, dancing on the curves of the wooden shapes inside. They were extraordinary, great elegant carvings of burnished wood, strings of unidentifiable metal embellishing the unadulterated smoothness of their surface. They had long necks and scroll-like heads, ornamental f-shaped cavities on both sides and a series of depressions and inclines along their sides. They were such art as Lucian had never witnessed before, more beautiful by far than anything he could have dreamed up alone. And he became convinced that these instruments had been the ones producing the melody that haunted him, as sure as though some deity had informed him of it.
    With unwelcome suddenness, the door to the shop opened beside Lucian, and he stepped backwards, back taut as though preparing for flight. A hand reached out.
    "Hey, it's okay," the voice was soothing, although slightly wary, and directed at him. A man stepped out from the cast shadows of the doorway. "Don't run. I saw you admiring the violas. They're beautiful, aren't they?"
    Lucian paused. "Yes," he stated with a slight cough.
    He saw a smile cross the mouth of the man. Tanned and with messy blond curls strewn over his head, there was something about the mannerisms of the man which enchanted him already. The crevices of his face were like music.
    "Well then, do you want to come in?" Lucian was asked. "There is plenty more to be seen, and heard."
    And, strange though it seemed, Lucian could tell that his following gingerly through the crumbling doorway was the beginning of something entirely new and extraordinary.

 

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