Short story: The Musician

It was a cold winter’s day, the snow lay thick on the ground but surrounding the house there were no footsteps left from visitors bringing packages on the cold icy morning. We were the only visitors calling on this freezing day.I’d arrived at the house many times before, even dreamt about it as a smaller child, it was the kind you read about in books.

Well I say big it was bigger than ours but then most houses in the county were. It was white and wooden with a broken swing on the porch, maybe a little run down but it wasn’t anything that a few hours of hard grafting wouldn’t fix. Well the drains they leaked too but I could live with that, as in the summer when I came walking down here with my friends I could smell daisies and all kinds of flowers growing in the fields. We always peeped through the window at the man inside. He interested us so much,not that we ever saw him but all the stories that we’d heard about him from our parents about the myths of his life before telling us we shouldn’t come and torture that nice old man, well what were we to do? We were just curious. We approached the house as we did each weekend with a bag of stones…..

Inside the house sits a musician trying desperately to write a decent song a song that’s listenable to.

He waits in his rocking chair swaying to and fro, pipe in one hand pen in the other, desperately searching for the right words to touch the paper.

As he begins he names his song “The Song of The World” Why? I don’t know; maybe he thought it would bring hope to his sad lonely life or perhaps he could think of nothing better.

The man lives alone. He dreams of days gone by and wishes that he could relive those moments of his youth. Nobody visits. Nobody calls.

The grey trees outside growl a lonely kind of call to the man as if trying to tempt him outside so they can warn him of something. The floorboards below him creak as if there is another presence in the house. There isn’t of course. There never is.

He used to have so much, wife, children but now he has little more than a hovel. He visits the graveyard every day and has done since the accident. Many myths have built up around him in the town. Well that’s just what our town is like; every ones business is your own. No one ever wanted to help him but still he continues to create beautiful music for everybody.

How do I know so much about him? Well I am the first visitor he’s had for twenty years. He doesn’t speak much but when he does he seems upset as if he is recalling the past, the past no one has cared about for what seem like an eternity.

The first smile I have seen from him is after he’s succeeded with the first line and as he continues his smile grows. The phone continues to lie dormant. No relatives call, No friends from days gone by give him a second thought, perhaps it’s easier to forget he exists.

He moves his pipe, puts down his pen. Slowly he stands the smile no longer on his face. He begins to weep. I am not sure what to do till he finishes crying. He describes how people used to want to listen to his music though now they prefer to make up stories and throw things at his home. Suddenly I was wrapped with guilt; it had only been a bit of harmless fun I decided I was going to help the man whom I had tormented for so long.

Each day during my summer holidays I would take fresh pies from my mother to him and I would listen to his stories. I would not know how much was real and how much was make-believe but I didn’t really care we became best of friends and now he was happier he found it easier to write his songs again. One day I stole his songs and took them to a recording company. I came running back eager to tell him I’d got him a recording contract.

Apparently I had broken his trust. That was the last I ever saw of him. He felt heed sooner be as he was. Even so, after that summer we never threw things at his house again.