Solo Duet

Solo Duet

A Story by Lady Citrine

She sits down at the piano and plays, because he asked her to. Even if she doesn't really feel the music.


I love the piano, don’t you?


Vacant eyes, mussed-up hair, smudged face.


Don’t worry. You’ll do fine.


A head tilts up slightly, blank eyes unfocused and not looking at anything in particular.


Stop fretting! You’re practically a genius with the piano, maybe better than me, even!


An arm pushes against the wall and she heaves herself up, swaying unevenly on the support of wobbling legs.


Just pretend that you’re playing for me. Don’t pay attention to the extra people in the audience. It’s okay; all first performances are like this. Play for me.


She stumbles over to something at the front of the room, of the rubble. Her footsteps sound heavy, as if she was only standing through a concerted effort. They echo through the vast space, breaking the silence.


No! They weren’t supposed to come here! Not today!


A hand reaches out; a finger traces across the once shiny-black wood, leaving a clear path in the dust.


Run! Get away! Get awa�"


Slowly, with stiff, awkward movements that seem unsure, she sits down on the filthy bench that had been lovingly wrapped in black leather many, many years ago. Golden rays of sunlight stream between the crooked wooden boards that are left of the ceiling, striking and reflecting off the swirling dust motes.

Play for me.


She closes her dull, flat eyes almost wearily, and raises her hands to rest them a hair’s-breadth above the ivory and ebony keys, just barely touching them. Her face may be void of expression, but her fingers are positioned precisely (they might have been almost elegant, if not for the dirt and scratches that cover the skin), her back is poised. Like a good pianist's should be.


Play for me.


She plays.


She plays all the pieces she has ever learned in her life.

She plays all the pieces she has ever heard.

She plays all the pieces she knows to be of his composition.


She plays sonatas and sonatinas, inventions and variations, classicals and baroques and romantics and contemporaries.


She plays a duet; a song that can only be played with two people. It sounds pathetic to her ears, lonely and sad and empty. But there is no one to play the other part, so she shows none of her thoughts on her face, and instead transmits them to her shaking hands.


She plays until some notes go sharp and others go flat, until the once-grand piano breaks down from the inside.


She plays until the smooth white of the keys cracks and fades and gives way to reveal rough, unpolished wood underneath.


She plays until the tips of her fingers grow warm and then hot, before she loses feeling in them altogether.


She plays until she can play no more.


She plays until the duet-turned-solo finally ends, fading away and still somehow managing to sound abrupt, sudden.


Play for me.


I love the piano, don’t you?

© 2010 Lady Citrine

Author's Note

Lady Citrine
Thank you for reading ^^ Please tell me what you think! And also, did I put this in the right category? It just seemed to fit "horror" more than the rest of them, though I didn't intend for this to be..

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Added on February 26, 2010
Last Updated on February 26, 2010
Tags: piano, music, friendship, loss


Lady Citrine
Lady Citrine

I'm an aspiring writer, practicing to get better. I love getting reviews on my writing more than anything else. And I don't mind if you don't like my works, as long as you tell my why and how I co.. more..