The music

This week’s photo prompt is by Anshu Bhojnagarwala, with thanks.

He had practised obediently since he was tiny, but his performances remained wooden, formulaic. His father said his playing lacked soul.

His mother thought he was intimidated: “He’s afraid he won’t measure up to Alfred.”  And his brother was extraordinary. He had the prizes to prove it.

Madame Baranovnika dreaded his weekly lessons. “Let go, Mikhail. Let your heart take you past the mechanics, into the music itself.” Still he held back. Madame was mystified.

But Mikhail heard other voices too, and resisted. Until he no longer could, and the music took him.

Now the music is all he hears.


This is for Friday Fictioneers, once again. Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and maintaining this weekly flash fiction link-up.

40 thoughts on “The music

  1. This is beautifully written – so pleasing and fluid 😊
    It’s so intriguing too – what exactly did those other voices say – what made him hold back.
    I do envy those who can get lost in music – I wish I had learnt an instrument!
    A really lovely tale 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you were intrigued, Anna. I do believe there’s something in music, and the other arts, that calls us away from the everyday world. What happens if we go all the way? Thanks for commenting.


  2. Dear Margaret,

    I love the way Mikhail finally was taken in. No doubt he’s giving Alfred a run for his money. Well crafted. Like you, when I’m in the midst of writing, I’m simply not ‘there’ to the outside world. 😉




    • It’s not a very sociable pastime, is it? But worth it I believe, having just gone through a couple of years when I didn’t really write at all. There is an element of giving oneself over to something ‘other’. It feels a bit like that anyway. Thanks for your nice words, Rochelle.


  3. That’s a wonderful story. When we can do the things we love, it’s easy to get completely submerged for a while. Maybe some people can’t come out of that any longer, and maybe Michail was afraid of that.


  4. It sounds like Mikhail is given to extremes, taking nothing in moderation. Perhaps he knew that if he gave himself over to music, he would never find himself again? Love the ominous ending.


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