Friday Fiction – Soundless Serenade

Wow, what a week (month, year) we’ve been having. I’ve fallen behind on reading and replying to comments from last week, but I’ll try to catch up when I can. In the meantime, here’s this week’s story, based on David Stewart‘s photo prompt. Your comments are very welcome (even when it makes a while to respond).

david-stewart

Soundless Serenade

They appeared every night, as the sun shuffled out of sight and the crickets took up their own song. I crouched and listened as a silent tune filled the park for a few moments before they faded from sight in the darkness.

Then, when I was old enough, I took the job as park custodian. I rigged lights in the bandstand so that the darkness couldn’t hide them, and I waited a final time. As dusk fell, my orchestra shimmered onto the stage. I listened, entranced again by their unheard song, and as darkness fell, I reached for the switch.

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37 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

37 responses to “Friday Fiction – Soundless Serenade

  1. Elegant and simple. Very nice.

  2. There is always such a variety of interpretations of a single image – I’d never have thought to take this route with it! You’ve come up with something really touching, and I think the “Then, when I was old enough,” gives it a depth that goes far beyond 100 words.

  3. This is beautifully written, I always love what you do with a 100 words!

  4. as the sun shuffled out of sight – a perfect way to describe sunset.

    I feel the character is custodian of more than the park. Well done.

  5. Francesca Smith

    Beautifully written and so vivid.

  6. Great story as usual! Nan

  7. Dear Jennifer,

    I was entranced by the writing yet mystified by what was going on. I want to know more and hope that continued reading will have meaning ‘shimmering into view’. (I am the challenged one here, so don’t fret. I loved this piece.)

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Don’t worry, Doug, I am reasonably mystified too – as is the narrator. The players appear at twilight, play without making a sound and disappear in the darkness, leaving no trace. Only the narrator appears to see them and he wants to know more, hence adding lights so he can hope to watch their departure. Beyond that, I haven’t a clue.

  8. I want to know what the new lights will reveal – it might be the end of the magic! What a cliffhanger! I love the mood you’ve created, and the narrator’s sense of custodianship over the mysterious musicians.

  9. as the sun shuffled out of sight–I loved that phrase, too. And I wonder if this is the end or the beginning of the otherworldly concertos.

  10. This is wonderful – a very different take to the prompt.

  11. Dear Jen,
    Like the others, I love your language and the tone of your story. With Doug, I am left a bit mystified concerning exactly what the story is about. I don’t quite gather why the narrator is listening to a silent serenade or why he can hear it when he indicates that it makes no noise.

    That said, I enjoyed the idea of the narrator illuminating the stage. The lifetime goal rings true, and ending the story with the flipping of the switch is perfect.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  12. Your description of the sunset was lovely – as was the story.

  13. Absolutely beautiful. I especially love the line ‘as the sun shuffled out of sight’. I wonder what will happen as the lights come on…?

  14. Cool tale.
    AnElephant loves it, and the ending!

  15. I’m so curious to know what “they” are.

  16. Atmospheric and compelling, Jen. I loved the “haunting” effect.

  17. Dee

    It has a dreamlike quality to it Jen which I like, well written as always.

  18. Dear Jennifer,

    I guess I have to throw my hat into the gazebo with Marie Gail and Doug. While I love the atmosphere and your beautifully descriptive writing, I’m not quite sure what’s happening.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • As I replied to both Doug and Marie Gail, I’m right there in the gazebo with you all. I was imagining ghosts (or similarly ethereal characters) but the narrator, and I, are waiting for illumination along with you!

  19. It has the eeriness of a ghost story. Beautiful language.

  20. I loved the atmosphere you created. To be that special one who, alone, can hear the music…

  21. I like the contrasts: silence and sound, darkness and illumination, real and ethereal. I left the gazebo delightfully confused. Well done Jennifer.
    Tracey

  22. There is a deep mystery here.. The silent sound and the light and darkness, I can feel the narrator is in control though.

  23. great story as always. you have a way with words that will touch the heartstrings of anyone.

  24. The narrator hears music no one else hears just like a writer hears voices giving him a story. There’s a certain mystical tone to this piece and I love the action verbs.

  25. Very nice story that really feels complete. Well done 🙂

  26. Your story flowed nicely. You’ve got a way with words! Very mysterious and a little bit spooky, not knowing what is shimmering onto the stage.

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