Winner (Fiction) - August, 2022
It Would Only Worry You by James FITZGIBBON - United Kingdom
That night a soft piano music was playing. It moved and shifted direction like an animal in a snare. Strange, wild chords softly stroked the air. Suddenly, I recall, you looked up from playing with a coaster and said, ‘Music can transport you right back. When I was a kid, we’d always have this music here playing: I heard it again the other day for the first time ever. And there I was: back at home. I could almost smell the furniture wax my Mum used to use’.
‘What was the music?’ I asked.
‘Ah… bof’, you said with a gesture of dismissal. ‘You wouldn’t know it. Just something particular to our family home. I had begun to love those French gestures, which, to my mind, belonged only to you.
‘It was playing that night I recall’, you said.
‘What night was that?’
You looked up at me and I could see the hesitation in your eyes. They had changed again, from the sparkling blue-grey from when we first met that evening, to a sad, rather forlorn, dull colour. ‘I’ve never told anyone this story before’, you said slowly, with deliberation ‘Must be the music. I can feel it now. Reminds me of home. Chez nous. I can feel it all coming flooding back comme les vagues. I can recall that night almost as if I was there right now.
‘Do you want me to tell you what happened?’ you asked.
‘Of course’, I said.
‘OK’, you sighed ‘But don’t blame me if I go on a bit. It’s quite a long story. That all-right?’...
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