Our published pieces
Here he sits, striking the melancholy chords of his black grand piano; the opener for his melody composed for his beautiful soulmate – Emily. Quickly, his bony hands dance across the ivory keys, expressing the loneliness of his inner heart on the high notes, and showing his hatred and anger on the low notes. The golden sunlight spies on him through the window, lighting up the gloomy, dusty room with a ray from the heavens. The light on his elderly, weathered head shines on one side, darkness lying on the other, portraying his mixed up feelings.
Slowly, his wife’s slender hands crept onto his, assisting him on the playing of his love-song. The melody turned happy as he slowly remembers his first time playing the song: on the man’s wedding. He and his wife were poor in money, so he had written a song. Not long after, they were rich; rich in love. The nostalgia overwhelmed the man, desperation burning in his deep blue eyes.
“Let me stay with you,” whimpered the man, tears welling in his eyes. “I want to go back to the old times, with just you and me.” His wife said nothing, but instead leant forwards to kiss the old man on the cheek, and then she slowly faded away.
Grief echoed and reverberated at the memory of losing his beloved wife. At the remembrance of the death o f the woman, another memory hits him like lightning. He was transported back to when he was a paramedic, waiting to go out with his best friend-Oliver- into the bullet filled battlefield. He and Oliver had been friends since they were toddlers, living their lives together in bliss. When they signed up to fight in the Second World War, they thought it was a good idea, helping the country. How wrong they were. They jumped behind a broken wall ,the man signalling to Oliver to shoot. A crystal clear shot rang out as a body was flung backwards. It was Oliver’s. He could only look in pain as he watched the blood escape from the rupture in his chest. It drooled into the man’s hands as he cradled his friend in his arms. He sobbed uncontrollably.
“Don’t waste your life,” groaned Oliver.“Don’t waste a minute.” The old man watched as Oliver’s gasps began to falter and the life leave his eyes. He was dead.
Fighting the urge to cry, the man tickles the notes, trying to rebuild the dam that held back his emotions. The white keys sang as another memory attacks him. This time a happy one.
Vividly, the old man remembers the day when he got the best gift of his life. A pristine wood hobby horse with a pair of emerald green eyes shimmering in the sunlight. His parents often said to get off the hobby horse and do something worthwhile, but he ignored them and bounced around the family heirloom: the grand piano.
“You’re too slow!” he used to yell when his parents chased him around the piano.
It’s the same hobby horse that the old man’s grandson uses to this day, the man gave it to the boy on his ninth birthday, the very day the old man got his. The grandson -Jack- ran over to the crooked piano stool and leapt onto it. Together, the grandson and the grandad gently hit the final note of their favourite song: Emily. A grin spread across both their faces.
“Thank you Jack.” The man whispered gratefully.
Sat alone on the ancient seat of his grand, ornate piano, the singular tear that rolls down his old, wrinkled face is illuminated by a streak of moonlight as he prepares his mind to enter the world of memories … By playing the piece he composed for his and the love of his life’s 50th wedding anniversary.
The moment he begins the melody, the world around him starts to fade, as a transparent image of the lady was inseparable from appeared before him. Together they laughed and sang whilst playing a different song, but on the very same piano he owns to this day. Just the mere sight of her melted his heat, and in his eyes, she was the most beautiful and caring thing to ever enter the universe.
“I will never forget you,” he promised, in her dying minutes, meanwhile her emerald-green eyes imprinted in his mind.
As the melody continues, he is briefly taken back to the future, where his mind is instantly transported back to another tragic event in his past… World War II.
Oliver, his best friend that he’d had since childhood was standing behind a lone still-standing brick wall. With his weapon ready Oliver had looked over at him, waiting for his nod of approval, to go out there and help protect his country. It had to be done, and with a deep sigh, the then young man serving as a medic, gave the signal, and Oliver stepped out… Before Oliver had time to pull the trigger of his weapon, BANG! A single, crystal clear shot rang out. It wasn’t real, it couldn’t be real he thought, as the medic processed that his best friend was on the ground , with blood oozing from the shot wound in his chest.
Even with all of his training, the 24 year old didn’t have the materials, tools, or ability to save his friend. Suddenly, a burst of anger overcame him and he was determined to avenge his friend. The grief and emotion inside of him as his best friend lied limp and dying in his arms was unbearable. As his heart beat slowed, Oliver muttered with a struggled breath,
“Goodbye William, I could never have wished for a better friend.” time froze as the gentle heaving of breath stopped and William heard a familiar voice yelling,
Shutting out the memories, he returns himself to the present and continues the song with a troubled mind. A flashback took him over again, and a happier memory controlled him into the past.
William waited by the tree on his 7th Christmas, surrounded by his parents and Grandparents. Only one gift had remained, it was for him. The young boy failed to harness the fire of impatience inside of him, and he had ripped open the wrapping, and it had made a crunching sound as he pulled the wooden hobby horse out of its box.
“Thank you, thank you so much!” he’d exclaimed, hugging the toy tight to his chest.
Joy had overcome him as he ran around the room wooping and yelling. It was a Christmas he never forgot.
Now, time fast forwards to his own Grandson running around the room wooping and yelling with joy, at receiving the same wooden hobby horse for his seventh Christmas. William is sad that he no longer owns one of his all-time favourite possessions, but is pleased that he had passed his toy of much love on to someone who will cherish it just as much as he did.
The small boy attempts to climb up onto the seat of the piano, and with a struggle eventually manages it.
“Grandpa, may I finish the composition with you?” questions his grandson with a pleading expression on his face.
“Of course my boy!” replies William with a large, friendly smile on his face. With that, together him and his grandson – named Marcus- finish off his special song… ‘Rhythm of Life’. When Marcus plays the last note, the glance between these two relatives was one of such love and joy that William knew whatever happened next, and even after he is gone, his talent and legacy of the piano will live on.
There he sits alone: a glittering, golden waterfall of light illuminating the room, one side of his old, wrinkled face shadowed from the ray, as he begins to tickle the ivory keys, playing a song for his soulmate.
As the first note is struck she joins him. How she knew the notes he did not know but they played harmoniously together, speechless. He could not mistake her presence now, or the mellow feelings of serene peace she brings him.
Now he can feel her getting closer, when she leans in and gives him one final kiss as she slowly fades away, out of reach. Once she goes, a memory hits him like lightning; the time he lost his best friend in the war.
Suddenly he is transported to the battlefield, and putrid smoke fills the air. He was beside his trusty comrade, behind a large stone wall, untouchable to the German bullets. But disaster had struck. His childhood friend jumped out to shoot, but was too late. The ear-splitting sound of a gunshot filled the air as he ran over, but he skidded to a halt when he saw the bullet shot right in his heart. Being held in his arms, the soldier spoke his final words; “Carry on fighting,” he gasped painfully, “Don’t let me down.” And then his haunted soul left him, forever. He could only look in pain as the blood dripped from his chest uncontrollably.
Feeling a terrible loss, he returned to reality as if the war had ended, but once again, he was all alone. But his wife and friend were still in his heart.
“Woo hoo! Look how fast I can go!” calls out his grandson Felix as he whizzes by on his hobby horse.
That triggers another memory, the time he was gifted a wooden hobby horse for his 7th birthday. He had cherished it for life and those emerald green eyes would be implanted in his memory forever.
When Felix had turned 7 he had parted with his most prized possession-it was Felix’s now. Surprisingly he had cherished it as much as he had.
Soon, his grandson stopped by the piano and hopped on to the chair. He finishes of his pattern then Felix plays the final note.
“I love you, grandad,” he said quietly.
“I love you too, Felix” he answered, proud of his grandson.
He reflected on the thoughts and memories he remembered and was grateful to be playing his favourite piece with his grandson.
Precious memories floods his mind as he sits beside his beloved piano, hands gently stroking its glamorous snow-white keys. The nostalgic melody seem to fill the room with his life’s most vivid moments and precious memories.
Firstly, his beloved wife, who he lost years ago, joins him on the piano – in a spiritual duet. He instantly fills with the love and comfort his wife brings him.
As she fades away, she gently whispers, “I love you!” , and gives him a kiss. The vision of his wife brings him another memory, a darker one…
Putrid smoke fills the air, wailing sirens ring in his ears and planes swoop down to drop their hot destruction.
He takes cover with his war time comrade behind a wall. The next moment feels like it’s happening all over again: with a nod, his comrade bravely charges out into the open, ‘crack’, a single bullet ruptures through his comrade’s chest, bringing him down. With his final breath he says, “Goodbye my friend!” and falls to the ground, dead. Grief echoed and reverberated at this recollection.
Hitting another melancholy note, he is instantly transported back to his own childhood.
Fumbling with the present before him, he opened it eagerly. Pure joy was released upon him as he beheld his new toy – a hobby horse. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” He shouted at the top of his voice as he paraded his new toy around the room blissfully.
It’s the very same toy that his grandson now rides up to him.
Together they complete the melody and his grandson plays the final note. Only now does it finally occur to him that all of these wonderful memories will stay with him, even when his hands have played their last.
There he sits – a ray of sunshine laying upon him – on his grand, ornate piano, ready to take his fingers through a journey of lost memories.
His wife suddenly appears beside him, somehow knowing every note and dip in the nostalgic tune. The memory of her is so tangible – so real – that it takes the man back to when he first played a song with his beloved wife – how their fingers flitted across the keys with no hesitation – how she kissed him whenever the melody ended. She fades away, leaving him with a small, sorrowful smile on his face.
Unfortunately, the next memory spares no time for the man to cherish his wife’s image. Running across a disastrous battlefield is a younger vison of the man with a paramedic cross embroidered on his helmet. He joined his friend, who was waiting for him behind a crumbling wall, and gave the command. His comrade opened fire, but not long after, a crystal-clear shot – clear as day – rang out. The brave soldier couldn’t be saved. Crestfallen, the man desperately tried to save his friend, but it was too late. Slowly, life lost its grip on his courageous comrade.
As the man continues playing, the treacherous memory haunts his soul like a shadow trailing behind a bird in the sun.
Fingers absent-mindedly flying over the keys, he sees himself as a child opening a blue box, to find a wooden hobby horse toy with eyes as green as sea glass on a beach shore. The boy instantly played with it, glowing with pride. It was Christmas, ‘The best time of year.’ The boy thought. He parades around the piano, and the memory is so vivid, so breath-taking, that it looks like there is actually a boy playing.
Time passes, and when the boy finishes his last lap, he morphs into the man’s grandson, Eric. Just then, a million voices crash into his head.
Sitting on the seat of his grand, ornate piano he is entering the world of his memories, his old, wrinkled hands begin to play the composition he created for his beloved late wife… ‘Wendy’. The memories came flooding back to the front of his mind like a burst water pipe with water gushing out onto the road non-stop.
The world around him fades into darkness, with only a stream of moonlight, of which his wife slides down to meet him.
He composed a 50th wedding anniversary song just for her, and that is how the song came upon him…’Wendy’. Life was each other, but even though they were not rich in possessions, they were rich in each other’s love. Having one another was the world to them and nothing else made them happier. Sadly she only heard the song once, for the special occasion and shortly after, she suddenly pasted away.
As the melody was carrying swiftly on, another memory hit him like a bullet in the heart.
Henry, his best friend since childhood. Both William and Henry fort in the 2nd World War. William was a medic, saving many lives on the run. His companion fort bravely for days on end, until one unfortunate evening, from behind a wall, his heart beat became as slow as it can be and slowly but surely his life faded away. William held Henry with limp arms, due to the shock, another friend gone he thought. His heart filled with mournfulness and regret of not warning there was an enemy behind the wall. Tears dripped onto his best friend, who will never awake again.
William is playing the more intense part of the song and it fits the mood perfectly. A fast moving beat.
As a young boy he loved playing with toys and friends but he had only used his older brothers toys, not his own. On Christmas day when he was eight years old, he got his own real toy for the first time. It was a hobby horse. He adored the fresh smell of real oak, in a real box, and he felt like a real dream like when you’re asleep, but no, the toy was a real physical hobby horse, all for himself. “Thanks Mummy and Daddy! The toy I have always wanted,” he screamed in delight and excitement.
He is hopeless and life is down in Williams mind. His most loved people have gone but a spark of light came dancing towards him.
Williams 8 year old grandson came galloping towards the piano. On the exact hobby horse he had had on the special Christmas day he enjoyed the most. His grandson, George, took as much care as he did many years back. George could gallop hours on end without being tired. He struggled to get up on the piano stool also inspired by his grandad playing the piano so beautifully. George asked a question that William will never again. “Grandad, please can I finish the song with you?”
“Of course George! How could I say no to a boy like you,” he answered happily.
“Let’s end the piece,” they whispered together.
As he sits here, playing his favourite piece-a piece he composed for his wife- on the grand, ebony piano, his bony fingers tickling the ivory keys and the golden shaft of light shines down like a summer ray of sunshine, into the empty room.
Suddenly, a memory hits him and his wife accompanies him in a spiritual duet. She passed away a few weeks after her 70th birthday and the man has been alone for 10 years. They were given the piano for their wedding and both of them played merrily, day and sometimes even night. Leaning towards him, she whispers gently and beautifully as a feather from a peacock, “I’ll miss you, love.”
Still the piece is flowing and melancholy notes practically fall from the page, the memory of a soulmate brings the memory of another.
Bursts of rapid-fire fill the air, making his ears ring and another vision begins. He was running towards a wall, his friend ready to attack. They had been friends all their lives and were so close, they felt like brothers. Together, they had joined the war, and had not realised the sacrifices they would have to make to become a soldier. His friend ran out to shoot; but a deadly aimed gunshot shot him down! Being a paramedic, it was his job to collect him. Cradling the man in his arms, he knew it was the end, and it felt like he had a hole inside him, as for his friend who literally has. He remembered the final words exactly, being “Good luck, buddy. That is all from me.”
With blood gushing over his fingers, he snaps back to reality, still playing the tuneful piece with his-now bloodless- fingers.
A happy memory arrives now, as he hurriedly knelt down on a shiny, wooden floor, and was given a colour contrasting, pastel blue box, with a neat ribbon tied around. He was, by now, already jovial with excitement. As he fumbled around the edge of the box and carefully removed the lid from the package his eyes had lit up with surprised but happy thoughts. He was ecstatic! For the present was a gorgeous hobby horse! It had glimmering emerald eyes and a smooth oak finish “Thank you, dad!” he said, and he genuinely meant it. Straight away he had got up and rode around the cramped room…
Now he is sitting up at his ornate piano, watching his grandson ride the very same wooden horse around, but in a bright and vibrantly lowed outfit. Unexpectedly, he put it on the floor, and climbs onto the stool. He looks up. His grandad looks down. Momentarily, it is as if time itself has frozen as they stare into the shimmering eyes of one another. The boy places a finger on one of the keys and presses down the final note of the piece. “Thank you,” he said fondly, “Keep being awesome.”
However, unknown to the young boy, that the grand piano will later become his prize possession and, unknown to the man, that he will live a long and happy life, watching and teaching his Grandson to play…