Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MUSIC (04/02/20)
TITLE: Sounds of Silence
By Debra Brand
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He eased the door open. Waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, he realized his dream would come true. Many times he had attended this church with his family on sunlit days filled with the noise of neighbors, friends, and song. His desire to be alone … alone with Him … overwhelmed his senses.
With a quick look behind to see if anyone noticed, he slipped inside the vestibule. Standing still he listened. All was quiet except for his breathing. He tiptoed across the floor to the open door of the sanctuary and peered inside.
The sun shone through the stained glass windows casting rays and hues of color across the empty pews. In the beams, particles of dust drifted to and fro from some unseen breath. The quiet atmosphere began to fill with the sound of swirling from an urn of holy water. Intermittent creaking of the wood floor caught his attention as the stone building gathered the warmth of the sun.
His heartbeat steadied. His breathing added to the sound like an orchestra tuning their instruments, one by one. As he listened, the hum of the melody slowly took shape in his mind. He grasped the handle of his violin case harder and walked with determination towards the altar. His free hand tapped a cadence on the carvings on the wooden pews as he passed. He was the conductor, drawing out each instrument’s sound with his baton.
Turning at the front pew, he placed his case on the seat and gazed back at the way he came. His eyes rose to the echoing ceiling and focused on the raised beams. Yes, it was here he would play. The unzipping of the case added another element to his ears. Unzip with a downward stroke. Zip with upward. Up, down, up, down.
Reaching for the violin and bow, he held it to his chest for only a moment and felt the anticipation grow within his spirit. It had become the vocal cords his body never formed.
He turned back to the altar. The cross stood before him, empty and silent. He bowed low and then stood as a soldier would to his commander.
Raising the violin to his neck, he felt it snuggle to his neck as an extension of his body, and touched the bow to the string for only a moment. Ping! The sound echoed throughout the space. His fingers felt the vibration resonate through his little body. Time slipped away.
He began. Soft, gentle draws of the bow coerced the strings to sing. As he fell into the trance of the spiritual outpouring, the violin sang his soul. Chords, notes, highest highs and crashing lows filled the cavernous room. He was one with the instrument and played his heart out to the Lord. His fingers moved in sync with what heaven dropped into his mind. The sounds of angels voiced from the hands of this little boy.
Unbeknownst to him, a tired old priest had been lounging in the confessional. He watched the young lad. As the boy continued his performance, the priest’s heart was torn apart by the beauty of the surreal composition. A life built upon man’s doctrine was obliterated in the moment of the crescendo to experience the gift of the Spirit. His garment, soaked by his tears, was rendered useless to his station. With his last breath, God became real that day.
The strains softened to end with a moaning draw on the strings. The boy, his emotion and strength spent, lowered the violin, and lovingly replaced it in his case. His soft quiet footsteps as he turned down the aisle were filled with worship and thanksgiving. As he reached the outer door, he turned and bowed again.
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