Friday, July 30, 2010

The violin in the attic

Written for (Fiction)Friday

Simon was born when his parents were getting on in life. They'd never really wanted children and Simon's birth was unplanned. They weren't bad parents, it was just that they never possessed the skills to help Simon develop as other children did. He had no friends and always played alone.

He was also born without the gift of hearing, so interacting with other kids at school was part of growing up that he missed out on.

He was nine years old when it first happened. It was a very warm night and he was laying in bed in the early hours of the morning unable to sleep. The hissing noise that usually filled his head faded away and he heard a sound. It was the sound of a violin; although he of course had no idea what it was he was listening to. He drifted back to sleep and when he awoke in the morning he felt he must have dreamed it, for once again he heard nothing but the hissing in his head. But it happened again the following night, and the night after that, until it became part of his nightly routine. Soon he realised that the sound of the violin was coming from above his head, from the attic.

Simon had always wondered what he would find if he were to climb the ladder and push open the hatch to the attic, but his parents always forbade him from venturing up. But now, it had to be done, so one night whilst the music was playing in his head he crept out of his room and slowly climbed the ladder to the loft. The hatch opened easily and the light from the hallway below flooded into the beamed space above his head. The music faded away.

Something caught his eye, something shining a few feet away from him. He crawled towards it then discovered it was a violin lying on a golden satin blanket. Across it sat a bow. He took the bow in his hand then picked up the violin. The neck felt warm as if it had recently been held. Someone must have played it, but there was nobody in the attic but himself.

He tucked the instrument under his chin the way he'd seen it done on the television, and then drew the bow across the strings. Suddenly he heard the music again. Simon was making music.

That at least is how the story goes. Today, twenty years on, his parents have passed away. Simon hardly speaks so we will never know exactly what happened after that night, and he seems to have no relations to tell us the whole story. What we do know is that Simon ended up in a music school where he was taught to play the violin to an extremely high standard, and today he is in demand by orchestras all over Europe and beyond.
The house where it all started was demolished many years ago and a block of apartments has taken its place.

Some of the residents say that in the dead of night they can hear the sound of a violin playing in the distance.


  1. Nice work. The violin playing in the attic is haunting.

  2. I like the story. And the music playing supplements it so well.

  3. I believe in the restorative power of music. There is a remarkable deaf percussionist called Evelyn Glennie who works with symphony orchestras and I am sure there are many others.
    Great idea Keith.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  4. I like how the spirit of the violin jumped into Simon's body. Great story.

  5. Brilliant touch, having the violin playing such a haunting melody as we read. I enjoyed the story very much.

  6. What a lovely premise. Nothing could be more poignant that music reaching into a deaf persons world and transforming them.

  7. When the story goes on to say that his parents died and he wouldn't discuss it, I was expecting a sinister twist. I liked the way you closed out the story but left me wondering what all may have happened that night.

    Well done

  8. A haunting bit penmanship. Truly remarkable. Quite enjoyed this.

  9. Well done! This would be an enjoyable story to read aloud. :-)



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