Flash story time!
Not an elegy, but a tale, a spider-web of memories, a symphony of desires …yet again elegy in a different dress.
A Musician’s elegy
The winter sun was making its way through the iced, barely snowy branches of the tree. Despite the cold, its sun beams felt warm on his face. Or so he imagined. The air was slightly warmer too; now and then the remaining snow melted from the tree and fell down on his face.
He coughed another spray of blood.
The wound was bleeding freely, for he could no longer press his hands against it. It was coloring the snow around him with red, soaking down the layers of glimmering whiteness.
The hill was silent, the forest too, no animal ran across the white fields, and no bird flew in the blue sky. There beside him was just his old rifle, with a bloody handle and no ammo.
His head no longer rested on the wet wood, and his body, in an awkward pose, like a frozen scarecrow in army clothing, was lying on the snow, which to him didn’t feel like snow, but like a pillow made of air floating in the sky he observed.
He couldn’t speak from the choking blood in his throat, but then again there was no one to talk to.
And there wasn’t much time.
So he spoke to himself in his mind, writing silently the last words and moments of his life, and his one and only final regret.
He remembered the smell of gun powder and the yelling. He remembered the loud noises, the ambush, the running through the forest, the screams that followed him, screams that died with the next bang, but continued to echo in his mind.
Then there was the sharp pain. From its epicenter it spread across the body, making him fall to the ground unable to move. It happened for seconds, probably less than that. The pain got to his brain just as quick. It remained there, while he was dragging himself on the ground, with round lead bullets raining all around him. Their sizzling sound disappeared once they hit the snow.
Soon to him all the sounds from the battlefield were a long-lost symphony of horror and powder and tears and blood, as his own was making its way out of his body, there under the massive covered in snow branches of the lone tree on the hill.
Now, he probably had minutes to live. Some of his friends didn’t get as much as a second.
But he couldn’t think of them, he only thought of what was lost to him and what was absent as he passed from existence to darkness.
Her presence filled him with hope, with love, with joy and gave meaning to his life. He cherished her more than anything. Every night he would rest himself in her hands, for her to care and cure him of all the wrong and sad in the world. And he could stay like this forever, while she sang, while she played her instruments and gently touched his mind with healing hands.
He would too, hold her in his hands, be an artist, an explorer, an inventor. And he was simply happy. He could ask for no more than that. Only her. Until his dying day.
He tried to remember how she sounded, but the memory felt so distant, he couldn’t bring it in his mind.
There were tears coming to his eyes now. There were tears running down his face mixing with the water the snow had turned to.
Why, oh why wasn’t she here? Why her voice wasn’t singing his final lullaby into his ear?
Was it his fault, he left her? He was forced…or so he wanted to think. But he had to put away all he was and all he loved, for a duty of a bigger cause, for salvation. For pride and victory.
He promised he’ll return home, where everything was going to be the same. His soul would be whole again.
Memories faded away like dim from a pipe.
The silence scared him more than death itself. Soundlessly, he continued to cry.
“Please, please come to me and play me one of your songs to set me for eternal sleep. That’s all I ask of you.” he desperately thought.
He had never felt so alone, so lost. His only guide in life was no longer beside him. If he calls her out loud, would she come?
– M-m….- he murmured as another gasp for air brought more blood sprays.
His sight was blurry, his hearing weakening. His entire body felt like floating now, and the sky seemed closer, almost one reach away. Although his eyes were opened, for a moment he couldn’t see anything, hear anything nor sense his body.
But there was this feeling, growing inside him, expanding all around him, an impossible one, yet unmistakable, one very familiar to him- the feeling of flying, high in the clouds, where no reason lived and no worries existed.
He called her one more time, a cry for help deep in his subconscious.
Ah! There she was, finally she came, gently wiping the tears from his cold face, playing a song of wind, and forest and birds and life in its best, where hopes for lost souls were true. His beloved music filled his ears and mind, and sang along with the last breath of the musician who went to war.