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Writing Prompt: a Different Kind of Love

Our fiction prompt for 2/11/18 can be found here. Feel free to post your responses in this thread (after you've read the rules).

Happy writing! 🙂

Genre:  General
Rating: K
Summary: His love for music and his cello brings Gábriel to New York where he faces his one chance to win a scholarship
Author note: Inspired by the same titled 'song' as played by Luka Sulic of 2CELLOS. The Czardas is a traditional dance from Eastern Europe.

Czardas

Polite applause from the small crowd of special observers faded away. In its wake came a collective breath of anticipation Gábriel felt welcome his arrival on the stage. The eyes of the men and women of the string ensemble too followed each step he was making from behind the curtains to the stool set out for him. His humble name meant nothing here in New York yet. No one he'd met so far could perceive the small Hungarian village he'd come from, or the life he'd led as a boy. Even the promoters from the conservatory had forgotten the accent on his name and misspelled his surname of Csizmadia.

Still, he supposed none of it mattered anything out here. He had come for the stage, his one chance to make his instrument shine. Out here was where he sought to forget his earlier nerves and tension for what today was about; his first solo performance to earn a prestigious scholarship!

Gábriel sat down on the stool, placing his cello between his knees with care. Bow in hand he looked at the first violinist and his tutor, Robert Frey. The glance offered back at him became a small smile of acknowledgement and support. But a breath passed until upon one simple, but elegant move Rob rested his violin in position against his chin. One nod and his ensemble began to play, with Rob leading them in a slow, but pleasant melody.

His fingers itched to join them, but Gábriel counted on towards his cue where he was supposed to start his solo. Where the ensemble paused Gábriel pressed his finger onto the string. From the first note he played he swept himself up in the melody. No instrument spoke to him like the cello, his beloved cello. It looked old and well played, faded on its edges even. The wood it was made of had lost some shine all right, he could see so too, but to him its appearance meant nothing. No, what had made Gábriel fall in love with this particular cello was its warm, soulful timbre. The sound which filled the concert hall now was that of his soul.

Under his now faster moving fingers the Hungarian dance came to life. The audience had fallen quiet, watching his hands dance over the strings of the cello. Gábriel leaned further over the body of his instrument to reach lower and play the high notes. As a boy he'd cursed and stumbled trying to master these, but no more. The instrument and he had become one over many hours of practice. Nothing else had existed in life but his cello. So much he had aside for his art. Even now the urge to play drove him on, to strive for more… to reach the hearts of people everywhere. Music was his all, and he longed to share it with anyone who would listen.

With a smile Gábriel moved into the abrupt slower middle part. Slowly he caressed his bow along the strings. Soft and easy notes filled the hall of the conservatory. His eyes met Rob's again, both knowing in their hearts what came next. To him it was like the pause of slow notes waited for the joy to return… as did he.

He let out his breath, saw Rob nod to his ensemble, and began to move faster again. Joyous and almost triumphant he let his fingers dance along the strings. Lower notes, faster, then higher… every single sound embedded into his soul. Merely a year ago he had sweated over this bit, but here today with his old, but new bought cello, Gábriel felt an ease come over him. Only shameless love for the song of his childhood home remained.

Home… now rendered to a pile of photographs and memories. The place he had left as a boy to study music. All the pain and effort of saving for lessons and an instrument of his own seemed to at last get paid off. He did not have money left for sure, but did he feel poor? No… not anymore. In the presence of his music Gábriel felt rich with love.

In a rush the dance of his fingers ended. Shy to look up Gábriel held his breath, but he need not worry. The pause of sound from the audience exploded into an applause. A woman in her fifties even rose from her seat, others following in her wake. Stunned by the reaction Gábriel bowed, his fingers clutched around the neck of his cello. Without it he was nothing, but with it he had found his voice and an audience who wanted to hear what they had to say.

The woman who stood first raised up her thumb and nodded to him. The news hit Gábriel like a rush of disbelief. Had he done it? Another breath and realisation hit. He had won the scholarship! The best news he had in his life threatened to choke him up with emotions he could not name. New York wanted him to stay, and over the rush of joy Gábriel welcomed its possibilities with another shy bow and the widest smile on his heart.

Matt, wow, that is such an original concept, writing about one's love of music. That was very moving.

Matt: great work! And unique too! As someone who played clarinet for 7 years throughout my pre-teens and teens, I can relate to this, and listening to the piece alongside your little snippet definitely augmented how you wrote Gábriel's passion for music.

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