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The Element of Surprise
There's a soft sound echoing through
the air; it is mournful, but does not speak of the secrets of one whose
hands effortlessly glide over its keys. She can hear it all the way
from the kitchen, so she knows that it is important for the message to
reach her, whatever that message may be. She knows that it's her father
playing the piano again, and he is trying to tell her something.
As always, she prepares a cup of black coffee for him.
(It's never anything different – he doesn't like surprises, though he
always tries to surprise her.) When she thinks he will be satisfied by
her efforts, she places the cup on a tray and carefully balances it in
her hands as she walks upstairs and into the piano room.. And as
always, her father accepts gratefully. He takes a couple sips and tells
her to wait a moment, don't leave yet. His hands hover above the keys
for a few moments, and then he starts playing again. The loudness is
almost unbearable, but she stands her ground. The sounds emanating from
the piano are suddenly a little more ambitious.
This always happens. She obeys him because he is the
authority, and he tells her that he is thankful. This cycle may be
their way of living, but it never breaks the wall of despair that
separates their blood, which was said to be connected forever the day
they met, for the sound is also suddenly a little more sinister.
- Kristin Leprich
Kristin Leprich is a young author
who has won a second place poetry award in the Illinois High School
Association's 2010 Suburban Prairie Conference. She specialises
in short works, and has previously been published in One Forty Fiction.
front page image is copyright ©
by Anthony Kitterick, 2012