One for Practice – Friday Fictioneers – 01/11/13

It’s time for another installment of Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo is courtesy of Roger Cohen.

Your participation is always welcome. Why not give it a go? Please visit Rochelle for instructions. Click here for more stories from the Fictioneers.

My story is 101 words, and is Mainstream Fiction.

Copyright-Roger Cohen

One for Practice

The first time I heard its sound, the funky rhythms led me up the subway steps to the sight of a tattered man strumming with abandon to a spellbound audience.

Samson nodded when I left baked goods beside his tip box. One day, I knelt before my girl, his tender serenade giving me courage.

I asked him later, “Why not in a grand music hall?”

“Once was,” and he smiled.

The next day, I walked up the steps to silence. A man approached me, placing the  instrument in my hands. “He wanted you to have this. He’s ready to play again.”

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98 thoughts on “One for Practice – Friday Fictioneers – 01/11/13

  1. Lovely uplifting story – I loved the ‘tattered man strumming with abandon’ 🙂
    In the first line I think it should be ‘led’ not ‘lead’ though (delete this bit if you amend or disagree!)

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    1. Thanks, E. Funny I read lead as “led.” A little trick of the eye. Thanks for telling me. I changed it. You can always tell me stuff like that if you catch it. I don’t mind one bit. Thanks. – Amy

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    1. Oh, yeah. Thanks, H.L. I never saw that movie but thought of that when I wrote this. I know this story has been done, but here it is again I guess. I heard it was a good movie. Another one I need to see.

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      1. That’s ok….probably because I’m a girl. I was trying to show that he proposed to her. I don’t know if that’s clear. I would have had included more on this but I would have went well over. Anyway, that wouldn’t have even necessarily meant that my character was male, either. I appreciate your comments. You never know how something will be interpreted.

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  2. Very creative premise, Amy. Street musicians are interesting subject matter. I’m wondering what he will play if he gave his instrument away. Or was he playing a guitar (strumming) and he plays a different instrument in the concert hall? Whatever, great story idea. Ron

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    1. Thanks, Ron. My story worked quite literally with the prompt. There are two instruments, one for practice and one for show. I know my story is deep, huh? I was thinking by giving it to the character in the story he was letting go of his past and moving forward. This character allowed Samson to move forward. That was the thinking anyway. I could have talked more about the instrument itself in some way, but didn’t accomplish that.

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  3. Art! Your opening line just blew me away. Really. In a story about ‘music’ it was so wonderfully composed – a delight of sound and rhythm, truly.
    There was so much going on in the story! That gave it great depth.
    Unfortunately..or not, I read the end as a sad ending at first, as a sort of euphanism – so I got two stories for the price of one on second reading!
    Now, let’s cut to the main comment, the grit – I have never identified, related with any character ever like I did with your musician playing in the subway.

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    1. You are too kind! Thank you so much. You’re very encouraging. The ending is I guess both sad and happy. Sad for our narrator who won’t hear his music everyday, but happy for the musician who found inspiration again and a reason to play. Wow, on your last comment. Yeah, do you relate personally to this character? I’m touched!

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    1. Well now, it would be if it were used as a verb…here it is a singular piece of music (as a noun)…he is proposing to her. Did you get that one? I’m not sure if that is clear. And, he’s playing a serenade to her. That was my intention anyway. I know about serenades from all my years as a dancer.

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      1. Woops! Didn’t mean to hit a raw nerve there! I did get that one, yes! Was just a thought. I am sure you know about serenades…please do delete my comment. Could not be a verb in that context of course, but it interested me how the ‘s’ added another tone or dimension. Anyway, do delete,was really just a friendly thought!

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      2. Oh, no worries. There’s no raw nerve here. I actually read it again because I forgot what I wrote. No, whew, I think it’s okay. I was just explaining and I don’t mind having it be part of the conversation. There’s no need to delete this. I gladly accept corrections, for future. I don’t mind one bit. It’s part of what writing is, yes?

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  4. Dear Amy,

    You struck writer’s gold with your pen this week. I am still sitting on a bench near the subway entrance and watching the story unfold over and over again in a happy refrain. Can’t say it any better. well done.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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  5. when i saw the “silence,” i assumed the guy had died. or maybe he returned to the concert hall. but if it returned, wouldn’t he have brought the instrument with him? so i’m not sure if he died or not. regardless, it was great the the guy chose to propose there instead. well done.

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    1. Thanks, Rich. I know you could interpret this many ways…my thought was that he gave him the old instrument, the practice instrument, and that he was going back to the concert hall with his “show” instrument. I was working off the prompt with two instruments. I don’t know if musicians really do this or not, but I thought they may have more than one instrument if they’re really good, professionals and all. Thanks for reading, sir, and your nice comments.

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