Short Story Excerpt–“Midnight Sonata”

I’ve debated about including an excerpt of this story, as it is a bit of flash fiction, and posting too much would make the whole exercise pointless.

Anyway…

***

Lingering on a simple phrygian cadence, Thadeus shifted momentarily into A Minor.  No altered scale degrees for harmonic or melodic tension–just pure minor in all its modal glory.  The rapid arpeggios built in volume and tempo, until he could take it no longer and modulated into a sparkling C# Major.  The progression ran in thirds rather than the staid fourth and fifths, denying traditional cadences for as long as possible.  As the melodic and harmonic tension leaked away, Thadeus slowed the tempo in a long ritardando, finally finishing back in C Major with simple triads at an almost imperceptible dynamic.  The Bösendorfer was happy to oblige, the strings vibrating in the controlled atmosphere in ever-decreasing amplitude.

The meaty clapping from a single pair of hands erupted from behind, and Thadeus turned to see a man leaning on an old-fashioned push-broom.

“Beautiful,” the sweeper said, grabbing the handle of the broom and moving closer.  “You’re gonna bring the house down with that one tomorrow night, I think,” he winked, then bent back to sweeping the stage.

“It’s not on the program,” Thadeus demurred.  “It’s not finished, regardless,” he added, and then wondered why.

The man straighted, cocked his head and said, “Sounds finished to me.”

“Thank you.”   There was no point in arguing with the man.  He was a very early Wilson Sweeper model by the looks of him.  Probably a ten or eleven series, and their logic programming was rudimentary at best.

The Wilson walked closer and said, “Yes, sir, you play real good.”  He cocked an eyebrow, “Thadeus model, right?”

“Yes.  Thirty-seven series.”

 

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