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Made of Music
There is magic in music and music in magic. The way the sounds pull at your heart, not even needing words to make you laugh…or cry. The way a season can pass in a single day…that is best described by a symphony. It was all magic, and all music.
No one knows that better than me. So I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised when, as I pulled the bow across the strings of my new violin, sending out a high, sweet sound, a person appeared out of thin air.
But, no matter how unsurprised I should have been, I was, and I reacted as any other rational person would. I shrieked, dropped what I was doing, not literally of course, I could never be so careless with an instrument, and scrambled back as fast as I could.
Nothing, that is, until the last vestiges of sound left the violin. Because that was when the person faded back into nothingness.
For a long moment all I did was stand there staring at the place where the figure had stood, unable to form any kind of coherent thought. Hesitantly, fearfully, I edged back to my spot before the music stand, eyes never straying from the place where the spectral figure had been. Slowly, I lifted the violin and tucked it gently under my chin, a level of calm returning to me at the familiar sensation.
I took a deep breath and ran the bow across the strings once more, prepared, this time, for what would happen. And happen it did, as soon as the first keening note sang out, sharp and clear, the figure appeared.
It was a man, I realized, he was of average height with curly brown hair and eyes so dark they looked almost black. He did not move from his spot though I could tell he was aware of me, those almost-black eyes of his moving from the violin, up to my too pale face. He nodded slightly in acknowledgement of me, then went still, waiting.
I did the first thing that came to mind, I asked a question. “are you a ghost?” He smiled faintly and shook his head.
“A Spirit.” His voice surprised me, it was like a cello, deep and smooth and calm and peaceful.
“Aren’t those the same thing?” He smiled again and I had the sudden sense of being ignorant.
“No, a Spirit is the soul of something that is not human, that never was human. It can be the soul of an animal, a place, or a thing. In this case…”
“…a violin.” I finished for him, frowning in thought. He nodded. “But how is it that I can see you?”
This time he shrugged. “Who can say with magic? It is not, nor will it ever be, bound by mortal law.” I gave him a strange look as I continued to play, after all, he wasn’t mortal was he? Shouldn’t he know?
He caught the look and smiled, and I was made to wonder, not for the last time, if he could read my mind. “Make no mistake; I am just as mortal as you are. You hold my physical body in your hands.” Which was completely creepy when you actually thought about it. “As I have a physical body, so must it follow that that physical body has the ability to be destroyed.” So I basically held his life in my hands. That was a bit… disconcerting.
“That’s very strange.” I admitted, shifting to another song.
His eyes fell into a sleepy, half-lidded state as he paused for a moment to take in the new music. He shrugged again after he returned to normal. “Nothing I can do about that, but… surely it is not that strange?” There was something in his dark eyes that spoke of both fear and hopefulness.
I did not answer at first, “It is rare, for someone to see Spirits like yourself, isn’t it?” He nodded; I became silent once more, merely playing. “I haven’t introduced myself have I? I’m Henrietta. What’s your name?”
His lips quirked in a smile again, “My name is Stradivarius.”
“So… Stradivarius… suppose I didn’t find it too terribly strange… what is it to you?” I studied him carefully, watching his reaction.
“Well, if that were the case, I would offer a deal, a trade. There are few with the ability to see my kind, even fewer with the ability to communicate with us. If you were to keep my physical form and protect it from harm, I would, in exchange, become your unwavering confidant and I would happily teach you every song I know.” He looked so hopeful…
“Agree to be my friend as well and you have yourself a deal.”
He smiled brightly, an inhuman brightness that had not before shown itself. “Done.”