Friday Fictioneers : A sweet, melancholy voice

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudeberg

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg


‘It’s a lovely instrument.’ The young man handled the cello with practiced ease, running fingers down the neck and shoulder, making the wood vibrate under his touch. ‘Are you sure you want to sell?’

Den sucked on his cigarette, smoke curling from his nostrils. ‘It’s not mine. I don’t play.’

She had made it beautiful, freed its sweet, melancholy voice. Made it sing.

The young man gave him the cash, then slipped away onto the street, absorbed by the city’s hum.

The boy didn’t understand – without her, the thing was just dead wood.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the photo and write a story inspired by it in 100 words or fewer. See here to to join in and read the other stories.

62 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers : A sweet, melancholy voice

  1. I was going to say the same thing as Neil — what a sweet, melancholy story. Although I can imagine a lot of people holding onto the cello for the sake of memory, Den doesn’t strike me as the sentimental type; he understands that a thing is just a thing without the person who made it meaningful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The young man handled the cello with practiced ease, running fingers down the neck and shoulder – To me, this was as if the young man was caressing the original owner – in a good way. Love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting story and comments, looking at the relationship between the instrument and the player. As a violinist myself (not a great one though), you develop a relationship with your instrument and if you go back to the post written from the perspective of the cello, I could feel a strong loneliness and grief after the player dies or goes away. Moving on and gaining a new owner only seems right.
    My take overlaps a little with yours and has an interesting take on what to do with the instrument after someone has passed away.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think for my character, the cello was part of her and now she’s gone, it’s too painful for him to have it around. You’re right about your story – some parallels between us, aren’t there, the sense of loss and hurt and grief.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My Mum’s in hospital this week with acute back pain and so it’s been a very intense time and perhaps that’s been channelled into my writing. I’ve also been taking a modern dance class and our teacher really takes us through the emotional depths and out again and I’m finding myself connecting so much better with my emotions now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Real life so often flows into writing, doesn’t it? Even if indirectly through tone or theme. Hope your Mum’s well soon – love the sound of those dance classes!


  4. The boy will bring the dead wood back to a new life. Keeping it to gather dust is not a good thing. Very atmospheric and beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was great! Anything that smacks of serious music, I’m all in it. I wanted to play the guitar and I did. Then, French Horn. Unfortunately, I haven’t picked up any instruments of late. 😦 Lazy, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A bitter sweet story. The line “making the wood vibrate under his touch” tells me the young man will be able to make the cello sing again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emotional and sad piece. It sounds like the only value to man who sold the instrument, was the value found in the woman who played it. I think he loved her a lot. And without her to play it, to him its dead wood. But perhaps they boy can make it sing or find someone who will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right – longing and pain galore with us both. Sadness and loss are important parts of being alive – let’s hope our characters can get past them though


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.