The sound of the rain beating against the wooden planks of the pier made hearing the music almost impossible. Daniel limped closer to the couple, the male figure holding the umbrella over himself and the woman playing the violin.
What was that melody? It sounded so familiar and yet it seemed incomprehensible. The ten year old’s ears were ringing. They had been since he woke up after the attack, but he only realized it just now.
The Queen’s voice echoed in his head:
“The answer is within you. Just listen to the…”
“Listen to the what? The music?”
It was an astonishing leap and he could be dead wrong, but in this world few if any events occurred at random. If he was here, listening to her play, then it had to mean something. But what?
“Who are you?”
The figures were just shadows. The boy couldn’t tell if they were human or just superficially human-shaped. They ignored him. The male figure was motionless, holding the umbrella over himself and the female. She continued to play as if the child, the rain, and everything else except the male and the umbrella didn’t exist.
The music was haunting. If only his brain could process it.
“Look. I need help. I can hardly stand. Please.”
They continued to act as if he weren’t there. Maybe from their point of view, he wasn’t. There was one way to find out.
Daniel walked toward them. If he could get under the umbrella…if he could touch them. Maybe this could all end. He felt light headed.
The boy reached out. His hand passed under the umbrella. He could hear the music more clearly now, but it was still as if it were distorted, as if it were deliberately being hidden from him. Daniel got the feeling that if he could hear her playing clearly, it would all be so simple.
A loud thunderclap shook the pier. For the first time, the umbrella holder and violin player reacted. Then all at once the pier violently trembled and then collapsed, and Daniel was in the water. He couldn’t tell which way he should swim to reach the surface. His lungs ached for air and his head was spinning. If he passed out now, he’d drown. He could still hear the woman playing as he blacked out.
This concept is loosely based on Iain Kelly’s recent A to Z Challenge 2017 story series. Every day, Iain crafted another puzzle piece to his murder mystery that had me and his other readers spellbound. I doubt I can create the suspense he conjured up, but when my wife got a giant A to Z jigsaw puzzle for our two-year-old granddaughter, I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I don’t have a lot of time, so I think each “letter” will be shorter and I’m not sure I can write one every day, but I’ll do my best. This one was particularly short because in a few seconds, from Daniel’s point of view, he’s about to find out what “W” stands for.
The previous story is U is for Umbrella.
The next story is W is for Whale.
I’m back home now, and I have a little more time to write. I took photos of each of the remaining puzzle pieces, so I should be able to continue writing regularly. My schedule will be interrupted again next Thursday, but hopefully, I’ll have several other chapters published by then. Enjoy.