The Rhythm of Her Soul - Cover

The Rhythm of Her Soul

by EzzyB

Copyright© 2012 by EzzyB

General Story: A young prodigy has lost her muse. A visit home reunites her.

Tags: Coming of Age  

Author's note: This was written as an entry into a short story contest. There was only one real rule; the work was limited to 600 words. This is a very short story indeed.


Tina was without rhythm. There was a rhythm that backed the music of her life, and her life was music. It was a strong, solid foundation to her melodies, her wild flights of fancy, and her solemn dirges. The music wasn't working, mostly.

Her boyfriend Riley provided a rhythm of his own. When he was around there were fanciful riffs played on a distorted guitar, or light hearted concertos in an unlikely pizzicato floating through her head. Riley was the music of her body, and her happiness.

She was missing the rhythm for the music of her soul. It had been there, steady as a rock, through the worst and the best, for all of her sixteen years. Now it was gone.

That the music still existed there was no doubt; the cacophony in the hallways between classes at school, the oboe droning of Mr. Roling's history lessons, even the falls and lifts of a hundred conversations in the school cafeteria.

Tina knew where it had gone, her rhythm. It was firmly in place, some one hundred and fifty miles away at the State University.

It took no flight of genius to figure out when the rhythm departed: it was a little less than a week earlier when Tony left for college. It wasn't like he'd never left home before, but this time he was gone. His bedroom cleaned out, his collection of guitars, amplifiers, and effects pedals missing. His pictures and posters removed from wall and desk; there wasn't even a dirty sock in the hamper.

There were absolutely no T-shirts to steal in the second drawer of his dresser for her to wear to bed. He was too thoughtful to take those. They had ended up neatly divided between her and her baby sister's dressers in a gesture that was so like her brother and that, of course, completely missed the point. Most of the fun was stealing them from his dresser after all. Bonus points were scored in the game if you snuck them into his wash then stole them again once cleaned.

She suspected he was secretly hoarding a new collection of them in his new place, well out of reach of silly little sisters.

There was a rhythm now, on the stairs, moving upward toward her room. Yes, she could work with that. Not quite a march, a bit more staccato. The notes flowed into her mind, first piano, and then almost immediately it changed to violin. A counterpoint on flute, but this was all an opening to something.

"OK, what are you doing up here moping?" Tony asked from her bedroom doorway.

"Tony, you're home!" she shrieked and immediately ran to embrace him. Her arms wrapped around his back as she buried her face into his chest. Heartbeat providing percussion, Tony himself entered the piece. Tony was rock 'n' roll, but still subtle. Yes, this would be the rhythm line on his twelve-string electric. Violin and flute danced around it. Involuntarily her fingers moved on his back; left hand fingering, right moving the bow of her violin.

She knew Tony instinctively understood. One didn't live long with a prodigy without experiencing one of her creative fits. In another couple of minutes they'd be in the basement in front of the piano, working together to capture the music before the moment was lost and the music had fled. For now, as always, he was content to simply be her soul's rhythm for another musical instauration.

It felt good to be home.

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