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  • Writer's pictureEmma Fung

His Last Song

Style: Fictional short story.

Statement: I wrote this fictional short story after listening to a classical music playlist while studying. I believe that music, especially from the piano, is an alluring, unbreakable treasure that tells stories without words.

He trudged through the trees, blood dripping down his tattered face and blotching his torn uniform. A single bullet hole was imprinted onto his chest, gushing red. The dewy morning grass did little to soothe the scratches on his feet as he stumbled out into the clearing.

Looking up, he was surprised to see a white piano sitting alone in the center of the forest, glinting sunlight illuminating the pristine white keys. As if in a trance, he silently advanced towards it, limping on his good leg. Settling down in front of the instrument, he raised his wounded hands and laid them to rest on the keys. He pressed down onto them, composing a few broken chords.

Suddenly struck with inspiration, he began to move his hands across the piano, playing a song he had never heard or seen before. His fingers danced intricately, as if cursed under a mystical spell. His tarnished blood was smeared all over the keys, staining the piano a dusky red. A beautiful tune rose from the keys, and he closed his eyes, letting the blissful sound bless his ears. The sunrays beaming down his exposed, slashed up back suddenly felt more pleasant and comfortable, and the swaying grass that grazed his feet suddenly felt soft instead of coarse.

Hearing such an alluring melody, he began to reminisce about many years ago, when his mother played songs for him on their grand old piano. Enveloping her warm hands over his, she would guide him to play pieces that she herself had written. It took time, but she never gave up on him, encouraging him that one day, he would be the one playing for her. For as time passed, her vision would soon fade and her arms would grow limp. As his song struck a low harmony, it reminded him of when he was sent off to battle, his mother in tears and begging him to come home safe. He remembered when the sergeant knocked on his door one night, informing him about his mother’s critical accident, one that he was told she would not survive. Those he fought, those he loved, and those he would never forget, all drifted into his mind and flitted across his memory as his song reached its finale.

A single tear dripped down his face and splattered onto his hand. His vision began to dim as he felt his breathing slowly decline. He opened his eyes, watching his fingers hover over the final note. Pressing down, he ended the song with a soft smile. He let his hands fall from the keys, the birds’ chirping in the background failing to reach his ears. Feeling tired, he laid his head to rest on the piano, his eyelids heavy and his heart giving its last thump. Hoping that one day, he would be able to show his mother his final song.



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