Flash Fiction, 298 words. Some entertain to live, meanwhile, Frank lives to entertain.
|Fingers softly gliding across ivory keys, dancing in rhythmic harmony. Frank had played the grand piano at the same club for over forty years. People traveled near and far to witness this local legend bring a composition to life. Although each piece was different, they always filled the listener with a flurry of emotions.
The melody could be so soul-soothing, that it uncoiled any fiber of negativity around your heart and allow new life to be breathed in. On the other hand, the listeners also found themselves plunged into melancholic darkness, that would shine barely a glimmer of light to see them through it.
A glass of water on a side table always greeted him, tepid, exactly the way he liked it. Before starting, he glanced around the room to see the audience and close both eyes for a moment to absorb and appreciate the scents in the air. The smell of lady's perfume, cigar smoke, and spirits he found intoxicating. He’d also analyze people's expressions, body language and get the gist of the overall atmosphere that lingered across the room.
As a gift to young lovers in the crowd, he’d play a fiery, tantalizing number at an escalating pace. Passion at progressive speed, culminating at a climax. To those who sat with misery painted over their faces; the tones were softer, slower, respectful, and ended with a fading conclusion. Allowing anyone desperately clinging to those piano strings enough time to adjust to the finish.
The truth was that Frank had felt all these feelings. A gift that leads to a lonely existence, trapped in a pattern of attending each and every night. No wife, no kids, no place to call home. To Frank, in the music sheet of life, helping others was the only song worth playing.