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“Now Playing”

A Short Story


She wanted to tell someone the secret that she’d kept to herself for the last 5 years.

There wasn’t anyone left to tell.

She looked outside her 3rd floor apartment – not a soul to be seen.

It wasn’t late…maybe around 8 at night, she thought.  She took a glance at the clock on the kitchen wall.  8:01.

An evening mist enshrouded the streets below. She turned on the television, something she rarely did, just to see if there was anyone there.

The TV sparked on…nothing there but a blank screen.  She went from one channel to the next with the same result.

She went back to the window. Still not a soul. But all the apartments she could see still had electricity.

She didn’t own a smart phone, opting for the dumb flip phone models.  This was done on the advice of her Dad, who passed away 2 years ago – his last request was that she get rid of her phone for her health.

She flipped open the phone – no signal.

She thought surely the radio would provide the sound of another human voice.  She turned it on, hearing a favorite Beethoven piece of hers, but with the faintest of voices whispering, “Amanda, you will be cared for”.

There was no panic to participate in here.  No sense of dread.  No foreboding spirit. It was as if the mist had descended to provide a blanket of quiet being.

Her thoughts were of her mom and sisters. She looked at the ring her mother gave her, a jade stone that she wore on her left thumb, as that was the only finger it fit properly. She somehow knew they were well…if not in this life, then in the next.

The Beethoven piece was then followed by a Mozart piece, another of her favorites. She waited for a message, like that which was included in the Beethoven piece before.  No whispering words.  Just Mozart.

Preferring candle light to any type of electrical light, she had lit a jasmine-scented candle when she first came home, some 2 hours ago. Candles all about her apartment, she silently made her way from candle to candle, lighting each one.  Rosemary, evergreen, mint, vanilla – all were lit.

“You were the only one here who was true to yourself,” the voice from the radio announced. “And that is why you are still here, among the love you tried to give to others.”

She sat upon the edge of her bed, listening and waiting for more messages from the radio.

Bach this time, another of her favorites.

“All the madness is gone, Amanda, and the love of which you always craved for is here with you. The callousness of the world has been removed, along with its’ apathy and willful ignorance. Evil has been vanquished, along with those who practiced it,” the voice whispered behind the Bach.

The Bach played on as she laid down on her bed, looking at the ceiling of dark blue above her.

She wanted to tell someone of the secret she’d kept in her heart for the past 5 years.

She no longer had to give it words.

“Please come for me,” was her secret thought and longing.

Finally, they had come.


Tonight’s musical offering:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart –  Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor Nr. 20 KV 466, Romance, Friedrich Gulda, Piano, Wiener Philharmoniker –  Claudio Abbado, Conducting

Photo by Valeriy Andrushko on Unsplash


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