Can’t you hear them?
She said it desperately, she muttered it furiously. But no sound was uttered from her mouth.
The darkness spread outwards, so complete, so empty. Except for a wall.
A solid red brick wall.
She ran, her bare feet making no sound, hair flowing freely behind her – a temporary trail. The darkness swallowed everything.
Her silent steps came to an end when she reached the wall.
Can’t you hear the violins?
Ethereal and echoing, the stringed instruments called out and answered each other. Yet they weren’t anywhere.
She started punching the wall. The only feature of an otherwise featureless place, somehow visible without light. Her fists made impact but there was no noise. Only a sense that there should be a soft thud.
Skin tore and blood began to pour as she continued her assault.
It spattered the wall.
It spattered her clothes.
Her mouth was open and she was screaming. Anger, frustration, sadness, desperation. It was all there but was not heard. The violins ever present, always singing.
Someone else popped up.
The woman in miniature.
She ran towards herself, still yelling, her own hands red raw but no hint of blood. She went straight through the self at the wall and started fighting.
She was all alone now. The wall safe for a moment.
She kicked and punched and scratched and bit as if fending off an invisible foe.
Then, miraculously, something kicked and punched back, she jerked as if struck.
Can’t you hear the violins?
They were beautiful. Effortless. Momentous. The music rose and fell in sweeping loops. Calling out and fluttering by. It was fleeting but somehow eternal.
The girl, young as she was, rose again – just as the music did – and she refused to give up. Her invisible attacker struck once more and she stumbled backwards and disappeared into nothingness.
Soft, wet sounding thuds added an undercurrent to the violins and their wistful, melancholy, hopeful melody.
Her older self was back, as if she’d never gone. Still hitting the wall, never reacting to the pain.
The rhythm stopped as she paused. Blood dripped from her mutilated hands, pooling at her feet as she gathered her thoughts.
Bringing her right arm back she swung and it was in slow motion. She aimed for a single spot. Focused.
Her fist made impact.
The solid red brick wall shattered like a mirror, glass tinkling as it fell gracefully to the dark ground.
As soon as the wall cracked there was a light, illuminating the darkness. It was so bright that it was a world of black and white – a contrast.
The music was louder.
Can you hear them now?
Perched on four separate pedestals, moving slowly and elegantly up and down, were four women. Their sillouhettes outlined by the white lights. Simple white gowns glistening and a hint of red hair flowing freely.
They moved mesmerisingly as they played, acknowledging one another in their mannerisms.
The violins still called out even though she was there.
Faces were hidden, the darkness too strong, the light keeping them nothing but shadow.
The pedestals were now in sync.
Together they rose up once more, the violins hitting a crescendo.
Can you hear them?
One agonisingly final note sounded out.
The song faded.
The music gone.
The silence rang out. So loud. So defeaning.
A memory unreachable.