The woman looped the necklace around her neck, wincing as the cold pearls touched her skin. The blue sapphire pendant glowed just as coldly. It was time.
Her husband sat at the piano, dressed in his Sunday best. Next to him sat the little girl, choosing the evening’s song. She had their daughter’s sunny curls and voice like wind-chimes, but she was not their daughter.
“Let’s play Satie’s Gymnopedies today,” the little girl said.
“Perhaps, we can rest—”
“No!” Blue flames jumped into the little girl’s eyes. The sapphire on the pearl necklace burned a bright furious cobalt. The woman clawed at her neck as the pearls tightened around her throat like a noose.
“Darling, we’ll play Satie’s Gymnopedies!” Her husband cried. “Please don’t—please don’t hurt her.”
“Okay, then play.”
The sapphire cooled and the woman gasped at the sudden influx of air. The first notes of the song floated into the air as she caught her husband’s distraught gaze. They would live to play another day.
© Jade M. Wong 2017
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.
Erik Satie’s Gymnopedies are some of my favorite piano pieces. They’re hauntingly beautiful, striking that balance between melancholy and happiness, simultaneously serene and heartbreaking.
I was listening to Satie in the background as I was trying to figure out what to write for this week’s prompt when my muse decided to draw inspiration from the music.
For anyone interested, I included Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1, my favorite of his gymnopedies.