Liatov, the great violinist, ran into an old friend one day in early spring.

“Feodore!” The two men greeted each other warmly.

“Wonderful news! I am to be wed, thanks to you!”

“Me? But how?”

“I could not forget the encore of your last concert.” He demonstrated by singing a few bars. “Anna heard me singing and started a conversation. One thing led to another, and now we are engaged.” Tears of happiness filled Feodore’s eyes.

Liatov didn’t have the heart to tell him the tune was unfamiliar. Furthermore, the sound of it was an affront to his musician’s ears. But men in the throes of love are prone to all sorts of madness, so Liatov simply smiled and gave his friend a huge bear hug.

Months later, Liatov entered the church and was led to the groom’s side. Everyone he knew was here. Surely this was the wedding of the season! Many minutes passed. Men peered at their pocket watches, the organist began improvising. The priest paced the floor.

Suddenly the door flew open and a disheveled Feodore ran to the altar, crying, “She’s jilted me!” He saw Liatov and lunged at him. “All because of your wretched music. She said that song was driving her mad!” It took three strong men to sedate him and pack him off to a nursing home for some rest and recovery.

By autumn, the scandal of the June wedding had almost died down. Liatov received no news of his friend. Then one afternoon, as he was traveling through the burnt-gold and crimson countryside, he saw an old man staggering by the side of the road. The ragged beggar turned his head and Liatov gasped.

“Is it really you?” With great care and gentle persuasion, he convinced Feodore to join him in the carriage.

The wild-eyed man began singing the hideous melody, like one obsessed. The sound spooked the horses who broke into a frenzied gallop. The poor driver was thrown from the box, but lived to tell the tale. The others – Liatov, Feodore and four magnificent, perfectly-matched bays – were never seen again.

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
4 months ago

A haunting story of good news that goes sour. The folk-tale tone here is skillfully wrought, so it seems traditional. A unique take on the prompt! 

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
5 months ago

Julie, this was a very captivating story. Trauma can certainly make a person withdraw from society and you portrayed that well in your story. I enjoyed reading this.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

I absolutely love this, Julie. How one hideous piece of music can have such devastating consequences really intrigued me. Was the music itself possessed? If only Liatov hadn’t been so kind and had made Feodore aware the music was unfamiliar, how different the outcome might have been. A brilliant read, one that leaves me wondering and one I will remember.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
5 months ago

Hello, Julie. I love it. The hideous melody in your story is intriguing. You end it with a great note that lasts and stays in the mind of the reader. Well done, Julie.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Julie Harris
5 months ago

You’re welcome.  ???? 

Kayja Daniels
Kayja Daniels(@kayja-daniels)
5 months ago

This is highly entertaining and very well written.

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

Julie, I love the turns, twists and enigma in your story. Well done! I would really enjoy hearing what happened next. It would be brilliant if Voice.Club provided us the opportunity of writing a Part II.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
5 months ago

Oh dear, not such good news after all! Your story got quite dark by the end. I’d love to know what happened to your protagonists!

Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
5 months ago

An excellent portrayal of an obsession. I’m now going to be obsessed by your phrase ‘Burnt-gold and crimson countryside.’ Autumn encapsulated in 5 well-chosen words.

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
5 months ago

Great story, Julie! It reminded me of ‘The Music of Eric Zahn’ by H P Lovecraft… Who knows who put that accursed music into poor Feodore’s ears. I’d really love to know!

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
5 months ago

Eerie and memorable. I’m glad you didn’t put a link to the music, like you often do. We’d all be obsessed!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
4 months ago

Congratulations, Julie. This story was a favourite of mine.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
4 months ago

Congratulations, Julie! Really well deserved!

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
4 months ago

Congratulations, Julie, well done 🙂

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

Congratulations, Julie. Well done.

Juma
Juma(@juma)
4 months ago

Congratulations, Julie, on a very well-written story.

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
4 months ago

Congratulations, Julie!

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