The Piano

An eerie hum of silence roamed through the dark room. Dust floated around revealing itself when hit by the light coming through the small window at the end of the large, echoey room. The piano stool squeaked as the man adjusted himself. The man cleared his throat and touched the cold, ivory keys. Thousands of memories flooded back into his brain leaving him a bit startled.

He started playing, and the memories gushed out uncontrollably.

He swayed with the music, his fingers danced on the keys. He felt a crease on the stool, but he was alone. He carried on playing, still trying to figure out what was happening. His heart raced, was he alone? Was someone watching him?

A soft, warm kiss calmed his thoughts and suddenly he knew who was there. His wife was sitting next to him. She placed her hands on the keys next to his, and before he could touch her, she was gone once again.

He floated back to reality and sighed, he then carried on playing greedily, hoping he would get back some happy memories. However, every note he played pieced back that memory. The memory he was trying to push down all this time… the loud gunshots, stampeding through the fields… the bodies strewn across the floor like scattered sand in a sandbox.

He hid behind a wall of hay, along with his best friend. He was re-loading his gun, and the small nod of his head sealed his friend’s fate. *Bang* and the lifeless body of his friend hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. His eyes rolled back, showing the red veins at the bottom of his eyes. Holding his friend’s lifeless body in his arms, he pushed back his tears as he let go. A boiling anger came upon him… as he was ready to fight.

The old man didn’t seem so old in the memory, he was in his youth. On the floor next to him was a box wrapped in a baby blue wrapping paper with a silk ribbon. The bow was so nicely wrapped that it didn’t even look like a ribbon. It looked like it was moulded from clay. He heard a sweet bubbly voice call his name, “Will, honey, I have a surprise for you!”

The young boy ran down the stairs and slung the door open. A smile spread across his face like black ink on parchment as he pulled the ribbon. He closed his eyes and lifted the lid. With his eyes still closed, he touched its contents and ran his fingers over the wood-like texture. It was a wooden horse nestled on a satin cloth! He grabbed it and skipped along, thanking his parents over and over.

The same smile and joy was on his face as he touched the keys again. He closed his eyes and drifted into another memory. This time he was flooded by pride about his grandson. He felt happy and light, his body felt afloat, as his grandson whooped and cheered as he hopped up and down along with this little soul. He opened his eyes, and his grandson sat down on his lap as they played the last line together.


Shriya Datta

Shriya is a nine-year-old Year 5 student studying in Hong Kong. She is a violinist, a ballet dancer and is fond of dramatics. She has acted in a Bollywood film and loves cooking, reading, writing and telling stories. Her dream is to be a vet, and take care of animals, travel and live in the forests in Africa and India where she can do what she loves doing the most.