A Child and The Musician- Part 3
The weeks and months moved on and the crowds began to thin. The theatre began to put pressure on the musician, threatening to end his show if the audience did not increase. It was at this point that he accepted that his art was simply an industry.
The next week, he left the theatre. He walked slowly, pensively along the city streets. It was a sad image, his shadowed figure. He was a ghost, wandering without animation, seeking some thing that he could not quite remember.
He haunted the city until nightfall, when at last he sank, a forgotten man, into the forgotten corner of a forgotten tavern and washed away the last of his fading memories.
The music no longer came from the theatre. The boy continued to listen for the music each night, but it never came. After fourteen nights, he opened the book that the musician had given to him and noticed a loose envelope pressed between the leather cover and the first page. He opened it and read the musician’s words.
“I used to write so that I would not be lonely. The crowds would come to hear me, but among all the people, I was still alone. Now that we have become friends, my need has left me. I no longer must play my songs. I have left you my music and my guitars. –The Musician”
It was strange that moment. The sensation began deep inside the child, swelling up until it dripped slowly from his eyes. Perhaps he would miss the Musician, but he would certainly miss his music. He folded the envelope and replaced the book in its corner of his cave.
As he slept that night, the boy dreamed of the cliffs and the crashing ocean. It was a loud dream.
It had only just begun to be light as the boy headed down the hill to the theatre. He came into his secret entrance and looked around. It was still; it was empty.
It didn’t take him long to get what he was after. Although the theatre staff had moved the missing musician’s belongings to a locked room, the boy quickly found them and freed them from their confinement. He took great care with his work as he carried each item up to his cave: two guitars, a small bag with strings and miscellaneous pieces, three stands and a box of books. After his last trip, he carefully sealed his secret entrance and cried.
Time passed and the instruments gathered dust in the corner of a forgotten cave. The boy would spend his days about the town, looking for some sign of his departed friend. In the evening he would return to his cave and fall asleep staring at those foreign strings.
One day, after searching through nearly all of the town’s residences and shoppes and institutions, the boy came upon a forgotten tavern just beyond the limits of the town. He stood outside for several minutes- a pale, thin, shadowy figure conquered and surrendered to this final hope.
Inside the tavern he spotted the forgotten corner where the ghost of a friend had sat long ago. He himself sank into that corner and, now confident that all was in vain, he abandoned, was ready to determine his end.
“I’ve got a letter for you.” A man nearly as thin as the boy set an envelope on the table in front of the child. “He’d said that I’d be able to identify you by your sadness. Of course it helps that I don’t often have guests; not much to look for.”
The child took the paper in his dirty hands and read again from that familiar pen.
“Like my friend left me those years past, I now leave you. I cannot write when I am with you because it is loneliness that I write to appease. You too, must now use your lack as a motivation to play. To be lonely is to be incomplete. The music will complete you and when you are complete, you are loved. –A Musician”
The boy began to run. The man at the tavern had said that the musician was leaving. He would depart that very morning on the ship Raul.
The boy ran faster. The theatre had discovered that the instruments had been taken. He could not remain near the city.
Two weeks earlier, a boy stole a guitar.
He breathed heavily, clumsily as he ran. The large white sails were in sight. Eight Forty-Three; He ran past the old statue of Raul. Eight Forty-Five; He took the narrow steps three at a time. Eight Fifty-Seven; He Jumped.
The statue remained still as always. The portrait of Raul hung in the large hallway just beyond the stairs. It watched as he sprinted by, and it followed his course to the balcony. It saw him jump.
The ship named Raul rocked easily as he came falling from the balcony. He hit the water, but the ship did not even notice.
Two weeks earlier, a boy stole a guitar.
Raul looked out from the deck of his ship as it pulled away. He contemplated the cliffs as they faded into the morning fog. So many days spent with the child on those cliffs looking out across the sea. So many days spent with his son, the son that he never called son, the son that never knew him as a father, but only as a musician.
He couldn’t stay with the boy now; the child had much to learn before he would see him again.
“Your highness, we shall be arriving in two days. I recommend that you rest now, while the waters are still.”
And so Raul the king walked slowly to his cabin and began to dream. It was a silent dream.