Saturday, January 12, 2013

Excerpt #4

All right, all right, I couldn't help myself. I'm just so darn proud of this scene! Here's another little bit from The Phantom's Phoenix, in which Erik and Vivienne have a very special lesson...


My own violin…one I could call mine and mine alone…I caressed the polished body and fingered the scrolled head. It was mine, all mine. It lay snug in the padded lining, along with a bow so new the horsehair was still lily white. "Erik, you didn't," I murmured, already in love with the beautiful little thing.
"Clearly I did, or you wouldn't be fawning over it," he replied. "Now you can't blame an instrument that doesn't know you."
I took it out of the case, feeling the wood smooth as satin beneath my hands. I turned it to admire the whole instrument and saw my face reflected in the gleaming finish. "She's wonderful."
"Of course. A creature this lovely can't possibly be an 'it' and she's too willowy to be a 'he.'"
"How odd, considering she's made of maple and ebony."
"Laugh all you like," I told him, "but she has a life of her own."
"Not yet she doesn't," he said. "She's waiting for someone to come and make her sing like a wild angel. She's still sleeping yet."
I held her out to him. "Then make her sing," I urged. "She would be more than happy to sing for you."
He shook his head. "She's yours," he told me. "She'll sing for you alone. But there's a certain trick to setting her free, you know. You have to find that one most secret part of you that wants more than anything to fly with her. Let go of everything else and hold that wish in your heart; feel it deep inside you, lose yourself within it." He looked me straight in the eye, holding my gaze without effort, both looking at me and as if he could see into my soul. He added, "And above all, you can't be afraid. You can't touch the sky if you're worried about what might happen when your feet leave the ground. You have to just leap and trust that you'll find your wings."
He spoke in hushed and reverent tones, filling me with a sense of awe and divinity, and I longed to know what he meant. "Show me," I said.
He motioned for me to stand and took the violin, setting her down on the sofa. "Close your eyes," he whispered.
My eyes flickered shut and I could sense him all around me, circling me slowly. "It all starts in your blood," he said quietly, stopping so he stood in front of me. "Feel it rushing through you, that current that holds life in its waters. It flows faster and faster…" I felt his hand encircle my wrist and raise it up. "Your pulse quickens…" The touch of his lips against my skin was enough to erase the scar that marked it; I felt the slightest, sweetest tremor down my spine.
"It's in your heart now," he continued, and as he put his hand over it I could feel it pounding desperately. "It echoes in your ears, calling down to your soul and summoning you on to Heaven." He put his other hand on my waist, stroking my side, and I nearly melted into him. "Can you feel it?" he whispered into my ear.
I nodded silently, too entranced to speak. My body wouldn't obey me, heeding instead his every tender word and following where he beckoned me. I fought down another shiver and he said, "Don't resist, Vivienne, or you'll never know how it feels to fly." He now ran his hand along my back, his fingers brushing against the nape of my neck before coming to cradle my head. "It's much more than carnal longing…so much more. It's all that makes you who you are reaching out to become one with something you can't survive without. It's a yearning so profound it seems you just can't contain it a moment longer. It's greater than innocence, more subtle than hope, and more real than lust."
A tear made its way from behind my closed eyes and spilled onto my cheek. I felt lighter than air but chained to the earth, and I wanted to be free so badly that no price was too high. The thirst I felt in my spirit was at once more sustaining and more taxing than anything on earth. It filled me completely, making me tremble and tingle until I thought I might fall apart into nothing. "Erik," I breathed.
He held me to him and rocked me gently. "You really do feel it, don't you?" he asked.
"Yes," I replied. "What do I do with it?"
We stood there for a few more minutes, then he released me. I opened my eyes as he handed me my violin. "You follow it," he told me, "wherever it takes you. Just forget about everything else you know and believe to be true, for in that moment that feeling is truth itself."


The trick was to keep the language as literary and poetic as possible, yet try to make something tangible out of something abstract. What do you think?

Your pal,


  1. Angels, you accomplished your goal! I loved your poetic flow for a budding relationship with a musical instrument. They all have their own personality once we allow them to come alive and take us flying! I always love the interlacing of Erik, music and in your story, Vivienne. I'd really like to see this scene in a musical! Di

    1. Ooh, you mention a musical and I start daydreaming! If only! Thanks for the compliment! :)


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