Micro Fiction: Vol. 1 June 2009 Entry #4

Two randomly generated terms: Dissonance/Redivivus

Frederic Chopin's etudes always were a mystery to young Marcus Cox.

For decades he'd slaved to master the works of the deceased virtuoso, but their soul, their depth, their emotion -- somehow Marcus couldn't still comprehend them.

There were times when he'd come close, perfectly nailing a flurried
crescendo of dissonant tritones or dancing over a pizzicato arpeggio as his fingers worked their way up the octaves. These were the moments Marcus lived for, but they were few. Certainly fewer than he would have liked.

But the critics never saw it that way. Since debuting at age 16 he'd been hailed as his homeland's next musical genius.

"He's Brahms redivivus," a critic wrote.

"His masterful take on Chopin's 'Tristesse' will leave you breathless," wrote another. "It's as if Chopin himself channels through the mind and heart of this young talent."

But Marcus didn't listen to the critics. He knew he wasn't a genius. Sure, he could play Chopin, but he couldn't understand it. And that was all the difference. Comparing him to the prodigal master? Ridiculous.

It was a dark night and Marcus sat alone in front of his piano. As the rain poured down outside his window he flew into a stirring rendition of "Tristesse." His favorite. A wind zipped through the curtains and Marcus's fingers slowly began to traverse the scales of the yearning opening melody. His slow progression then gave way to a terrifying tritone crescendo, before concluding, as always, on the wistful opening coda.

One phrase expressing a world of emotion. A world of magic. A world of beauty.

It was something Marcus would never understand.

The rain outside continued. Marcus just kept practicing.

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