The Cellist stopped midway through pulling on her coat. Her keys were in her hand. She was at the door, but she shrugged out of the coat with a sigh.
A small whine escaped her mouth. Not now. Not today. She had places to be.
"Okay, fine," she said to the empty house, "But I have to make a couple phone calls." At least two calls. She didn't know how long this would take. Time evaporated when the voices took over in the Cellist's head.
"Stop!" she insisted as she called up the first contact on her cell. Her sister would have to eat breakfast without her today. A text. She should text instead of call. Her nosy sister would want to ask a bunch of awkward questions.
The text was sent before the Cellist reached the second floor of her spacious house. She was already dialing her accompanist. Not sure how long the voices would keep her today, he deserved a heads up that she might be late. "Shut up! I'm getting there!" she exclaimed as she waited for him to pick up.
Pacing down the hall to her studio, the Cellist left a voicemail - thank God he didn't pick up. She'd call when all was finished, whatever time that ended up being.
A tiny groan of annoyance escaped the Cellist's throat as she turned off her phone, ignoring the vibrating that was probably a complaint about being ditched for breakfast. She'd read her sister's guilt-message later. Meanwhile, her phone could rest silently on the table in the hall while the Cellist gave voice to the voices.
She opened the studio door and locked it behind her. The cacophony in her head crescendoed in chaos as she turned on the video camera, picked up her cello and took her seat.
Sometimes the voices gave her gold, so she always recorded these sessions. Just her and her instrument. No music, no music stand blocking the camera from the Cellist. The Cellist alone, face to camera, embracing the musical love of her life between her arms and legs.
The Cellist closed her eyes and went into her mind, picking out each discrete voice for the strongest start.
Not opening her eyes, the Cellist clearly heard the voice she'd chosen. Just one voice now. She played what she heard until the voice went silent.
Selecting another voice, she repeated the process. Again and again. Eight times through until the clamor of voices lay dormant within.
Inside every successful artist is an element of insanity. She'd read that somewhere. Or was it one of the voices that said it?
Spent, the Cellist went to the mini-fridge in the corner and took out a bottle of water. She drained it smiling at the blissful silence, turned off the camera, and unlocked the door. Later tonight she'd watch the tape and see if it came together into anything decent. For now, she had a rehearsal to go to.
Thanks for visiting my #AtoZChallenge! All month I'll be writing flash fiction, with the theme "Audience Participation".
My "The Cellist" story came from a video prompt provided by Liz A. of Laws of Gravity, in a comment left on one of my A-to-Z Prep posts, here.
The video prompt, which led me down a fun little musical rabbit hole, is here:
My tale is fiction, and is in no way intended to imply that the cellist in the YouTube video hears voices! Rather, I marvel at the kind of gifted musician who can create these recordings.
it's your turn, lovely reader. Do you have a writing prompt to
suggest? Don't worry about choosing a letter of the alphabet: just
leave me a word, a thought, a place, a concept... anything! and I'll add
it to the list.