Saturday, January 17, 2009

Story Saturday

The lone timpani sat, alone, in the corner of the pawn shop, neglected. If it had feelings, it would care, but since it was an inanimate object it sat in the corner, indifferent to it's surroundings, the musty smell, the desperate eyed men and women who came in the door, jingling the bell. Never to actually buy anything, but to sell.
Their needs varied. The shifty eyes ones were usually pawning stolen goods, mainly small pieces of jewelry they'd stolen, and hadn't given to their girlfriends. The jittery ones were selling anything they could get their hands on, to get their next fix. The hollow eyed ones were usually pawning something very important. A wedding ring, Grandpa's watch, or, the locket their mother had given them. They were the ones who needed to put food on the table. Usually for their children.
The ones who pawned musical instruments, however, they were a different breed all together. Once bright eyed dreamers, they took care of their instruments, just knowing that soon, any moment, their big break was going to come, and they would make it in the music world of their chosen genre. They pawned, and redeemed their instruments time and time again, until, it was finally one time too many, their dream shattered, and they never came back to the pawn shop for the lost part of themselves. They took a job, selling shoes, working in their father in laws advertising firm, or, stayed home, mired in the bottle, unable to forget the dream they never realized.
The timpani, though, scratched and dented, was different. It had once graced the halls of a symphony, played with exuberance and tenacity by a young man named Miguel.
Miguel lived for his timpani. He was a gypsy percussionist, traveling over miles and miles of land and sea, with his timpani. It was the only instrument he would consent to play. No other timpani was HIS timpani. This he knew, in his heart. If he even attempted to play the joyous music on another drum, the sound came out muffled and forlorn. For Miguel, and his timpani were one.
Before long, Miguel and his timpani were in high demand. He began to travel first class, always ensuring that his timpani was well cared for. He knew, that if he abused the relationship, the joy of the music would leave the timpani, and he would be forever without what he loved the best. With each beat of the timpani, his heart beat joyfully in return.
Fate had more in store for Miguel, and his timpani. And we all know that fate can be one cruel bitch. And so was Esmerelda. She came into Miguel's life one evening after he had performed in Madrid. Dripping with diamonds, smelling of lilacs, with long, black hair that curled into long ropes that swung freely down her back, entwined with strands of pearls. For the first time, ever, Miguel was distracted away from his drum. Seductively, Esmerelda worked her magic on Miguel. The timpani began to look unkempt. Scratches began to appear, and once, in the heat of passion, Esmerelda threw a stiletto at it, denting it. Miguel failed to notice. So entranced by the witch, Esmerelda, Miguel failed to notice that no one wanted him and his timpani anymore. Until Esmerelda didn't want him, or his timpani, anymore. But by then, it was too late. The music had left him. His timpani would play no more. Dejected, Miguel scraped together enough money to go to a place where he hoped he could get a new start. He went to the United States. He could only afford to go as far as Portland, Oregon, but he liked the sound of the name. Oregon. It sounded like hope.
Miguel forgot one thing, though. His heart answered the beat of the timpani. He and the timpani were one. Now that the music was gone, his heart had nothing to answer.
They found Miguel, slumped over his drum, outside of the train station. No one came to claim either Miguel, or his timpani. Miguel was taken, buried in an unmarked, poor mans grave. A grave no one can find. The timpani was picked up by a homeless woman looking for her next meal. The pawn shop owner didn't give her much, enough for a burrito supreme and a bottle of mad dog 20-20. She was satisfied.
Esmerelda met her end, fate being a bigger bitch than she. She was in Vienna, draining the life out of a concert pianist, when she was run over by a drunken drummer who had hijacked one of the cities ancient horse drawn carriages. No one missed her, and the pianist managed to recover from her insidious poison.
And the timpani?
No one knows for sure. But if you were to ask Cami, she might be able to tell you....


Mary said...

I love the history that you've given the drum. Well done!

sybil law said...

I thought Esmerelda would be a cruel bitch.

Daryl said...

Another really involving story ..

holly said...

i always wondered what that timpani did before getting to cami's house!

holly said...

actually, by *always* i of course mean *for about a week*