The Violin


My second class for the writing course is tonight and I’m starting to get a little nervous.

We were assigned homework which we were supposed to turn into the instructor by Tuesday, so she could critique it and return it to us before we have to read it aloud in class tonight.

I e-mailed mine in on Tuesday and have yet to hear anything back. Either she read mine and became violently ill after reading it (as in, it was bad) or I sent it to the wrong email address.

While I’m pretty sure it was just the wrong email account, wouldn’t it be kind of funny if it really were that bad; that she swore off teaching forever! I wonder if that has ever happened?

Anyways, I’ve been debating whether to share it on the blog or not and I feel like now I should, if even just to send it out into the void to get my mind off of it.

The assignment was 300 words on “the violin.” I guess you could interpret that however you want. I couldn’t believe how short 300 words is; barely even one whole page!

So here it is, for better or for worse, my 300 words on “the violin.”




“The Violin”

Relegated to a corner, easily overlooked amid the volumes of leather bound books, it had sat, untouched for years, gathering dust upon a shelf in his library. This exile made it easier to forget the happy days once associated with the violin. Yet, despite its silence, the mere presence of the violin, albeit in the shadows, was painful for him. Still, Martin couldn’t bear to rid himself completely of it.

It had been during the summer of 1978 when, as a child, his Grandfather had marched him down the weathered streets of Heidelberg and straight into Fandrich & Sons instrument shop. His Grandfather, an accomplished pianist, prided himself on the musical talents of his family, and he had decided his Grandson would be no different.

Martin had resisted at the time, his mind filled with daydreams of fighting pirates and slaying dragons. Yet, as he stood amid all the shimmering instruments lining the walls, he inexplicably found himself drawn to a small, dark violin, hidden behind a more commanding bassoon. This delicate violin, appearing almost fluid in its grace, held him in its trance.

A faint smile crossed his Grandfather’s lips as he watched his Grandson gravitate towards the violin. He recognized the stillness that seemed to envelope Martin as he drew ever closer, his anxious fingers stretching out to stroke the violin’s darkly varnished body. He had once felt that same lust, when he, as a young boy, ran his eyes over the cold ivory keys of a Steinway piano.

“This one,” whispered Martin, his head never turning from the violin. “I want to play this one.”

As they walked back up the darkening streets, Martin felt the weight of the violin, secured within its leather case, pulsing with expectation.

7 responses to “The Violin

  1. Ooooh, I love it! Not sure if you were looking for critiques but this makes me want to know why he stopped playing it. And the violin is a character in the story too, just as much as the grandpa and Martin. Everything really flows; the only thing I would do if I were your teacher was to try and remove the last sentence in the first paragraph? “Still Martin couldn’t bear…” I was reading it and the “Yet” in the previous sentence sort of conflicts with the “Still” of the next sentence. Also I think you get that the violin was sitting in the dust so I assume he couldn’t get rid of it. But seriously hun, this is great, and I admire anyone who can write fiction because it just boggles me how you guys come up with stories out of nothing!! Well done!

    • Thank you SO much for your critique! I honestly wish I had seen it sooner before I went to class tonight because you are so right about changing that first paragraph! You might just have inspired me to go back and work some more on it! And what do you mean you couldn’t write fiction?! You are obviously so talented with your amazing blog, I’m sure it would just come naturally! And if you get stuck you could just ask that adorable son of yours to help! I don’t think I’ll ever forget “the dripping water has ripples!” Lovely!

  2. Hey, Kerry! Just getting to this after an exhausting day, and it was such a pleasant read. I think you did a wonderful job creating a living, breathing, layered story from the mere topic, “violin”! In my humble opinion, it shows that you have imagination and that a creative writing class is the ideal outlet for you. I’d love to hear what your teacher said, if you’re inclined to share that with us (because I’m sure she hasn’t quit her job over this 🙂 ). In any case, Good For You!

    • Robin you are always so positive and complimentary, I can’t thank you enough! I think she thought it was good (Brits never “gush” like us Americans!); she said I used good specifics but she didn’t like how I switched between narrators (the grandfather and grandson). She said in something so short, we (the reader) want to stay with one character. She did ask if I was going to continue with it, which now I may have to do so I can switch narrators! Hope your day today isn’t as exhausting and that you have a wonderful (and relaxing!) weekend. 🙂

  3. Oh, you’re so kind–thank you! As for the writing, I do think you’re off to a grand start, and it might be fun for you to continue working with that particular piece. To paraphrase a little gem that the speaker at MY last writer’s workshop said: writing, like kindness, is never wasted. So, if you need some justification, there you have it! (and yes, in fact, I’m off to a nice relaxing weekend, thank you! 😉

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