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The Silent Note #01 - Prelude

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Tobias Vaulten carries the weight of his father's financial empire on his shoulders from birth. His rigorous tutelage seems never-ending and his future looks bleak. That is, until music captivates his heart and soul.

One fateful evening, Tobais meets Ara—a silent young woman who expresses herself through her melodies. The decisions they must face together will change their lives.

~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~

      Music is more than just sound, a compilation of notes, a score on a page. Music is an emotion, a latent fluidity that exists within some, patiently waiting to be released into the blood, into the mind. Its haunting melodies and entrancing verses capture the heart and hold it hostage, threatening to dwell and agitate until heard once more. Music, once awakened in the soul, becomes a necessity.
      I was merely seven years old when I found myself imprisoned within the confines of a melody. Orlando, my caretaker, was trying to find something new and amusing to tempt me with as the usual attentions of a young boy had been exhausted and found wanting. So instead of the usual childish entertainments, he picked up his lute and strummed an easy melody- something happy and carefree. The words he sang could have been anything, but their harmony to the song his fingers created was enchanting. I perched in front of him and listened intently, goosebumps rising to my skin. I concentrated on how his hands moved on the strings, both above the opening in the instrument and across the neck. Despite my perpetual search for new amusements, Orlando had enraptured me within a few notes. It was only when he’d suddenly stopped playing that I realized my breathing was in time with his rhythm.
      “Tobias, you couldn’t possibly be interested in a little tune like this one, could you?” The smile that played at the corners of his lips said he knew exactly what he’d done.
      “Why did you stop?” I demanded, unaccustomed to such mockery. “Orlando, how does the rest of it go?”
      “I don’t know, little one. Perhaps you could tell me?”
      As he played, I created lyrics. The mind of a child knows no limits, and I sang whatever words that appeared on my lips. Nonsensical, fantastic, and free. But I held the same harmony that Orlando had and it matched his playing well, regardless of never having a day of music training in my life.
      “You have quite the knack for this, Tobias,” Orlando mused. “Would you like to learn?”
      “Yes!”
      The very next day, he had a new lute in my hands and taught me my first chords. My fingers were small and unpracticed, clumsy and confused. But I learned at a steady pace and Orlando taught with the patience of an instructor who taught many before me. By day five, my fingers were tender and sore; plucking the strings so often had reddened and bruised them.
      “Orlando, sir, my fingers hurt…” I sucked on one gently.
      “You must build callouses on your fingertips to play as often as you’d like,” he replied, showing me his hands.
      “What are callouses?”
      “Imagine tiny pebbles beneath the skin of your fingers. They’re very hard, but useful in playing any instrument.”
      “I don’t want rocks underneath my skin!”
      “No, little one, not like that,” he laughed. “They’re not actually pebbles, they just feel like that, see?” Orlando guided my hand to his fingertips and I could feel what he meant- tiny, hard bumps beneath the pads. “It doesn’t hurt when I play for an extended period of time.”
      “How…how do I get those?”
      “Well, you must keep playing.”


Word Count: 6,200

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