The Scrying Game

Possible harmonic combinations competed in the composer’s mind, his fingers roaming yellowing piano keys. Extracting a pen from an inkwell, he sang, scribbling his ideas down at a table covered with manuscript paper.
He played each part on the keyboard – flute, violin, viola and cello, and combinations of these, returning to write changes. He smiled. The flute quartet was finally complete.
As was his custom, he took a concave mirror, painted black, from a drawer, removing a silk wrap. He gazed into it, letting his mind quieten, ready to receive impressions.
He sensed himself at a Salzburg opera house, invisible, watching an audience dressed in finery. A quartet played the just-completed concerto. The listeners were enraptured. Good!
Suddenly the impressions changed. Two young women in flowing blue dresses and two young men in black suits played the concerto in a candle-lit church. The audience was strangely dressed, men wore long trousers and some women wore short skirts. The violinist’s hair was a wild halo.
Someone pointed a small device at the musicians, on which they appeared in a bright lifelike image.
‘Incredible! Surely my imagination?’ he thought.
Someone knocked at the door. Hurriedly he put the mirror away.
“Wolfgang, dinner’s ready.”

Featured in the book and audiobook, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories

  • Please consider making a small donation to help towards the running costs of this site. It would be greatly appreciated.
  • Don’t forget to check out some other stories on this blog. There are over 450!
  • To purchase the stories on To Cut a Short Story Short up to December 2021 in paperback, Kindle, eBook, and audio-book form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

Leave your thoughts