Fiction On Odyssey: The Eternal Strings Of Life And Death Part One

Fiction On Odyssey: The Eternal Strings Of Life And Death Part One

When all is nothing and nothing is everything....

A creaky clockwork of fading ebony and steel cut strings were all that was left. My wrinkled hand grazed over its once smooth fixture as I let out a wheezing sigh. No longer was the sound of music a relevance in my life, but now, the painful cries of death and disease. With my cancer moving so fast and my hair falling out like dead weight, I was bound to be a balding, toothless skeleton in a mere week.

Tucking the wooden instrument under my arm, I grasped my black cane and hobbled to the nearest recliner, pack with a footrest and a heated cushion. I sank slowly into a blissful world, long gone with the pass of time. Memories were my only company. Thunder rumbled and rain began to tap steadily on the kitchen window, casting a rhythmic melody in my head. After turning to face the dying light, my face wrinkled with age, I looked up to see puffs of clouds gathered like roisin dust in the performance theater. I looked away and back at the instrument in my hands. For an eternity, I simply sat, my heart heavy and mind blank.

“Pluck!” A resounding D echoed the room, and I was sucked into pitch back, my head hitting the back of the seat with a thud.


I cried out as I landed hard on my back, the wind knocked from my lungs. My arm was pinned beneath me as a cloud of dry dust parched my throat. Small grit crackled among my teeth. Strangely, I felt rejuvenated, filled with the gift of youth and mortality. Before long, I saw my hands, smooth like caramel and my skin, bright like pure gold; however, my greatest gift was my profound sense of hearing, capable of detecting the faintest melodies from afar. Rising to my knees, I looked around, eyes wide. The land was desolate, marked with cracks among the dry sand and wilted weeds. A small breeze was the only sign of life as the sky cast a grey blanket upon the Earth. Devoid of emotions, life, and beauty, I took a pitiful step and heard a faint crunch and pop. A carcass, like my soul, lay crushed beneath my leather shoe.

“Get away! Get away!” I hissed, scrambling back, my hands wide and disgusted. A perfect message-a world with no music is no world at all.

A clap of thunder drew my trembling chin towards the sky, eyes defiant and brimming with tears. Strings crisscrossed the world above, scratching and screeching like the cries of a thousand lost souls. Soon came a downpour. Droplets of water dripped down my cheeks, turning the dust beneath my knees into a muddy mess. Perhaps I was dead, cast to a living hell for my sins, left with eternal suffering.

I stared at my reflection in the mud.

“Come, my dear. Come,” a voice rasped into my ear.

A hooded figure appeared in the ripples, and I yelped, whirling around to see a small, crooked woman with stringy hair reaching out toward me. Her nose, dented like the scroll of an instrument, curled with anticipation.

“Who are you?” I questioned and waved her away.

“Come. The land here is a silent killer, a disease of the mind that eventually takes over. You shall not wish to succumb to such feelings of emptiness, so come.” She beckoned softly, and I hesitantly reached out and took her hand before fireworks exploded before my eyes and I black out.”

The resounding D faded to silence as I blinked. I was back in my dreary living room. I took a deep breath and shakily wiped that sheen of sweat from my forehead. That seemed all but too real. Slowly, I realized, meandering down and scraping past the fingerboard and the steel cut string worn down with use, that despite my pain and suffering, my heart glowed with wisdom and experience. I thought back to my grand performances that moved both me and my audience to tears. There was never a day that went by without a practice session, which ultimately granted me with expertise and staggering skill. Suddenly, as I smiled to myself, a felt a sharp prick like needles at the base of my neck before I fell back into oblivion, my head hitting the back of the chair once again.

“Have a seat!” An elegant velvet chair glinted in the moonlight. My living room had transformed into a dark, empty room opened to the starry night sky. Ominous grey clouds soon blurred out the peacefulness of the stars and a chill, unbearable shiver ran down my back. The hairs on my arms stood like frosted trees. Something sinister was present. My brain fumed with the worst case scenario, and my eyes darted in furious pursuit of an explanation.

“Please, I said take a seat,” the voice repeated. A hand gestured to the empty space awaiting my presence. Hesitantly, I sat, trembling like a leaf.

“Whoosh..” A hair hanging languidly from my forehead moved with the suddenly breeze, but I saw no one.

“You know, you are the epitome of a true musician,” a dark raspy voice praised.

“The way your fingers dance and your expression flourish with each rhythm is impeccable.”

It was as if a spell was cast upon my brain, leaving me immobilized; I could not mutter a single word. A leather hand guided my chin toward the speaker’s face, and I flinched. A tear streamed down my face. The angel of death. My time had come.

To be continued...

Disclaimer: People and places are purely fictional.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Mike Delta

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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The College Experience

A series telling the true experiences of modern day college students.


Everyone tells you to prepare for the best years of your life.

They tell you to prepare for all of the new challenges and new opportunities.

They say that you will meet your future people in college.

What they don't tell you is how much it will hurt.

Seeing old friends disappear because you are no longer home.

Watching your grades fall because the class is too difficult to pass.

Hearing and witnessing your family struggle and you aren't able to be with them.

Seeing all of the adventures that others are going on while you are stuck in your dorm room with the same stack of papers you have been trying to finish for three days now.

They don't tell you how difficult the transition will be.

They especially don't tell you how hard it is to live with someone.

The best of friends can live together and then grow to hate each other.

Complete strangers will move in and never speak.

You'll find friends that are simply just your "writing friend" or "band friend".

Many of the labels from high school can sometimes stick around.

If you're not out drinking or clubbing, then people think you don't have a life.

College is great, but don't think that it will be easy.

You have to make things easy in order for things to happen.

You can't just go around doing whatever and expect things to work out.

It takes time and it takes commitment to succeed in life, and in college.

The best way to deal with it all, find someone!

Find someone that you can get coffee with and watch sports with.

Find someone to eat dinner and lunch with.

Find someone to study religion and math before the next test.

Find someone!

Find your someone, a friend or someone special, to help you make it through everything that life throws at you.

If I had that someone I might have been better off my first year.


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