Open Markle is a special character of mine. There’s more to her – and Liam – than meets the eye. Venture forth, and read The Watchers to find out more! Originally posted March 4th, 2020. Reposted for Fandango’s Friday Flashback #FFF.
This week’s picture prompt is by Andrew Ferez, a Russian artist illustrator. He calls this one Violinist. You can check out more of his art on his Deviant Art page where he is 25karitnok
A deafening roar of applause thrummed in her ears. The host’s pleasant voice carried backstage, fueling her apprehension.
“She’s the child music prodigy you all know and love! Please, welcome to the stage… Open Markle!” The thunderous din from their clapping hands and the incredible brilliance of the bright stage lights tore at her nerves. As her anxiety began to rise, she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“You can do this, Open. Just feel the music, close your eyes, and breathe.”
Open nodded, giving her best friend a quick hug, “Thanks, Liam.” She took a deep breath, smoothed out her form-fitting black dress, and slowly walked onto the stage. Her heart fluttered in her chest as she brought her gilded Stradivarius to rest beneath her chin. Lifting her bow, she fell in sync with its gravity as the fine hairs began to vibrate against the violin’s strings. She let the music pull her and felt the auditorium slipping away as she shut her eyes to the world.
With her head inclined ever-so-slightly, and the force of her movements causing her dress to sway this way and that, she was a magnificent sight to behold. The audience was enraptured; their eyes glazed over, and no sound could be heard over the melodious acoustics enchanting the room.
She stood tall, though she was only just above five feet. Her back arched with every downstroke, her short, brown hair flicking behind her shoulders. Behind her closed lids, she imagined a fragmented world. The audience melted away, the stage disintegrated into a million pieces, and she floated away, into a world of her own.
The bright stage lights became an ethereal glow and the massive theatre doors morphed into the entrance to a beautiful castle. She projected herself into shadowy apparitions on the other pedestals as they flew past her mind’s eye. On and on she played, effortlessly switching from Bach, to Mozart, to an intricate piece by a little-known Irish composer.
The song was very near and dear to her heart, and just playing it amplified her emotions tenfold. As she played through the hauntingly beautiful peaks and valleys of the composition, she felt the presence of the woman who’d created it – her great-grandmother, Ina Boyle. She’d been a child prodigy, as well. Every time Open played one of her songs, she knew she was carrying on a profound legacy.
There was a quality to her music, as if every note had been custom-made to fit with the others. The overall effect of the music gave one the sense of stepping into another world – one in which everything was in harmony. It was a stark contrast to the chaos in Open’s life. From dawn until dusk, she practised; her only friends were her tutors and parents… and Liam. Her crippling shyness had led her to live a sheltered life. The only time she made herself vulnerable was when she was performing. Those days, she always kept a song from her great-grandmother in the queue.
Today, she’d chosen ‘The Wild Geese’ for its lilting rhythm and soothing melody. Near the end of the piece, her small hands gracefully fluttered over the ornate violin as she led into a crescendo. The notes slowly ebbed away, and the audience was left slack-jawed in awe. After a moment of total silence, they erupted in applause, rising to their feet and chanting her name in overt enthusiasm, “Open! Open! Open!”
She blushed, bringing her hands to cover her face, and rushed offstage. The host returned, attempting to calm a still-cheering crowd. “Ladies and gentlemen, please!” He put his hands up, motioning for them to take their seats, before continuing, “I’d like to thank Miss Markle for agreeing to play for us tonight. I’m sure we can all agree, her performances are quite the experience. Our souls have been moved and our spirits lifted. Thank you, Miss Markle!”
Another round of applause rang out, along with a shouted, “Encore!” Still cowering in the wings, Open’s heart dropped. There was no way she could face the crowd again! In a blind panic, she spun away from the stage and started walking. Bumping into a costume rack, she nearly fell, but was caught by a pair of strong, capable hands. Liam.
She breathed a sigh of relief, “Oh, Liam! Thank goodness! Please, don’t make me go back out there. I just can’t do it.” She was nearing tears now, and Liam put a comforting arm around her shoulders, giving them a tight squeeze.
“No worries, Love. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You were wonderful, by the way. Absolutely magical!” His dark brown eyes sparkled with pride. He couldn’t hide his big, goofy grin and Open found it contagious. She felt herself relax a bit, and Liam took hold of her hands, “That’s the way, Love. Want to grab a burger?” She couldn’t help but laugh; he knew her so well.
“With fries?” she asked, returning his wink.
“Absolutely!” He slid his hand around her waist and fell into step beside her, guiding her toward the exit. As they left the theatre, the audience could still be heard chanting her name from inside. They drove off as the sun set over the mountains, and the only thing on Open’s mind was ‘cheese or no cheese?’
Thanks to Miranda Kate for this #MidWeekFlash prompt!
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