I don’t remember how I came up with this. I know I had an epiphany at some point, but I can’t recall how I sparked it. I think it had something to do with Stephen Hawking’s death, how he was so smart but had to sacrifice his body.
Perhaps it allowed him to take full advantage of his natural talent. He did so much for this world without lifting a finger. I think talent, like power, exists beyond our grasp. I also think there has to be a balance to our actions. If we swing too far in any direction, we end up with conflict — big or small.
I wanted to put these thoughts into a story that is a little more applicable to us all. We’re all artists in one way or another. Not all of us are physicists. I hope this story gets us to see something similar from a different light — similar to how Hawking wanted us to look at the universe as if we could actually understand the vastness of it.
Feel the Sound
He learned to play guitar by feel alone. If a note didn’t feel right, it wasn’t right. He tried and tried for hours and hours until the vibrations from the strings became one with his fingertips, creating a perfect harmony.
He drove everyone around him crazy. He could practice all day and all night if his muse was looking down on him. He pictured her with long, brown hair — light. Maybe blonde. She was as tall as him, so when they played together, he could follow her earthy blue eyes as they guided his fingers up and down the guitar’s neck.
He believed there was a natural balance to life; he believed in equal and opposite reactions. If he could play as well as everyone told him through their applauses at the end of his sets, something had to go. Regardless of whether or not his logic was flawed, he found a way to make peace with losing his hearing after the endless shows and practices over the years — twenty-two to be exact.
He has faith in his fingertips. They prove time and time again that true talent lies beyond the body. It took him a long time for him to realize the balance went both ways. If he had to lose his hearing, his other senses would make up for it. He learns love himself and his flaws as each day passes. As each day passes, as his love for himself grows, he gets better and better.
He thanks his muse every day as he heads to his garage to practice with her. He whispers it so she doesn’t hear him — to keep their music as close to pure as possible. And she’s convinced he’s better now without his hearing than when he had it. They both believe it freed him, and that the balance is restored.
If you want to submit your own flash fiction piece, see my submission guidelines for more details. It’s been a while since the last person who submitted. I have either five or six great pieces that you can read under my submitted works section as well. Check those out to see the kind of work I accept.