Lilian’s Violin by Melissa Manuel

Lilian is a violinist.

Nobody knows where she learned to play or how. The rumors are she was taught by the Muses or Apollo himself. Others say she was born with the one ability to play the violin. Lilian is the only one who knows, and if she plans on sharing her secrets she’s never shown any signs of doing so.

No one has heard Lilian speak either, she communicates through the strings at her fingertips. Her music brings people towards her just like beasts to a stream of fresh water. People come from all over the world to connect around her ballads and melodies. Others come to try and decode the words she has not spoken from the strings at her fingertips.

Lilian has played her violin for everyone, and she’s watched her music be the soundtrack to the lives of the people around her. Lovers have fell to their knees holding their palms together, whispering sweet nothings to one another, their own lyrics to Lilian’s mystical melodies.

She’s watched her music provide the tragic notes to war and bloodshed. As men and women have mercilessly ripped each other apart with blades and tongues, Lilian stood in the wings of the chaos playing her violin.

Yet as much as the world gravitated towards Lilian and her violin, and as much as they gossiped about her origins, her music. They never inquired about Lilian. How she maintained herself, her essence, her beauty was never a thought in anyone’s mind. Perhaps it was because Lilian could only gather people around her, but she was unable to connect with them beyond her violin.

Her instrument became her protection, the only thing that allowed her to exist in society, it left her as the observer of all. No one knew of the agony she battled with everyday, the waves of pain that came in poisonous waves, as her songs reached arduous crescendos, her whole body shook with agony, unseen tears fell on the muted wood of her violin. She let her pain pour through the taut strings and bow.

It was when she forced herself to forget the endless strain she played her purest tunes, the light and romantic songs that professed her desire, her longing for anything more than the world she lived. Her musical plea to the people around her. Lilian’s music was all a message, a love letter to the world.  Except no one ever cared to listen that carefully and thus she continues to play her violin.

Plays for herself. For the lovers and the warriors. For the creatures seen and hidden. For the sea and the sky. Plays until her fingers bleed and crumble to dust and ashes. Till nothing but the earth remembers her and her violin.

Greetings swonky readers,

I’m formally apologizing on behalf of Kyara and Aramis. I don’t know where they are. I’ve misplaced them and clearly they’re in a wi-fi less place. I’ll find them soon and make sure they post something.

Memento mori,



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