ultramiller Emre Kısa

An elderly man, secluded with his unique music, longs to play his heartful melody, but he can only manage to play seven notes or fewer. He refrains from playing it because the music holds the power to disrupt nature with its beauty. This is the story of an old man who, eager to hear his music one last time, wishes to savor it to the fullest. REMARK: This short story was translated into English from Turkish by the author of the original text. There could be some small changes between texts due to the strong cultural references in the original text.

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#sad #short #english #romantic #story #music #short-story #7 #man #song #violin #old #soldiers #seven #notes #old-man
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Seven Notes

Swinging forward and backward; I was resting my eyes to the accompaniment of creaking wooden sounds. My rocking chair was quite worn-out. Although I had resewn it dozens of times, its lifespan seemed to have come to an end; for I could no longer hold a needle and thread due to my shaky hands. My shaky hands... yes. My favorite body-tool that aging took away from me. I was continuously becoming unable to play my violin, which I had played tirelessly for seventy years. What did it matter anyway? No one touched instruments anymore, or at least -if ever played- it was surely some gruesome melody; the youth of today... with their incomprehensible taste in music. Besides these senseless tunes that are no different from noise, not much choice left for us to listen. If someone ever tried to bring life to the masterpieces that made a forever lasting impression to the world, they would be arrested by government, that is, if they do not ruin themselves by getting too caught up in the magic of the music. There have even been those who died for this cause, I know... Since my youth, I knew that music was intertwined with nature. I would take my violin, sit in the endless meadow in our country house, and play that one specific music for hours. It felt like, as if, while playing that music, the chirping crickets, the grass swayed by the wind, and the birds singing in the trees would become deserted and give a close attention to my strings. It grew into me as a kid that it was just a delusion. Years later, however, it turned out that it wasn't just my imagination; they were indeed listening to me. But what now? I can't even dare to mention the name of my music, fearing something bad might happen to me, or the ones around me. Even if I pick up my precious violin, I can't tune more than seven notes. No, it's not because my hands are trembling; I refrain from playing to avoid disrupting nature. Once, when I pushed my luck up to ten notes, the vegetation around my country house changed to something I have never imagined I could witness. Ah... there are so many sounds around me, yet how silent this world makes me feel.

I went up to the attic of my cottage that I moved in several years ago to live alone, away from society, so that the seven notes I played would not harm anyone. I picked up my violin, which I had carefully preserved, and jammed those initial seven notes once again. Each time, I would feel a terrible emptiness. My body would move spontaneously to break the limits of the cursed seven, but I would stop myself by squinting my eyes with a great sense of dissatisfaction. What a marvelous melody it was, as if it spoke to my soul... just the first seven notes alone were enough to bring tears to my eyes.

In the vex of forcefully breaking myself from continuing beyond the boundaries of my song, I couldn’t help myself but to continue with the after-coming notes in my head. I was way too lost, so much so that I couldn’t hear the noise of someone pounding on my door for a while. I hurriedly sealed my violin away and went downstairs. My door had no peephole, so I opened it, not knowing who stood beyond it. Five or six men wearing berets in blue uniforms were lined up in front of my house. The SUV they had come in was barely visible through the tall yellow grass that swallowed half the driveway. I looked up at the tall young man standing at the front: "Oh dear God, I hope nothing is the matter" I said, opening the door wide. The young man softened his stern expression when he saw me: "Good afternoon good sir. Do you live alone?" I gazed at the other guys standing behind with a puzzled expression: "Why yes, I’ve been alone for years" The young man took a step forward and tried to peek inside: "You don't mind if we search your house, sir?" "Why would you search it? This is my house!" The young man laughed: "It sure is sir, it sure is. Don't you worry please, we are not here to pillage. As per procedure, we were called to investigate your household. It won't take long; we just need to make a quick search." I slowly opened the door all the way and let them in. "Men! Let's get started! Do not make too much of a mess, the man is old" They hastily started rummaging every corner of my house. I called out again to the tall young man who entered right after his men: "What is with this primitive way of searching things, as if I have anything to hide? Why not ask like a civilized men?" The young man answered me with his hands clasped behind his back, keeping an eye on his men: "Your cottage, sir, it turns out it remained hidden from the government until now. It is our duty to carry out our semi-annual search for any unlicensed or illegal instruments in the province. Though, don’t think of yourself as a criminal, it's entirely an error on our side that your secluded cottage was overlooked. We'll leave you be once we're done searching." I didn't want to deal with them at all. Even the small commotion caused by the arrival of this crowd to my house was enough to give me a headache. I decided to get my violin and get them out of my comfort area as fast as possible. I murmured with annoyance as I made my way to the stairs, passing through the men digging around my furniture like dogs: "Be gentle with that for God’s sake! Do you know how expensive those are?" I went upstairs and took my violin downstairs with its case and license. I approached the tall young man and showed it to him: "Here, here's my instrument. Now get on with those procedures of yours, will you?" After examining the license, the young man handled my violin out of its case and started turning it over and over in his dingy hands. I can't communicate with words; how uncomfortable it made me for others to touch my violin this vulgarly. From now on I would have to wipe it clean with a nice cloth. The young man roughly put my violin back in its case, missing all the outlines that the instrument is supposed to fit in perfectly: "I’ve got to ask you some questions sir. Is it only this one music that you play with your violin?" He turned the license to me and pointed to the part with the music I couldn't exclaim. "Yes" I said impatiently. Gesturing with his hand, he gathered his men outside the door and started writing something on my license with a pen he took out of his shirt pocket: "I’m sorry to announce you but this music is forbidden, sir. For the safety of both yourself and others I'm going to ask you not to play this music from now on" Then he took a countlessly folded pamphlet out of his pocket and handed it to me: "These are the songs you can play safely." he said smiling at me, "Have a good day sir, stay safe"

I cleaned up my violin while cursing plentily after them. I skimmed the paper I was given; God wish I didn’t! They had put together a bunch of dins of ear-splitting nonsense! I would rather go deaf than to listen to these knockoffs with overused arpeggios, poorly calculated bars, glissandos that are arranged as if their hand slipped while composing, or lack of harmony... the paper held only a mass of monotonous songs written for the sake of media fame, songs that appealed to the industry instead of the soul. "This is all balls!" I shook my hands. I tore the paper up and threw it away and sat back down in my rocking chair, where I fell asleep.

Weeks had passed after that incident. I felt almost sick that I couldn’t give sound to my now-restricted fascinating music. How inhumane, oh how tyrannic that they wouldn't let me hear those mere seven notes that meant my life. Then it dawned on me. What would possibly occur, say, if I performed my violin in this cottage where no trace of life can be found in the far vicinity? To whose senses that my performance of three seconds of seven notes can reach? I got up from my seat in a huff and went up to the attic to grab my violin once again. We locked eyes for a while with which I managed to regain my serenity. I played my beloved notes one more time with my trembling hands that could barely move to produce fine notes. I missed it so much... I felt as if those seven notes would never end. Soon after, I was robbed off my lofty melodies by being startled by the sudden bursting of my attic window. I realized then that I had lost control myself in my longing. I had played the entire first half of my binary form music. I anxiously looked out of my broken window and saw that most of the tall yellow grassland was overgrown with mature oak trees. I had played my music with such emotion that I had caused a small tectonic movement under my house, which caused cracks to appear in the ground, parts of my house to collapse and my window to burst. I sat back down in my chair, deeply regretting what I had done. It was the first time I had ever been so carried away.

Soon there was another knock on my door, just as inconvenient as before. This time I didn't have to look through the hole, I didn't even have to open the door to see who it was. Yet I did spin the knob with a frowning face and was greeted by a face even more frowning than mine: "Good day sir. We need to confiscate your violin, please don’t resist" he said in a calm voice. "No... no..." I said, shaking my wrinkly, droopy cheeks from side to side. I felt like my heart would stop here and now. I didn't proceed with the conversation any further and went upstairs with quick steps. I picked up my violin and hugged her tightly. The men followed right after me upstairs and entered my attic with their shoes on. I cannot tell you how startled they were when they saw me with my violin in my hand, ready to run the strings. They immediately grabbed their weapons -the various instruments hanging on their backs- and lined up behind the tall young man like a marching band and stood ready to play the moment they are ordered to. They were wearing some kind of earphones, so that they wouldn't hear their own music. They intended to eliminate me and my house on the spot, that's how strong the effect of my music was, they were terrified. Opposingly, I embarked no fear in my heart, what could they possibly sing that could drown out my Godly music? They could have formed a hundred-man band if they wanted, it mattered not. All they would have accomplished with that was to increase the number of instruments, that’s all. I smiled proudly and began to apply my bowstring to the resin-dusted strings of my violin. I made up my mind, that I would fully embrace my music with all the natural anomalies it would bring which for many years I was not able to echo more than seven notes. I began my music with such elegance, the kind that I never accomplished before. With the roar of the first note, the roof began to crackle. I trapped my eyeballs, setting free only my wrists. I was biting my lips with excitement. I peeked mid-performance to see what I had done to those disrespectful young folk. The tall young man had signaled his men behind him to stop with his fist in the air and was just watching me with pitiful eyes. How dare they possess such pettiness for my music! They were not even trying to resist me. Perhaps they were so much in awe that they could not even express their satisfactory faces for the fabulous sounds that my song holds. But why, out of all emotions, why the pity face? Had they no fear, nor amazement? When I broke out from the magic of my song, I started hearing the real notes that I’ve been executing. It was all wrong, this was not how my music was... I was in a such excited state that in my head I could hear my music as if I was playing it perfectly. Yet, in reality, my hands were shaking like never before. Was this the juncture at which the advance of years would hinder my musical pursuits? Surely I was aware; that eventually, the broken symphony of my trembling hands would silence my melodies, yet I harbored just one desire for it to not occur in this singular instance. Why, of all moments, did fate choose this precise droplet of time to seal my ambition for good? A moment when I could relinquish all inhibitions and immerse myself in the flow of my music without restraint? That's when my blood pressure spiked. Dizzy, I leaned against the wall and dropped my violin. The young man looked me straight in the face: "Sir, it is best for you to come with us, you are too old to resist such strong music, you are harming yourself" As I fell to my knees and stared at the ground, I couldn't hear anything but my own thoughts. Had my music betrayed me? Or had I betrayed it? Why had I kept myself from playing it all these years? What was more precious than my music that I had avoided playing it? I wanted to reach for my violin, but it was broken; no longer usable. The young man took me by the arm and led me outside. They were about to put me in the back seat of their SUV when I asked them to let me get some fresh air. They knew I couldn't run away with these rusty legs of mine, so they allowed me. I filled my lungs with oxygen in the hair strings of my countryside where I had spent my years, the wind was blowing fairly on my face, the birds were once again chirping, just like that day. I started lightly; after all, I hadn't used my pipes for a long time. I hummed the first seven notes with my broken voice... Then I vibrated my cords more, I sincerely shouted my song towards the sky. Nature listened to me once again. The wind stopped; the birds fell silent. I sang my song until its final note, when by then the salty taste of my tears lingered in my mouth. I beheld the sun shining on my face and spread my arms wide: "Oh, my enchanting melody! Do you possess beauty because your composition is too intricate for anyone to master, or is it your inherent beauty that makes it challenging for anyone to play you?” My speech slowed down; my voice became hoarse: "Are you going to die with me here?".

"For God’s sake, where has he gone? Look for him, make sure he is safe!" I ordered my men. They searched high and low, but in the end, I was the one who stumbled his still, but standing body. I could easily say, I had never seen such an enchanting sight in my life. The old man looked as if he was hugging the sun with his arms outstretched. Around him was a perfect circle of tulips. Colorful birds were arranged on his arms as if they were on tree branches. The sun's rays formed a transparent yellow barrier around the circle of tulips, in the center the old man resembling a statue of flesh. I adjusted my beret with both hands as I approached him with slow steps: "Stupid old man."

10. Dezember 2023 15:45 1 Bericht Einbetten Follow einer Story
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Über den Autor

Emre Kısa I am a light novel writer who is highly inspired by Jujutsu Kaisen, Hunter x Hunter, Hollow Knight, Solo Leveling etc. If you like action packed dark stories then look no further and read Catharsis now. (Soon to be translated into English, stay tuned for updates)

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December 10, 2023, 16:07