[ lawn-GUR ]
- A dull and tedious passage or section (as of a book, play, or musical composition) — usually used in plural.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem, painting, dance move—inspired by the word, longueur, where does it take me? Where does it take you?
Hans stopped the fluid motion of his fingers across the keys, and they turned into fists. He brought them down upon the white and black, releasing the terrible muddied sound from the piano’s internal strings.
“No!” Hans pushed back and kicked his piano stool over. He began to pace the room.
Days and weeks on end, and no matter what he did, it didn’t feel right. The beginning and ending of the composition were everything he felt they should be. In the middle, though, it fell apart.
Hans stalked to the balcony, wrenching open the french doors, letting them bang into the interior walls as he stepped out and grasped the iron railing. He breathed heavily in anger and frustration. The sensation crawled through his mind and skin like a worm. He shivered, and his head twisted.
The soft sound brought Hans from his discomfort and into curiosity. He peered over the edge of the balcony to discover the source. A small girl on the cobbled street below kicked a red ball into the stone building across from Hans’s. The ball came back, and she did it again.
“Excuse me… girl,” Hans said, leaning still further over the railing.
The girl looked up. “I’m sorry, sir. Do I bother you? Mother always says I will bother someone.”
“No, no bother,” Hans said, and the girl smiled. “But, I am curious… why do you do it?”
“Why do I kick the ball?”
“Yes, why kick the ball again and again like that? What is the point?”
The girl looked up at him, confused. “Because it’s fun.”
“Fun?” Hans said, more than asked, like he was trying out the word for the first time.
Hans remained leaning over the balcony, still trying to understand.
“Would you like to try it?” she called back up to him, bringing him out of his thoughts.
Hans cocked his head, and a peculiar grin formed upon his face that was quite out of his control. “Yes, I would like to try it.”
Hans beamed and rushed inside, passed the piano, to the front door, and outside to go kick a ball.
It’s clear that Hans hasn’t had much of a childhood. I imagine those prodigies like Mozart and Beethoven and others who probably spent most, if not all, of their youth developing their skills on the piano to please others.
Endless hours of practice and concerts. I imagine they still enjoyed it; otherwise, they’d never have reached the level of fame they did. Yet, with this story, I imagined someone like a Mozart, who was so dedicated that his perception of life was that its sole purpose is to create the next thing.
Then, one day, struggling to complete his next masterpiece, he discovers “play.” Fun for the sake of having fun with no other agenda. Why do people do this? He would wonder as he did above. After experiencing it, he discovers his whole life has been missing something, and therefore so has his music.
Another random side note: did you get a little Ebeneezer Scrooge vibe when Hans called down to the girl below? That scene at the end of A Christmas Carol popped into my mind as I was writing that. Anyway…
What do you think of Longueur?
Like the story idea? Remember to have some fun today!
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did longueur or my story take you?
If you liked this story, check out my podcast of short stories, More Than A Story.
Today’s word is from Merriam-Webster.
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