By Sarah Spradlin
“Music is what feelings sound like.” – Unknown
Dark, tangled locks hang like wild wisps over weathered, young fingers traipsing across ivory keys. Feet dance against brass pedals. The breath of power escapes thin pressed lips. A heart sings along to the beat of rhythm echoing deep as she falls out from every boundary wrapped around her.
Her eyes follow a journey, held captive in the flurry of her soldier-like fingers. Leading fearlessly an epic quest, seamlessly unfolding at her fingertips. Swords clash and the songs of battle echo out into the darkness. Light meets shadow’s acrid breath.
Forget your fear. I am with you.
Shadowed keys fade away, and gusts of wind push back wayward curls as she tips back her head and her eyes flutter closed, tangled locks falling back onto her shoulders.
Open your eyes.
A knight stands before her, his blade kissing rays of sunlight. Ranks of men, chins tipped high, raise their swords behind him — a young, brave fire kindling in their eyes. Shining out. Singing out.
Shimmering gilded flags flap in the icy-cold wind that could only come from the gathering darkness that roars in the East. The gusts bite through the men’s armor and whisper in their ears. The sun suddenly hidden from sight in a dark swirling mass of clouds.
Voices tear at them — snarling, growling, biting. The knight shouts words of encouragement, but they are lost in the howling winds that weave around his men.
You’re not worth it. You cannot defeat the darkness.
It has already taken hold. Its roots are already too deep.
You cannot hope to save them now.
Not your families, they hiss. Not your friends.
Not your country. Oh, your pathetic little country that thought it could stand by itself, they jeered. Does it hurt to see them wallow in the pain and suffering they brought on themselves?
Enter fear. It’s descent upon the hill like those of phantoms cloaked in shadow. Their voices raise, beating and beating. Never ceasing.
Wallow in despair. Like a cat’s hiss, they wail and moan, taunting and jabbing. Stinging and stabbing.
All doomed to die.
The song falters for a brief moment. How could there be purpose in such chaos?
A whisper of silence before a single ray breaks the shroud of darkness. The gentle touch of golden light falls, glistening on battered armor.
Remember My promises. You are My people. You are strong. This battle has already been won. Hope ignites as the majesty of their King’s voice embraces them like the breath of soft, spring winds that first thawed the cold clutches of winter’s grasp.
And now she smiles. Fingers playing. Feet dancing. Heart racing.
Charging. Down into the valley the knight leads them, the thrum of the feet of the warriors surging ahead of them over the barren, cold ground. Clouds breaking before their fury. The darkness quails at their ferocity. Their power. Sending them back into the shadows.
Shattered are the chains that held captive the lost. Broken are the doors that kept the world from salvation.
The knight bows his head and kneels before his King, laying his sword before him.
It is finished.
And now the journey ends.
The fingers slow.
And silence whispers over the ivory keys.
Tanned hands rest.
A heart beat quiets.
Until next time, when maybe the world will listen.