Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Violin

Thursday means another Indie Ink Challenge. I challenged Amy to write about what makes her madly deliriously happy and she has responded here. Go read it.

Here is my entry.

Angela placed the pearls round her neck and looked at herself in the mirror. She grimaced and took it off and replaced it with a simple diamond necklace that showed off the plunging neckline of her Versace gown better. Still, the face that looked back at her was not a happy face. Yes, Angela Van Hofsten was not a happy woman. Not as happy as someone who just inherited millions should be.

Angela was the only child of the wealthy Mr and Mrs Van Hosften. She grew up with the best of everything and wanted nothing. Her trust fund kicked in when she was 18, and she was one of the most popular girls at college. Tragedy struck when she was in her senior year and her parents' car met with a fatal accident. She was inconsolable for days afterwards and couldn't bear the thought of life without her only family. Then life dealt her second blow, when she realized there was another relative she didn't know about. She had heard stories about crazy Uncle Matt, but had never met him. Her parents had not been on speaking terms with him throughout her life. But since the wealth was mostly from family investments, as per her great grandfather's will, he got almost everything. She had her trust fund, but it hit hard since she had grown up assuming she would be in millions in her adulthood.

She never got along with Uncle Matt. He looked just like dad and many times she would want to visit him just to see his face. But she soon realized that he was nothing like her dad. For one thing, he didn't believe in any rules. She once got a collection call about turning off electricity at his house. When she asked him about that, he said that he didn't think electricity should cost so much. He drove her insane with his eccentric ways. On the anniversary of her parents' death, she organized a small service at their church for friends and family. He turned up an hour late, in red overalls and drunk to the gills. He refused to donate anything to a charity she founded and said that he would rather throw money on the streets of a poor neighborhood. She gave up all pretense of loving him and after awhile gave up on trying to be in his life too.

One day, her lawyer called her saying he had some bad news. Uncle Matt had gone on an expedition to Africa and had contracted a tropical virus. By the time he was airlifted to a hospital in a city, it was too late. Angela was shocked to hear that. She had her differences with him, but she had never wished him any ill, at least not intentionally. She felt guilty when a corner of her mind burst into jubilation at getting the money back. She brushed those thoughts away and some surprise tears came streaming down her cheeks.

When the dust settled down, it felt good to move back into the house she grew up in. It took a cleaning crew to get the house resemble a home to live in. The grand dining set was broken into pieces and was used to make campfires in the middle of the lawn. The first room that Angela entered the house into was what she had dubbed the "music" room when she was a kid. Her parents loved music and preferred to collect musical instruments instead of art. She loved to go into the room and imagine an orchestra was playing with those old instruments. Her favorite was the 300 year old Stradivarius that her cost her parents more than a million dollars. She had been taking violin lessons since she was six and her parents had promised her the violin after her first performance. Sadly that never came to be. She had been looking forward to playing that violin ever since she got the news.

But try as she may, she couldn't find the violin. All the other instruments were intact, but this one eluded everyone who searched for it. She figured it might have been stolen or maybe Uncle Matt had tried to sell it to buy himself a sandwich. She contacted the police and many art dealers, but no-one had any record of it. She felt like the violin was Uncle Matt's final joke on her. She was sure that he must have known she loved that violin and must have burnt it out of spite.

Her boyfriend Tim walked in while she was putting the last of her makeup on.

"Geez Angie, I told you we are going to a comedy club. Why did you get so dressed up? A jean and a tee would be more appropriate."

Angela stared at him with disguised anger. Yes, Tim would have to go. She knew she was breaking rank by dating him but now the difference seemed more stark than ever. She wanted to be a distinguished socialite and did not care to be seen at such pedestrian places. But she couldn't break up with right away, that would seem too snobbish. She decided two months would be an appropriate time and resolved to send him packing in August.

The comedy club was packed to the gills. The first comedian who came on seemed to go and on in a Seinfeldish way.

"What is the deal with swimming? Don't we have enough bridges to get across water? Flapping your hands and lakes, bobbing up and down for air, that's a poor excuse for fun!"

The proverbial bell rang in Angela's mind. Of course the lake! Their house stood on a lake and the there was a small island in the middle of the lake with a gazebo. She knew that Uncle Matt loved to swim upto the gazebo and stay there for hours just looking at the water. Could he have hidden the violin there?

She left the club rather abruptly and rushed to the gazebo. To her delight, she found the violin case lying on the floor ajar. She hugged it in delight and looked around for the violin. She would have the whole lake dredged if she had to. She could hear the sweet sounds of the violin in her mind. She was going to find it!


The sounds of violin filled the air near the lake in central Mexico. Matt played the violin with abandon, the lessons of his youth came rushing back to him. All the money never agreed with him. He liked to run the way the wind took him and all those lawyers were always behind him. He figured Angela liked doing all those things anyway. He took a few things that he wanted that he knew that no-one would miss - like his favorite saucepan from the kitchen, money to tide him over for the next 10 years and an old violin he found in one of the rooms.


My challenge this week was from The Womanist - Make a story around these three - a 300 year old violin, a comedian, a lake. It's not a strong story, but thanks for pushing me into fiction. Hope you like this :)


Head Ant said...

But where is it now? I'm so sad.

Amy L. said...

Yes I liked the story line very much. Would love to learn more about Matt...

Ixy said...

I agree with Amy - I'd like to hear Matt's story too.