Flash fiction: andantino


The pianist walked to center stage and sat down at the spotlighted grand. The applause receded like dry leaves gathered away in a gust. In the breathless silence the pianist began playing a nocturne. At intermission he saw him, leaning against the shadowed wall, steeped in the program... His name was David. “This isn’t like me,” he said. David smiled. “Who is it like?”


He sprawled on the couch, sated, serenaded, adrift. David sat, bespectacled, in a t-shirt, at the piano, playing Chopin. This, then, was the moon. A summation of things loved, and him, breathing, a summer night. “This one is called ‘the cat,” David said. “Hear it? The little cat feet?” I should have been a pair of velvet paws, he thought, scuttling across pliant keys.


He sat parked in the driveway between the bundled palm fronds, brown and crisp, piled at the curb, and a grackle on a fence. Just ahead was David’s car. And beyond that, somewhere in the house, David. He imagined him shouldering a phone, sipping wine, taking notes, multitasking, absorbed. He backed out and drove home along the beach road, the CD playing a prelude.