May Bloom: "Piano Power"

Our Asheville neighbors Sherry and Alan H. inspired this month’s Blooming Good flash fiction story titled “Piano Power.”
They gave away a family piano on which their children spent years learning to create wonderful music, hoping its music-making would continue.

"Piano Power"

piano in a field

“We must get more piano music into this world, for the sake of the world.” Gilda said, smoothing stray hair strands into her silver mane. 

This was their second visit to the music store in a small town founded in 1889, now turned into a bedroom mecca for a growing number of people retreating from city life. 

“You are right, darling, and time is growing short,” said Godfrey, squeezing his wife’s hand as the shop owner approached. 

“I remember your saying neither of you ever played piano?,” as he was thinking a new Yamaha would work for this couple primed to buy. 

“I’ve got one for you up front- excellent tone, lightweight. I’ll throw in a few lesson books. Better than online stuff,” and he pointed the way. 

“No need for books,” Godfrey said. “We won’t be playing ourselves.”

 “We saw the one we like, the big dusty one in back,” Gilda said.

“Hmm, that one’s old, and to put it bluntly, quirky. None of my siblings wanted it after our dad, the store founder, passed away.” 

“Yes, we heard about that. How much?” 

“Well gosh, if you can cover moving costs, it’s yours for free,” said the shop owner, wondering how they could have known about his dad, about this piano.  

When the movers arrived the next Monday, they started maneuvering the upright through the front door. Instead, Godfrey instructed them to center it on the wraparound porch. That evening, Godfrey and Gilda scoured their television and devices, noting places with people engaged in public disputes like school board debates about books, city council rivalries about budgets, and courthouse proceedings sparking outcries.  

“Tomorrow the courthouse. Those screaming protesters need a break.” Godfrey said.

“Agreed Darling, everyone needs a break.” Gilda rose to get the wand she’d bought in an antique shop last century.  

In the morning, after brewed coffee and buttered bagels, they stepped on the porch, patted the upright, and waved the wand, saying, “Off to the courthouse, go. You know what to play.” The piano descended the front steps, steered itself down the sidewalks leading downtown, then settled on a grass patch in the park across the street from throngs of cat calling crowds. The piano bellowed out loud chords that captured the crowd’s attention, then emitted medleys of Beethoven, Ellington, Bach, and Coltrane that calmed the cacophony, at least for a few moments. 

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