FLASH FICTION: “The Theory of Gin”

piano

I’m not in the mood to talk. I don’t feel like talking.

After his breakdown, Dad played the piano when he was drunk, only. When he was too drunk to play Liszt, he played Chopin. I sat under the piano. It was damn loud under there, but I liked it. I was listening to the Ramones, in those days.

Dad was a mad scientist. He was a musicologist. He was a mad scientist. He thought … there was something mathematical about creativity, musical creativity. A formula. There were no geniuses, really, but people, lucky people, who chanced on the formula. Berlioz, Strauss…

“Imposters,” he called them. “Worse than impostors. Romantics.”

The Secret of the Secret. That’s what he named it. His theory of the formula. He spent half his life, trying to prove it.

The Secret of the Secret. That was the book, too. His colleagues… Of course they called him a lunatic. He was a lunatic. He was a musicologist.

When The Secret flopped, he bought every copy he could find. And burned them.

I just don’t feel like talking.

I was playing the piano, one night. Wagner—my favourite. By my late teens, I’d grown bored of punk. It wasn’t heavy enough.

Ride of the Valkyries. That was the piece.

I smelled gin. Dad hated Wagner.

I turned around.

Dad wasn’t… He had a strange look on his face.

He closed his eyes.

“Beautiful,” he whispered.

“Beautiful.”

Beautiful.

He kissed me—my forehead. I think … that was the first time. In years.

The Secret of the Secret.

He never proved it, of course. The theory. All he proved was the Theory of Gin. That’s how it usually is, isn’t it?

I’d rather not talk about it.

Hardly anyone went to the funeral. Not even my mother. None of his colleagues. He was an important musicologist. He was a mad scientist. He was a musicologist.

I found a notebook. Going through his things. Notes about the theory, mostly. Some lewd sketches. But on the last page… Under the heading AUTOBIOGRAPHY:

“Early in life, my ambition was to be a composer as great as Liszt or Chopin.”

That was it. He didn’t get any further.

It’s not easy, being the daughter of a musicologist. I could tell you stories.

I’m not in the mood to talk.

 

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FLASH FICTION: Walk

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This story is free for you to enjoy and share. Tips gratefully accepted.

FLASH FICTION: Chembera Bridge

 

Chembera Bridge

Greetings…

Read my latest bit of fiction for The Walrus, “Chembera Bridge,” right here.

If you enjoy my stories, don’t be shy about letting The Walrus know by sending a quick note to letters@thewalrus.ca, a tweet to @walrusmagazine (my own handle is @rolliwrites) or slapping a comment on their facebook page. Great feedback = many more stories to come 🙂

As always, thanks for reading…

FLASH FICTION: The Charrington Copter

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A madwoman … a helicopter … a wig. The three essential ingredients of a short story. Read my latest for The Walrus, the Charrington Copter, right here. 

Remember: if you like my stories, let The Walrus know by sending a quick note to letters@thewalrus.ca, a tweet to @walrusmagazine (my own handle is @rolliwrites) or slapping a comment on their facebook page. Good feedback = many more stories to come.

As always, thanks for reading…

FLASH FICTION: Sweet Jimmy

sweet_jimmy

My latest Walrus story – my last of 2015 – is a nightmare of Hollywood. It’s called “Sweet Jimmy.” Read it here.

If you like my stories, don’t be shy about letting The Walrus know. Send a quick note to letters@thewalrus.ca, a tweet to @walrusmagazine or leave a comment on their facebook page. I’d be so grateful.

Until 2016…

 

 

FLASH FICTION: Adventures with Writers

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The Walrus Project continues with a new story. I think you’ll like it. Especially if you’re a writer. Read it here.

Remember: if you like my Walrus stories, let the editor know (letters@thewalrus.ca). Some letters are published in the magazine. Let me know too, if you have the time.