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Story Notes:

Set during "Gay from China at the Chalet School". Written for the "music" challenge at fan_flashworks.

I... have just written a story from a cello's point of view. What have you done to me, fan_flashworks?

I wasn't at all sure where to put this story - which probably does make St Scholastika the right place.

It had been so long since anyone had even moved my case, let alone taken me out of it, I had resigned myself to remaining there forever; nothing left for me but the memories of being taken out, of singing soft and tender, or wild and fierce. But now, something had changed! My case was being moved; first the intermittent tapping of footsteps, then a smooth unfamiliar purr, then the clacking of train wheels… and finally I was at rest again. I waited impatiently for someone to take me out of my case. I had no real hope that my old players - the strong, confident hands that had called such beautiful music from me; or the smaller, inexperienced but talented ones - had returned, but perhaps someone new would take up my bow.

When the latch was finally released, the hands that lifted me out were unfamiliar. Everything about the way they held me spoke of a musician, and I thrilled from scroll to spike, hoping I would make music again at last. I was not disappointed; the long fingers plucked single notes first, pausing to adjust the tuning pegs, then began to play in earnest, and I sang, exultant. All too soon, however, the music ceased, and I was returned to my case.

This time the wait was short, and I knew the hands that lifted me. They had been the last ones to hold me before my long years of waiting, though they had never called music from me; they would just caress me, and sometimes pluck gently at the strings. Often, they’d been accompanied by drops of salty water, which they’d quickly wipe off my wooden surface. I was held only for a few moments, then passed over to someone new. These hands were smaller, and their movements were almost tentative as they began to play, but the skill and the love were there; and I knew, at last, I had found my new player.

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