Lockdown Fiction: The Symphony of Love (or Screw You, Vivien)

I’m back at the Improbable Press fiction prompt coalface, last week urged on by the words ‘A broken instrument’, ‘single’ and some pictures. The broken instrument made me think of how PG Wodehouse is always quoting Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s The Idylls of the King about ‘the rift within the lute’. And so, here we are.

Pop over to Improbable Press and try your hand at the prompts. It’s a great way to get the brain moving.

The Symphony of Love
(or Screw You, Vivien)

It’s a pretty phrase, the rift within the lute. It sounds minor and musical.

It is the little rift within the lute
That by and by will make the music mute
And ever widening slowly silence all

And there’s the terror in it. That music will lose its voice. That our music will lose its voice. That will we lose each other. Because of a tiny crack, some inconsequential, infinitesimal hair fracture, we will be rendered voiceless, silent, alone, singularly single and bereft.

Tennyson was writing about Vivien seducing and imprisoning Merlin. Manipulating him so he’d teach her spells. And trust me not at all or all in all.

What bullshit.

Be perfect or be done.

The slightest disagreement is the end of everything.

What utter bullshit.

I’m not a lute, made for just one purpose, with one kind of voice. You’re not my minstrel, made to play me only just so. Nor, of course, the other way around.

We are, both of us, an orchestra and also the symphony. We are the conductor and the first violin and the one who hits the triangle; we are brass and wood and wind and wire. We change as we play the music of our lives – the same song never sounds the same twice; the same instruments make different music over and over. We’re the silence between notes, too.

And if our lute sometimes has a little rift in it, if our orchestra pauses, if our song sometimes stumbles and isn’t always harmonious.

Well. We’ll find new notes, and sing again.

We’re as mutable as rain on glass, shiny as diamonds, with as many facets.

Screw you, Vivien.