Sherman was sweating as his fingers maneuvered across the piano keys, picking out the multitude of notes on the sheet music in front of him. His music teacher sat to the side, rapping out the meter with her pointy wooden stick. He didn’t dare look in her direction for fear of hitting a wrong note, but he could make out her malicious smile from the corner of his eyes. She was waiting for him to make a mistake, to fail. His mother whimpered from the room’s corner. Sherman’s right thumb almost missed a key as it moved under his other fingers to move up the keyboard. He tried not to think about his mother being tied and gagged and terrified somewhere behind him. His father was dead. So was his little sister. If he didn’t play through Rondo Alla Turca to the music teacher’s satisfaction, his mother would be next. He began the third movement with his heart racing. This was the part where he always played too fast and didn’t follow the fingering properly. The piano teacher leaned forward expectantly. Sherman wished he had practiced more.
NOTE: The brief narrative above was brought to you by TZ Books and The Bite-Size Fiction Project, created by Dave Baldwin and Sheila Lee Brown (this particular one is a Sheila-story). The results of this project are bite-size story morsels for short attention spans. These tidbits are sometimes fun, sometimes weird…but always short!