Play It Again, Sam


“No, no Sam, that’s an F sharp, not an F,” Mrs. Dickinson scolded. “Check the key.”

Sam’s fingers ached and he was tired of Mrs. Dickinson always pointing out his mistakes. Only when he played a particular piece flawlessly did he hear a hint of praise.

That’s acceptable, she would say. Or… Finally!

He looked up from the keys of the piano and stole a glance out her large picture window. It offered a view of the empty lot across the street, where all the neighborhood kids played. His heart sank a bit when he spotted Johnny and Alex playing catch. Sam guessed his hands would not be too tired to throw a ball around for a bit.

“Lets try again,” came the voice from his left. “It’s not that hard.”

* * *

The last notes of the concerto echoed through the auditorium. The stunned crowd was silent for a moment before erupting in thunderous applause. Sam had been selling out every concert for months.

As he exited the stage, he saw a young man standing next to an elderly woman in a wheelchair in the wing. He instantly recognized his old piano teacher.

“Mrs. Dickinson!” he exclaimed. “You finally made it. I’m so happy to see you!”

Sam reached down to hug the fragile old woman. As he embraced her she whispered into his ear.

“You missed the F sharp in the third movement. Remember to check the key.”

[This is my entry into the Flash Fiction Challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner by Roger Shipp. Write a story based on a photo prompt and introductory sentence in 200 words or less. I went over this week, so my apologies.]



30 thoughts on “Play It Again, Sam

    1. Thanks. This story came to me faster than any I’ve written for photo prompts. It was probably less than five seconds before I had the whole thing in my head. Sometimes it’s just there. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do. Much better than sitting and staring at my laptop brainstorming and coming up short. (I tend to drink a lot of coffee when I do that.) πŸ™‚


    1. Thank you. I think there are a number of ways to interpret his teacher’s reaction. She’s a crabby old perfectionist that can’t pay a compliment or perhaps she’s proud of her student but wants to keep him grounded. Or maybe it’s an inside joke between the two of them. So many possibilities. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I cringed when I read the last lines, but I should have seen it coming. Poor *Sam*, wanting to prove or please, but in actuality ever seen as clay to be molded…

    I had seen the teacher as a joy-killer, but may be she’s even harder on herself than she is on her beloved students…great job eliciting such polarizing responses to your work. Writing well done!

    Liked by 1 person

Speak and Be Heard! (or write and be seen, actually)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s