“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.]