Death Waltz
Author: Dalek Cruccibul

Chapter 10
Cherry Avenue

Something changed on Cherry Avenue that morning. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the city life, the air grew sweeter and so did the people. Suddenly, the hustle and bustle seemed to sooth into something calmer. Every man and woman who took there route down that street seemed to realize that life wasn't all one big race. Everyone, walking down Cherry Avenue that morning, was carried away by the music.

Everything began to integrating together; the street, the people, the buildings. But it wasn't just the music that had changed; music was everywhere. It was something about this particular music that made people stop and listen. It felt livelier, more genuine. Plenty of people here had kids who played an instrument of their own, who had concerts full of other kids playing their instruments. Everyone knew what music sounded like, and tasted like, and felt like. But this music was something that you felt from the inside. It was something that one couldn't put into words, not quiet.

Inside Corner Café, that morning, the usual bunch came in for breakfast or their morning coffee. But rather than high tailing it on their way to something else, the bunch stuck around a little while longer.

From the streets, gradually enough, the men and the women came on in through that door and stuck a little while too. Some of them didn't even know why they were coming in. Some, perhaps, didn't even know they had entered a café. Some came by just to see what was happening, why there were so many people all around, and soon found themselves walking into the shop. Whatever they were all doing there, they were quiet definitely there. But it wasn't just the morning that held something for the crowd. It was the afternoon, too.

Soon enough, in fact, Charles found himself taking requests. He didn't even know a few of the songs.

But when the crowd started singing, he followed along with the notes. Soon enough, complete strangers were talking and laughing all together. Was music really such a magical thing? Well, surly, music couldn't be so intoxicating. But it wasn't even just Charles, or the piano, or the music. It was the people who came in and out of those doors. It was what they carried in the heritage that brought them along to the corner of Cherry Avenue.

One man who walked in, about 36, thought he had heard something familiar. Not the piano, but the tune being played. He walked in, to go look, and listened closely. It was something his mother used to hum. When he was little, he used to try to play it on his cello. He was never very good at cello. But his mother's voice was just so beautiful. The song reminded him of her.

A boy and a girl, about 17, walked into the corner on their way back from the library. The girl had a knack for reading books, and liked to bring her friend along. He wasn't awfully interested in books himself, no, but he went anyhow. He liked to film movies. Problem was that his family couldn't afford a camera for him to film with. He never really talked about it, then, but he thought about it an awful lot. It was the boy who walked in first, tugging the girl along with him.

“You hear that?” he told her.

“It's really pretty, yeah.” she replied.

“You know, I've never really thought about music. It's interesting, though. Music, like films, really tell a story. It not just like its notes on paper. It's more complex than that.”

“Books tell stories.” the girl replied, a little flat with her tone.

The both proceeded to sit down and talk. The boy claimed that stories were about brining you to someplace you've never been. The boy claimed, looking at the girl, that stories weren't meant to be about boring things like day to day life. The girl claimed, looking at the boy, that she didn't need a book to bring her somewhere extraordinary. The boy furrowed his brow, confused by what she meant by this. Suddenly, the girl stood up and faced the boy. The boy got up as well, and thought the girl was about to walk away.

But to his surprise, the girl leaned in and kissed him. That was that.

One woman was walking by with her child. The woman was pretty young, along with the boy who was only 5. The boy stopped in his tracks and pointed towards the source of the music.

“Look in there, mama! Do you hear that?”

Of course, the woman had heard the music. She proceeded to follow the boy into the corner, where the boy bumped past the people towards the piano. The woman, suddenly frazzled, chased after the escaped child through the crowd.

“Hello!” the boy smiled at Charles.

Charles looked down at the boy. As soon as he did, the boy's mother swooped in and picked her up in her arms.

“Sorry about that. He just tends to run off like that...” the mother apologized.

“He can listen, if he wants to. I don't mind.” Charles proceeded to say.

“Can I, mama?” the boy asked with excitement.

“OK John. I'll go order you a muffin, OK? But stay right here for mommy.”

The woman walked off. The boy sat down in next to the piano on the floor and looked up in awe. That was how they got into the corner, that afternoon.


“I'm impressed, Charles. Putting the piano in the front of the café was a great idea. Maybe we should set up some speakers? We could get the sound going down...”

“No, that won't work David. Speakers will just ruin the sound of the piano. I think people came because it felt like they were listening to something... alive. I think what we have here, live music, and is different than what a lot of other places do. I'm surprised nobody else on the block thought of this sooner.”

“You know, I think your right.” David began to say, “And we can do this some more tomorrow. I think you've earned your place in this establishment.”

David and Charles were the last to leave, just as the night before. Driving home, Charles was filled with a happiness that he hadn't felt in a long time. He had really enjoyed this. Although nothing that had happened today was part of his original plans, he had really felt good about it. Maybe this was just as good as the Academy. Maybe, he thought, this was even better.


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