This year we bring our readers a more grizzly tale with this three part thriller. Brilliant concert pianist, Julian Masters, is known worldwide and has fame and fortune. The only dark shadow over his life is his over bearing mother. Witness his great escape.
Part 1: One Day I’ll Make Her Stop
There had been times in Julian’s childhood when he had hated being alone at Deerwater Manor. When he had been frightened of sights and sounds he didn’t understand and scared to have doors shut behind him. On this particular evening he would have preferred the company of unearthly spirits to that of earthbound mortals, who interrupted his valuable practise time with their superficial drivel. He closed his eyes and covered them with his hands. Any second now Mother would be back ‘what’s the matter now, Jules? Has Mr Nerves escaped again? Go away you stupid bitch!
The suspense of waiting for his mother’s next invasion was stifling his creative mood, sapping his strength until he felt weak and useless. In a fit of rage he slammed his closed fists on to the keyboard, and continued to hit them until the cacophony of notes flowed through his body like currents of electricity. It was a relief to hear the discordant sounds after three hours of striving to play the perfection of a Mozart’s concerto. He was half way through the third movement of K595 in B flat, Mozart’s last concerto and performed only months before his death. It was recognised as a work of serene transcendent beauty but Julian was beginning to wish he had never heard of it.
His childish display of frustration would not go unnoticed, so he just sat and waited, counting the seconds until the door opened and Mother breezed into room. He didn’t react to her entrance but stayed motionless at the piano, feeling the heat of her body as she stood behind him pressing against his back.
‘You mustn’t let Mr Nerves win, Darling . . . you know that.’
‘Mother, please . . . the last thing I need now . . .’
‘I know what you need Jules. You know that, don’t you? Mother always knows what you need.’ She stroked his shoulders with her long fingers and immaculately manicured nail, a mother’s caress.
‘I’ve had enough for today, I’m tired.’ He was attempting defiance, something he rarely managed successfully with Mother.
‘You have an important concert next week . . . you can’t afford to slack off now.’
He closed his eyes and tried to block her out. His mind was flooded with childhood memories of days shut in the music room. She had beaten him into submission, starved him for days and then force fed him on a pure meat diet which she believed stimulated his genius. She stood beside him with a thin equestrian dressage whip and flicked it across the back of his hands; forcing him to practise over and over again until she was satisfied that perfection had been achieved. She no longer needed to abuse him physically, the memories were enough.
‘Practise for one more hour . . . just another hour, there’s a good boy,’ she kissed him affectionately on the head and then left the room quietly.
Julian stared at the keyboard and then at his hands, now unclenched but shaking with anger. She would be waiting for him to start, standing motionless, hand held in front of her with fingers interlocked. She reminded him of a pointer dog or bitch in her case.
If he didn’t start playing within the next few minutes she’d be back whining at him with her sharp, nasal voice. How many more years must he suffer her? Was there no escape for him, no escape from her constant nagging and interfering? She suffocated him, allowing him to have no thoughts of his own and to make no decisions without her prior agreement. He had dreams of ending her tyrannical control over his life. He knew one day he’d stop her. One day I’ll make her stop.
The story will be continued with part two released very soon… watch this space!
Music fiction by H L Lowe