Composer - header


Welcome to the 2017 Blogging A-to-Z Challenge! I’ll be blogging my way through the alphabet the entire month of April, taking a break on Sundays, for a total of 26 posts! This year I am writing short stories based on a word that starts with the letter of the alphabet. The 26 fictional stories are not related to one another. This is a chance for me to exercise my imagination and explore creative writing which I have not done since college. Learn more about the blogging challenge HERE!

The theme for today’s story is Composer.

Inspiration struck her like a lighting bolt. She has just gotten on the bus when the melody crossed through her mind. How many more stops until home? Five? Six? The Montreal winter was in full swing and the latest snowstorm had added an immeasurable amount of snow to the streets and sidewalks. Bus travel in the city was slow going. Oh come on, old man! Get your change ready before stepping on the bus. People have places to be! …No, stop thinking about other stuff and hold onto the melody. I can’t lose this one.

After what felt like hours but was really only 30 minutes, Sheila left the stuffy warmth of the bus and stepped out into the chilly winter air. The wind did its best to carry her scarf away but she caught it just in time and tied it snugly around her neck. She turned left and hurried down the sidewalk with determined steps. As she continued to hum the precious melody, she felt it becoming stale and fading in her mind. Time was running out. She needed to get to her pen and composing paper soon. Why did I leave them at home today? I knew I should have thrown them in my bag.

When she was two or three, Sheila was given a toddler keyboard for Christmas by her grandparents and from then on she had been inseparable from music. She could not remember a day since that she had not practiced on the piano or cello or flute or trombone or one of the myriad other instruments she had easily picked up and learned. It was not until she was a teenager that she learned to compose music. She had been so hungry for soaking it all in that eventually it made sense that she completed the circle and became a composer: making music for birthday parties, graduations, and weddings. Her ultimate goal was to compose for the great orchestras around the world. She wanted to hear her notes played in a concert hall shaped for bringing music to life. She wanted to hear how different orchestras performed the same piece, one of hers.

At the moment, she was a block away from home and furiously humming her four bar melody. She took her mitten off and shoved her hand in her coat pocket desperately hoping she had not lost her key – again. Her fingers found the cold metal and readied it to open the door. She was at the steps and took them two at a time. In one swift motion she stuck the key in the lock and turned the handle. The door flung open and she threw her bag on the ground while struggling to step out of her boots. She ran upstairs to her desk, the front door forgotten and left wide open letting the cold winter air rush inside. She ran from the top of the stairs to her desk and sat down. She breathed in to focus and breathed out to signal her mind that she was in writing mode. She picked up the pen and wrote the four bar melody on her composition paper.

A sigh of relief escaped from her nostrils and she got up to close the front door and put away her things. By now, the snow from her boots would have started to melt onto the wood floor. But all of that could be fixed. She was thrilled to be writing again. Her composer’s block had been broken and now she could continue her journey. This was the first thing she had composed in six months. Last summer, her inspiration dried up and ever since she had been afraid that her dreams of composing were over. She still attended composer workshops and went to the symphony but the daily practice of composition had left her. For months she felt like a fraud. Sheila was elated to have her mojo back. She would do her best to persevere future slumps but for now it was time to compose!

And with this post that makes three down and 23 more to go! Thank you for reading my short story. What did you think? If you are here with the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge, please leave a comment below because I would love to check out your posts!

P.S. Check out my other short stories HERE!


5 thoughts on “Composer

    • Halee Pagel says:

      Thank you! That us an interesting point you make about where composers get their inspiration. I would imagine from their surroundings, a bird trilling, thunder and rain, city sounds. And, from the snippet of music theory I’ve studied, certain chords inherently have emotional tones.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. serenasinclair says:

    My boyfriend is a composer! I get excited to read stories that connect with my own life in some way. I’m trying to get ready for work and I saw the title and thought…well I’ll just read one more :p Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Halee Pagel says:

      How cool is that!! I have a friend trying to break into the composing world and I find it so interesting how technology has changed the profession. She said most composers don’t need to rely on a live orchestra because they can produce all of their music using computer software.

      Liked by 1 person

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