Tune the Violin
35 Years Later
The golden sliver of a waning crescent moon was barely visible through the thick mist that surrounded the man, obscuring the heavens from his eyes. Alexi Sergei Orlov thought he could make out a path winding through a clearing in the canopy of trees that surrounded him. His logical mind knew it could have been merely a twist of the night's shadows tricking his eyes into seeing things that weren't there. Deep voices in the distance were indistinct and blurred. He couldn't quite put his finger on the accent, but thought it was familiar.
Looking around, he pondered where he was and how he got there. The ground was hard and cold, rough with pebbles and debris. He shifted his position, trying to get more comfortable when he suddenly noticed her. The small woman sat across from him in front of the fire, her body bent toward the flame and its warmth. She was old, and frail, her skin wrinkled and paper-thin. Her gray hair, a thick mass of silk, cascaded down her back in youthful contrast to her fragile looks. But her eyes! Her eyes were a magnificent shade of gold. He had the greatest urge to touch her.
He watched as a man approached the fire, his face in shadow, his arm raised as he placed a bow across a violin's strings. The woman turned to him, her gentle smile the man's reward. His body facing her, he bowed, his treble hand pressing the strings at the violin's neck. The bow, a mere extension of his other hand, its resin coated filament caressing the strings over and across the belly of the beautifully carved instrument. Instantly, the violin he played took on a life of its own, the music amplified, filling the air with its glorious sound.
The old woman was agile, standing faster than one would expect from one so elderly. Her smile changed her face from ancient to ageless as she slowly twirled in front of him. Again and again she turned, circling and dancing to his violin, its siren song compelling her feet to move. Faster and faster, she twirled, and as she did, her once heavy steps became lighter and lighter. Alexi watched the years melt away with each turn. When the melody faded, the violinist vanished into the mist, and he gazed again into the woman's face. She was no longer old and gray. She was youth itself. Dark brown hair, the firelight catching a glimpse of red, her body lithe and firm, her mouth a pretty bow and her eyes molten gold.
Alexi blinked several times, awestruck at the vision before him.
"Who are you?"
"I am your past, Sergei. I am your beginning. And I am your future life."
And so... dear reader, a new cycle... begins.
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