A Violin’s Cry by Joseph Cox
Three days before the anniversary of Julian Banner’s lover’s suicide, a terrifying sound unlike anything Julian has ever heard rips him from his sleep. Someone broke into Julian’s home to steal a single string from his dead boyfriend’s violin. After an unpredicted dinner out, Julian is more on his own than ever. That night when Julian wakes in a dream of smoke and fog, whispers of visions and a truth he was never supposed to realize become clear in the haze.
The summary on this story is somewhat correct, if awkwardly worded. The awkward word choices and phrases continue in the story but the engaging narrative easily compensates, creating a chilling and interesting story. Julian Banner has been avoiding dealing with his lover’s death in the past year. Although he’s existing and continuing life, he’s not moved on from Max’s death. A wide range of emotions plague Julian from anger to grief to guilt and even the consistent support and friendship of Max’s best friend David can pull Julian out of his despair. Then just a few days before the anniversary of Max’s death, Julian experiences a dream that gives him some disturbing answers.
This story is chilling and slightly gory but not enough to turn anyone off; just enough to read this spooky delight on a dark night and let your imagination free. The story is told in third person from Julian’s point of view as he struggles with moving on in the face of unanswered questions. Julian is immediately sympathetic as he struggles with reality versus fantasy, are those noises he’s hearing ghosts or something else? As Julian searches for answers, his relationship to Max is revealed in memories and thoughts. There is a glimpse of a deep passion and love but tinged with secrets. Ultimately the relationship is shown as loving and intimate, but with fears and insecurities like any couple. There is a brief description of how they knew they’d be together that is beautiful in its simplicity.
The violin had been the thing that had brought them together, in a way. After they met, Julian had spent the night. They had made love through most of it. When he had awoken the next morning, Max lovingly stared down at him. There had been a great need in Max’s eyes, an emotional ache, a yearning for something further. Julian had been feeling it too, a sensation of not wanting to be alone anymore. After a few moments of silent kissing, an unspoken bond had been created between them. They had never spoken about it…they had never needed to.
This remembered scene is romantic, intense, and satisfying without needing to show any other reasons for the two to be together.
The writing is good with a few editing errors and awkward phrasing. These problems don’t take away any enjoyment however as the slow build of tension and drama works very well to create a thrilling atmosphere tainted with a bit of horror. The violin is incorporated incredibly well, used in creative ways. The final scene is both chilling and satisfying. Overall, this short story delivers a great story that may not be perfect but is sure to delight fans. Be sure to read this creepy paranormal late at night with the lights out for full effect.
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