The Riff

The Riff


The theatre smelt of plaster and age, the boards creaked with secrets past.  The audience sat in anticipation, they had come from all over, some in diamonds and pearls others modestly dressed.  It was invitation only and more than half a dozen strangers sat under subtle lighting on cheap plastic chairs.  No one looked to the shadows, thrown by the semi-circle of the balcony, instead they were drawn to the high wooden stool on the stage.


The auditorium dimmed, the buzz of conversation died down and a lone light struck the stage.  Measured footsteps hit the boards throwing up dust to dance in the back lighting.  A solitary performer stepped into the glow and sat in front of his audience.


He picked up his guitar and drew it to his body caressing it almost as if it was a lover.  His left hand began to feel the notes on the inlaid fingerboard while his right readied over the five double courses of strings.  This was no ordinary instrument, it sang in pine and maple, rosewood and mother of pearl, ivory and mastic but it also spoke of many lifetimes masked in music.


He closed his dark eyes and bowed his head, a halo of light surrounding him, as he drew breath.


An acoustic surge erupted into the silence, as fingers danced deftly on cords, creating bursts of colour from music.  Riffs fluttered like butterflies around the auditorium evoking memories and stirring emotions.    On and on he played until time became lost in the all-consuming fire of his passion, the tune resonating with each heartbeat until everyone was breathing as one.


In, out.  In, out.   Inhaling each cord, each note as it fizzed in the air.


He stopped playing but the melody continued, relentless in its flood of tones and shades, bleeding into each soul to feed.


He stepped away from the light and slipped back into the shadows.  Soon they would leave this theatre of dreams without second thought but the riff would remain hidden in their subconscious.


And then they will dance to his tune.


Copyright RMC Nov 2017

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