The melodic tunes of the "Beethoven Violin Sonata # 9" filled the room. My bow caressed the strings of my Stradivarius, producing the calming sounds, enthralling my audience in this white, snowy morning. I stood in the centre of this room, my back facing the window, the audience encircling me, and my best friend and soul, Padhllum were witnessing the accomplish success of hard training. I had been practicing this marvelous piece of music for many months to perform it for the most wealthiest families in town. My father had promised the Safford family a morning full of the sweetest sounds in the world, "a sound produced by a Stradivarius and weaved by the hands of my daughter," as he had said.
My piece ended, I added a few more notes and melodies to the last dying line. Applause erupted from around me, I closed my eyes, excitement in my heart. I felt accomplished. I open my eyes and around me were my audience standing, nodding, acknowledging my talent as a young violinist. I curtsied, my light blue satin dress was glowing, contrasting the white snow behind me. Mr. Safford came forth to me.
"What a wonderful morning you have provide us," Mr. Safford said, "you are a splendid young, virtuoso violinist, and I will be delighted to have you again in my mansion."
Padhllum, my panda soul, walk lazily toward us. He had the case for my Stradivarius, once I place the Stradivarius in place I turned to Mr. Safford and gave him a smile.
"I would be honored if I were invited again," I said. Good Manners were a requisite if you pertained to the higher economical classes. My family being rich, has many connections with other wealthy families, and boasting their children talents was a favored diversion.
Mr. Safford gave me a warm smile, and stepped aside to let the other people congratulate me. The handshake or embrace I was expecting never came, my father did not approach me.I watched him from across the room, he was busy talking to his soul, a bright and colorful peacock.
"Maybe you should approach him," Padhllum suggested.
I turn to look at him, casting him my cold blue eyes. Eyes that could have petrify everybody else, but not Padhllum. He is an understanding soul, his white fur with black spots was a comfortable place to hide my face whenever I felt dejected. I sighed, I took the handle of the Stradivarius case and stride toward my father. Upon my arrival he become silent, his elegant soul took some steps back so we could have a talk. He gave me the look he had always given me, emotionless, affection-less, a serious look I had grown accustomed to.
I felt discourage, but smiled nonetheless. "What do you think, father?" I asked timidly.
He still had a serious look about him. Being a widow father and raising a daughter had not been his greatest pleasure, he had always been stern on me, very demanding and never satisfied. His cold gray eyes, still much colder than mine, shifted away from me. He did not hesitate when he said this poignant phrase.
"Not good enough." He simply walked away and joined Mr. Safford's conversation.
I was only left there, my eyes were cast down looking on the burgundy-color carpet. My father's soul bent down his head in a respectful manner, I nodded. I walk toward the far end of the room. My heart could match the frigid temperatures on the other side of the window. Padhllum accompanied me in my solitude, he was the only one I would admit. I had skipped school this morning to play for the enjoyment of my father and his friends.
I excused myself to the restroom to change to my school uniform, I was committed to leave this house and the unfulfilled feeling I had in my aching heart.
"Please tell my father I will go to school now," I told Mr. Safford, "I must get my education regardless of my music. Tell him I will walk to school with Padhllum, and I will see him tonight at home." I bid Mr. Safford goodbye and entered the comforting cold.
"Do not take it personal, Chrystel," Padhllum was trying to soothe me.
"How can you say that?" I asked him, an edge in my voice. I gripped the handle of my Stradivarius case tighter, for two reasons: cold and anger. "I am never good enough for him."
Padhllum walked beside me, when he was down on his four paws he had the height of my waist. His paws were leaving deep indents in the snow. He noticed I had turned to my left, instead of continuing in a straight path, in direction to my school. "Skipping school, eh?" he chuckled.
I ignored him, I just wanted to feel the snow and the wind on my face. These were perfect substitutes for a cold-heart father. We walked for a quarter of an hour now, with no specific path. Somehow we had ended in the streets bordering the Abandoned District. My breathing had become unsteady, I gripped my Stradivarius. This was not a good place for something of such great value to be, as I was turning to leave I heard a painful moan. Padhllum was already racing toward the sound. I hesitated but decided to follow Padhllum.
When I finally caught up to him, he was bending toward something in the snow. What I saw caused me revulsion. It was a woman, her chest was opened in view, her heart was removed, and a blood pool tainted the snow surrounding her. I let my violin case fall to the snow. My whole body was shaking, Padhllum was now grazing intently around to catch the scent of the murderer, all in vain. This woman's soul was vanishing with the wind, leaving a faint blue light behind. I had dropped to my knees, I reached to my pocket and took my mobile, I dialed 911 with unsteady hands.
"911, what is your emergency," a voice said.
"There has been a murder in the Abandon district!" I said hurriedly in a whisper. "It is a woman, her chest has been cut open and she is... she is.. bleeding a lot..." I was lost in words, I could only regard the red snow around me.
The woman's voice was shaking as she said "Hold on tight, ma'am. We just sent an ambulance and police over to the Abandon district half an hour ago for two other murders. They are still there, I will tell them to find you, meanwhile look for shelter, the murderer might still be there."
"Gone," Padhllum said. He settled beside my shaking body. I hugged myself and tried to look away. But the woman's lifeless eyes will haunt me forever.
A shadow hidden in the Abandon district was lurking away from us, its soft steps were carefully camouflaged by the howling wind. Padhllum had raised his head stealthily, but did not dare to part from my side, as far as he knew it could have been nothing, just the wind.