The Violinist

This is probably going to be very confusing, as it is the basis for a book I want to write. Not everything is explained, including the backstories of the two characters. This is the first and only time they meet. Please help me by commenting on the general feel of the writing and the rant at the end--I'm having a lot of trouble with that! Thanks for reading!

The sun knew it was time to set, but it lingered in the graying sky. Like a child at bedtime, turning away from the darkening window in ignorance, it stubbornly hung, lighting the city with feeble, dying rays. The wind slid around the fallen buildings. It whispered in the ears of the people outside, huddled together on curbstones, bent low over small scraps of food or dwindling candles. Amid the rubble and broken stones stood a man, alone on the corner of the street. His name was Andras. His shoes were dusty black, coated with dirt, and his coat was long, brown, and tattered. A chiseled Greek statue dulled by sand and wind, his once-handsome face was now creased and tanned. His eyes were shut tightly, making little ripples around their lids. Under his chin, there was nestled a violin.
It was spotless. The smooth mahogany wood was as pure and perfect as the day it was first polished, immune to the stone dust that now covered everything. The man rocked back and forth as he drew his bow across the strings, his fingers waltzing up and down the neck, coaxing out a song. The music seemed to overtake the foul-smelling air, filling it with the sweet scent of gardenias and laughter. Quiet and soft as it was, it billowed up into the sky and stretched on for miles, like a kite.

Across the road, a soldier stood watching him. He ran his fingers over the rough brown wool of his uniform, adjusting the leather strap across his chest. The melody tugged at something in his memory, whispering of sunny afternoons in the pavilion and the heavy perfume of old paper. He closed his eyes, wishing his body was still crushed in a pipe-tobacco hug. His hand edged towards his pocket, drawing back as it passed the holster on his belt, and slid into the opening to dig out a 2-forint coin.

Hesitating for a moment before pressing his high black boot into the cobblestone, he approached the violinist. Quietly, he dropped the coin onto the pavement where it rocked vibrated for a moment before resting with a jingle between his feet.
"Spasibo za muzyku," he said, "Thank you for the music."
The violinist sharply drew his bow across the strings, making them scream out of tune. His eyes snapped open, and waking from his dream he surveyed the soldier.
"Ez nem az Ön számára!" he spat.
"I don't speak Hungarian," said the soldier, apologetically.
"I said," came the voice of the violinist, now speaking in Russian. "It is not for you." The soldier blinked. He shifted his weight.
"Oh," he finally said. "Well, it was very nice, anyway. Won't you play some more?"
"I'm quite glad you liked it, then. Tell me, did it help you feel better? Did it make your burden lighter? It must feel good to try and forget about all those people that you killed, am I right?" The soldier tried to speak, but he was cut off. "Or perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe you just enjoyed watching me, a pathetic old, ragged man, doesn't have anything but his sad little songs? Oh, I'm right there. I can see your eyes, you're happy, aren't you? It was a triumph, wasn't it, this siege? All of us dwarfed by your brilliant schemes, roped into a perfect society with no conflicts, no war. Is this what you call communism?" He drew his thin arm in a wide arc, gesturing to the rust-red stains on the street. "Mass murder?"
The soldier was silent.
"How'd you get that medal?" Asked the violinist, his voice rising. "Is that for killing my wife? Or my daughter, maybe. She was seven years old. Seven. You bastard. You and your 'comrades', you probably laughed while you killed them, my family, my city. Does it make you feel good, killing people? I ought to try it, if it's so fun. And I'll start with you. One day, I'm going to rip those smug little eyes from their sockets, crush them into the ground. You insensitive, ignorant bastard! You knew, you knew you should have talked to them! You should have talked to them, at least given her a sideways glance more than once a week! You're a selfish pig, you know that? Just smile, look a little sad, act like nothing's happened. Don't you see? Don't you understand?
You'll never understand what it's like."
The soldier hesitated again.
"Actually, when I was little, my father--"
"Don't you see? You can't ever begin to see what it's like! Of course you can't. You're nothing!" Tears carved their way into the man's wrinkled face. They etched themselves onto his skin, burning tracks down his cheeks.
"Nobody." He whispered.
The soldier whipped his gun from the holster. His hands didn't recoil now. His fingers hovered on the trigger.
Slowly, the violinist sank. The violin fell from his hands and cracked against the stones on the street.
"My name is Andrei," said the Soldier, before he walked away.

The End

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