His face was almost expressionless as he was watching the violinist perform on the stage of the small theatre. His eyes were watching the musician’s every move and inside them you could discern a desire so intense it could top the thirst of a dying man in the desert.
It was what had awakened me from my slumber, on that cold winter’s night. I was observing him, hidden in my corner, certain he was the reason I was back on Earth once more. He was fixated on the violinist’s hands and didn’t spare a glance for any of the other musicians. We shall have a lot of fun, the two of us, I thought to myself. I will probably enjoy it more than you will, though.
When the musicians finished their performance, I got out and stood waiting for him at the end of the street. As soon as he exited, I approached him and started up a conversation. It was as if we had known each other a lifetime. This is one of my special talents, by the way. It didn’t take long for him to confess it had always been his dream to become a violinist; however, he was never good enough to do so. He still hadn’t registered the eerie aura around me, or the fact that my eyes were a bit too shiny. I unbuttoned my thick coat and I took out the crimson violin, momentarily providing him with a view of my body. For a second, his disgust showed on his face, but he remained silent. I could hear his heart thumping in his chest, though, a glorious sound filled with promise.
“This will turn you into the best violin player in the world,” I declared with a sardonic smile. “Every time somebody touches your violin, it will absorb a bit of their talent.” I had prepared some arguments in order to convince him but I didn’t have to use any of them. I assume he was familiar with Faust. He signed the contract I offered him without uttering a single question, without even reading it. I took a deep bow and disappeared from his sight.
In the next few weeks, he would go from violinist to violinist and ask them to take a look at the antique he had found in his attic. Everybody was mesmerized by the blood-red instrument and they performed their most beautiful songs with it. When they handed it back, however, that whole incident was suddenly inexplicably vague in their memory. Like a leech, the violin sucked their ingenuity and transferred it to him.
Eventually, he became a true virtuoso. I sat behind him, lurking in the shadows, listening to him play for hours. He never knew I was there, of course, but his music literally brought tears to my eyes.
Soon after, he booked his first appearance. It seemed quite ironic; it was scheduled to be at the same place I had seen him for the first time. So I sat in the same corner, to enjoy the climax of my little farce.
After a while, he made his appearance. He climbed on stage holding his violin. He took a nervous look around the crowd that was filling the small room, frozen. His heart began thumping again, a different kind of music to my ears. Then he started to back down very slowly; he spun on his heels and raced off the stage.
He was, indeed, the best violinist in the world. Just not in front of other people.
Myrto Lida Zafeiridi writes in Volos, Greece.