Short Story: Beethoven Never Saw it Coming

Short Story Words

colourized, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr

“Brian.”

Silence followed Mary’s vocal cords. As usual, her voice enjoyed its sound more than the student it were aiming for.

“BRIAN!”

The vocal cords were not rewarded with a response, even at the heightened level. Why is it that she had thought larger proportions would bring a head nod or at least an eye roll from him? After all, her weight gain hadn’t made her husband look twice at her; which didn’t make sense really given that he regularly ogled the waitress with the large rear-end at the bakery.

Shaking off this thought, Mary walked over to Brian’s desk and tapped her red fingernails on his desk. He jumped in his plastic yellow chair and turned his head up toward her frowning face.

“Did you hear my question to the class?” she asked him.

His mind fumbled like it was holding a football on an ice-cold day. Words came and went in his mind – “mimic,” “Beethoven,” “choral,” “Symphony 9” and “score.” Lines scattered between the words but no web formed.

“I just – “

Mary caught up faster than him. “I just – I just know what you were going to say.” She smirked and reached down for the notebook in front of him. She took it into her hands and read from it, not at all surprised with the words that met her eyes. She read aloud,

“He was taking steps up into the spaceship, anxious for the trip ahead. He hadn’t seen the aliens for a while and wondered if they still remembered the secret handshake.”

Mary left off the next sentences and instead tossed the coil notebook back onto the desk. She pretended not to hear the other students giggling around them or Brian’s red cheeks.

“Do you think Beethoven would approve?” she asked him, finishing off the question with a smile. The laughter got louder from the surrounding students. “Would he approve of aliens and such?”

Looking down at the notebook, Brian wondered how she would react if he were to tell her the secret of last summer; the secret of the conversation on the glittering silver ship that spun into the park that night. He took a deep breath and looked up into her eyes.

“They’re on their way,” he said, with an even tone.  “And they know how mean you are to me.”

“Ooooh I’m scared,” Mary said, laughing as she used a high-pitched mocking tone. She turned around, heading back to the front of the room, her clicking heels accompanying her assured frame.

As Brian turned his notebook back toward him, he tuned out the laughter around him. Picking up his pen, he wrote three more words onto the open page –

You never know.

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48 thoughts on “Short Story: Beethoven Never Saw it Coming

  1. Aquileana

    “You never know”… Those ending lines are truly eloquent.

    A sort of hypothetical statement which corollary seems to be an accurate factual possibility
    Those ending lines made me think of the quote: “I want to believe” from The X-Files.

    As to the story itself, I enjoyed the thorough descriptions of the characters, particularly the one of the teacher.

    Just wondering if Beethoven would approve… I think he obviously would.
    After all his 9th Symphony has certainly a transcendent force, a sort of intergalactic influence, which travels beyond..

    I enjoyed your sci-fi brief story; dear Christy.
    Thanks for sharing. Hugs,
    Aquileana

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Ohhh I love that you made a comparison with the X-Files – I wish! Very kind, Aqui xx And soooo glad Beethoven and you approve of the writing too. Many hugs back and really appreciate your support!

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  2. penpusherpen

    You never Know… , ever, …. Ooooo love this Christy, I can just see Mary, in her high heels , running from the Spacemens wrath at her treatment of their friend. Clickety Click!” Beethoven and spacemen, a fantasy that works, so well. xxxx

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  3. hilal achmar

    As Brian wrote: You never know.
    I like this closing sentence. I, for example, more ‘do not know’ than ‘know’. Many things in my life, I do not know, how I can in the present circumstances.

    I also ‘do not know’ will meet you, I say: you are a commander in writing. You can write your experiences and knowledge with a very fluently and nice. I feel the greatness of you when reading your posts. Keep sharing … Thank you. 🙂 Hilal Achmar.

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  4. CORRIE WOERDE

    WELL,HERE I AM DEAR CHRISTY,AS I PROMISSED YOU BEFORE!
    I WAS ONLY WRONG,THIS TIME NO POEM BUT THIS GREAT SHORT STORY OF YOU! AND YEAH…HE’S RIGHT…YOU NEVER KNOW….. 😉

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  5. Shakti Ghosal

    Hi Christy,

    You seem to be progressing the tale in a very interesting direction.

    Would you say that there does exist a perceptual constraint in Mary which makes her want to keep the control? Would you also conjecture that Brian’s true passion really lies elsewhere even though he himself has not discovered that ( yet?).

    A great read and I look forward to your further installments!

    Shakti

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Shakti,
      Thanks for stopping by with such inquisitive lines. As for the answers, I would leave that up to each reader to decide. The way you question it leads me to feel you connected with it in some way and, as a writer, that makes me smile 🙂

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  6. Sue Dreamwalker

    ” His mind fumbled like it was holding a football on an ice-cold day.”… love that sentence.. and loved the story… and your end line… You never know.. A very descriptive story 🙂 Big smiles… 🙂 xxx

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  7. tessa

    Loved the short story, didn’t know where you were taking us (space?/aliens?/the unknown. Horrors, it brought back memories of some of my ‘blessed teachers’. Great descriptive tale full of imagination, ending fittingly with a twilight zone feeling .

    Like

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