Black Violins

3rd in the 'Pieces of Paradise 2010/2011' competition

The night was dark and the wind was harsh. The rain pelted down in sheets of icy spray. A lone figure dressed in a black hooded jacket and jeans sat on a lonely park bench underneath a wind torn fig tree. The figure’s clothes were as black as the sky above him so he seemed to shimmer against the falling rain. At the figure’s side sat an elegant black leather case; a numb hand lay protectively over it as if trying to shield it from the weather. The black rain stung his face as sheet after sheet of spray erupted from the sky. His body should have been numb with cold, but instead there was nothing. As the figure sat, his mind wandered back to the days when love had swum endlessly in his heart. Now there was only a grip of cold, steely, remorse around his heart. Around him the wind moaned like a beast but he didn't even feel it. He felt nothing, saw nothing; it was as if he was trapped in a bubble from in which nothing could touch him; nothing except the sadness colder than even the rain which fell around him. The fig tree's leaves danced above him in the wind so fiercely that one of its branches came tumbling down to earth nearby. Even as the worn old branch fell; its emerald leaves danced, determined to show one last display before they withered and died. The figure looked up and his pale face shone dimly in the streetlights that dotted the park. The hood of his saturated jacket was caught and thrown back to reveal short brown hair and blue eyes that sparkled with tears. The rain was getting harder now; pelting down so hard it seemed to explode upon contact with the earth. The figure rose, picked up the leather case and walked over to a shelter in the middle of the park. The path was slippery as he walked over to the shelter with rain drenching his clothes and the wind singing in his ear. When he reached the shelter he looked around at the dozens of streetlights illuminating the hundreds of puddles forming on the pavement and the muddy grass beds. The figure sat down on the bench in the centre of the shelter and placed the leather case on his lap. Gently he undid the buckles to reveal his only friend; a simple, unadorned, violin. He took the delicate instrument from its soft velvet bed, placed it upon his shoulder, raised the horsehair bow to the strings, and began to play. His music rang a haunting melody of broken hearts and endless tears. As he played his sadness seemed to drain away, seeming to collect in a puddle of its own at his feet. His music rang through the park for hours, his violin humming its beautiful melody while the wind moaned around him and the sky shed its endless tears above his head.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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