Short Story Preview: The Trumpet Player – Gabriela Harding
Every night he played the trumpet on the first floor of the house next door. His curtains were rumpled by the wind on cool evenings, motionless on hot summer nights; the window framed by wild ivy, blue with a splash of fluorescent moonlight.
The air was always heavy with the scent of tobacco, but even so the green smell of leaves and bursting buds floated over the garden.
Sometimes I even caught a glimpse of his silhouette, a shadow crouched over that mysterious trumpet: a golden thing, curvy and voluptuous like the body of a mermaid, moaning in his arms as if it was alive. Behind the white veil of the curtain, the musician and the trumpet engaged in a love dance, mouth on mouth, his fingers playing invisible buttons, until the climax was reached with a magnificent final blow.
His hand on my shoulder, Leon blew the smoke in my face.
“Are you okay, honey?” he inquired, though it was more an ascertainment than a question. I shrugged and stared into the black night. A cat moved swiftly through the rose shrubs, the clink of her bells mingling with the sweet notes of the wind chimes. Its body brushed against the trunk of the lilac tree.
“What are you thinking about?” (this, however, was a question).
I looked at him and wondered, why was he wearing nothing but boxer shorts, but then I remembered, we had just made love; I could hear flamenco music still playing from my room. I was barefoot and the blood-red nail varnish on my toes was starting to peel.
“Oh yeah,” I said, “I was wondering, have you seen this man playing the trumpet … do you know what he looks like?”
Leon said: “What do you mean?” He ran his finger over the faded tattoo on my shoulder.