Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Strickland's Dilemma

The night of the Winter Solstice Concert was drawing near, and Strickland gave himself permission to indulge in a fantasy of being on stage with his hero Benjamin Brittain looking on. A particular favourite fantasy of his began with them walking together along a moonlit beach, rapturous applause ringing in their ears, and Ben whispering “…because you deserve it…”
Buoyant now, Strickland made his way to the concert hall for the final rehearsal.
Looking out across the jumble of instruments and faces, the orchestra tuning up and fiddling with sensitive strings, his excitement died. He spotted Theo.

Theo, sporting a chrome yellow cummerbund and a matching jaundiced facial expression of sulk and stir, looked for all the world like a spoilt teenager. Theo liked to imagine he brought musical provocation to the staid orchestra with its dress code rules and frumpy rituals. His outlandish solo take on Elgar had once brought Strickland out in a rash, but mostly the conductor forgave Theo, as the constant search for gifted musicians proved more difficult with every new season. Strickland felt himself to be locked in so many battles these days, what with provincial attitudes of Board members, the unrealistic expectations of the locals, the fundraising committee and the restrictions of the local authority.
Now there was Theo and his liking for chrome yellow.
Distress filled Strickland’s stomach. How to resolve the current dilemma?

The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Anne Rule

19 December, 2014.

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