Buying Time




“Matyas, what are you doing?”

“Playing Liszt on a sad, old piano,” replied Matyas as he fumbled over the bass clef of an abandoned, battle-bruised upright.

“But, we are in the midst of battle.”

“I play anyway.” He culled from memory the patterns of finger play for the opening bars of the Hungarian Rhapsody. His lately unpracticed, nerve-frayed hands poking at the ivories with determination.

“You will alert the enemy.”

“Yes, to my humanity. I am not a killing machine. I am a man with a heart trained to do the unthinkable.” Matyas pursued the lilting, heart-felt movements with the passion of a man buying time, the tinny sounds of the broken piano resounding plaintively throughout the barren wood. A tear pooled in the corner of his eye. He wiped it away with the back of a dirty sleeve. “I must remind myself I am human. I must show the enemy I am more than a man in uniform.”

“But they will kill you.”

“Then let my last breath be the last note I play. Let me die in the rapture of the music I love.”

“You are a romantic fool, Matyas.”

“I know. Let that be written on my stone.”


©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2016


Free Write Friday




9 thoughts on “Buying Time

  1. What a hauntingly beautiful story Dorothy. And it is even more special since my Dad was Hungarian and the Hungarian Rhapsody is always in my head as well as in a music box in the living room to remind me I am human.

  2. Reblogged this on In So Many Words and commented:

    I have been away from this blog for a variety of reasons. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. The novel is finished and now the struggle to figure out how to get it published begins. I’m even wondering if I should publish it in serial format on its own blog. Thoughts, anyone?

    In the meantime, and while I conjure up the creative energy to write something worthy of posting, am re-blogging this, one of my favourite short posts, originally set free in April 2016.

    Thanks for visiting,


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