Short Story: Klavier (2000 words)

I have been listening to Rammstein lately and came to think of a short story I wrote over 10 years ago. I wrote it first in Icelandic, because that’s what I did back then, but then (to be able to share it with friends and relatives around here) I translated it over to English. I was greatly under the influence of certain Rammstein song when I wrote this piece. The song is called KLAVIER and is from the album Sehnsucht.

This morning as I was listening to the song and I wondered where the story had ended up. I raged through cyberspace (didn’t really think I’d ever published it anywhere though), I went through mail and old files on old computers until I finally found it on my partners computer. He’s adamant about files, thankfully. So I spent a little time to make it a little smoother, without breaking it apart or tearing down what I build over 10 years ago. I was quite proud of it at the time, and although I find it a bit rough today, I must admit I’m still a bit proud of this one.

So here it is. Ten years after the fact. Greatly inspired by Klavier by Rammstein.



What did you think?

That I’d listen and shut up? Let you break us apart without a word? Without a fight? Did you think I’d be useless? What did you think?

I can’t hear you breath anymore. You’ve gone silent. Perhaps a long time ago. I can’t remember. The piano has been silent for a while. You thought you’d get away with it. You thought you’d betray me and walk away like I was some kind of a sheep! Like our love was meaningless. You were always the one causing the fire in my chest.

Oh, why didn’t you listen to me?

Why didn’t you listen? What was it that made you ignore me? Were you so sure of yourself? So hungry for other people’s attention? Or were you too stupid to understand that I could never let go of you? I never wanted anyone else to hear.

When I tried to make you listen you fled, said you had other things to do. You said that I was only talking nonsense. If only you had listened! If you had only let me love you like I wanted to love you. No one understood us, no one but you and me.

They tried to tear us apart. Thought that we were separable. I was the idiot, the moron that you were not supposed to be dragging around with. What did they know? What do they know? They still won’t understand and now it’s too late. Now you are silent. Even though you’re sitting there with your eyes open and you look like you’re listening, I know you’re not. You didn’t listen before, why should that change now?

Ah, if only you had understood. If only I had been able to make you understand! Make you listen to what I had to say. You always said I was what you wanted, and that nothing could ever change that. You got me to smile and I believed you.

I believed in you.

You made me laugh. I felt like a normal human being around you, perhaps for the first time in my life. The first and the last.

I remember the night you came to me in the middle of the night so well. It had snowed the whole day but I had slept. Slept the whole day after working long dark hours, and you woke me back to life and showed me the snow that covered everything. It was white and fluffy. You wanted me to come out with you and play. Make snow angels. I laughed and said I only made devils, no angels. You told me I was your angel and that it was enough. We ran in the snow. I wasn’t wearing a shirt and you told me that it was sexy seeing the naked body in the snow. You told me that my body was making snow angels in your mind, that you were printing it into your memory forever so I could never escape from you.

But I would never flee.

You made angels in the snow that looked like little cute fairies with magic wands. They put a spell on me. You put a spell on me. And afterwards we went inside and made love on the floor to warm us up.

I was never cold around you.

Now I am freezing. It is cold as death and you are just sitting there staring. White and silent. Why didn’t you listen? Why didn’t you ever let me speak? I told you I was no angel. No guardian angel, but an angel of revenge. You laughed at me and kissed me on the mouth. Your kisses were always wet. The hair on my head would rise and I lost all control of my body, could hardly stay still around you. Couldn’t wait for the next kiss.

Now the kisses are cold, dry and passionless. What happened? What happened?! When did I become your enemy? Why did you make me your enemy? What happened to us?

Oh, this freezing cold is killing me. I can hardly feel my limbs anymore, can only feel this thing in my heart that has taken over – like a fire gone cold. Fire burned harshly in my heart – now there is only the ruins left. The embers are still warm, dangerously warm from the fire before. It burned until there was nothing left to burn.

Dear, why can’t you say something? Why do you just sit there staring silently? Why don’t you play one of your beautiful songs on the piano, like you always did before? When we sat here in the dark at night, I would listen to you play for hours. You would play so beautifully. So passionate. Heavy and light. Silent and loud. Such wonderful sound. You played until you had nothing more left in you and I was thunderstruck with my feelings for you. Afterwards, I always slept without nightmares. I woke up and your eyes would radiate of love, you were sitting by the piano, playing and watching me. You said you played only for me. That your fingers didn’t touch the piano for anyone else. You said you couldn’t play for anyone else. You said your fingers refused to caress the piano for anyone but me. You played for me alone.

You lied! And now the piano has gone silent.

You tried to convince me there was no one but me. That you couldn’t see anyone else. I believed you until I saw you playing for another man. Your fingers played so smoothly, just like you used to when I listened. The fingers moved so easily, like there was nothing to it. So smooth, so light, so easy – it always looked so easy. And you played for him the heavy tones that you played for me before, that you said were mine. You said they were for me alone. And I watched you play for him. He sat in the sofa and listened, like it was his right to listen to you play the song that was meant only for me. I could only stand there in the shadows and watch you, I was numb, paralyzed, could hardly understand that you had betrayed me.

You told me that he liked it. Your enthusiasm apparent. You said your future had been written in the stars. That you would play for thousands. Play the songs, you only played for me, for thousands of people who would watch your fingers making love to the notes just as hungrily as I’d watched you. You were no longer just mine. Now everybody would be able to enjoy you.

You told me you were still mine. That your songs were made for me alone, I was your muse, your angel, and you claimed you couldn’t do it without me. You saw the hurt in my eyes. You acted like nothing had happened, sat by the kitchen table and asked me what I thought about all this. You wiggled your legs in rhythm and I watched you in shock, didn’t believe my eyes or ears. You betrayed me, hurt me so deeply that I was burning up.

I told you I couldn’t even imagine it. That it was like splitting my soul and giving the pieces to thousands of people. Like breaking our love into bits and sharing it with other people. Sharing you with strangers.

In the evening they would come to bed with us. Your fingers were playing with my chest and I saw thousands of men in your eyes, listening to you play the songs that were meant for me alone. I saw him in your eyes, the man that had listened to you before. He had watched your fingers with longing in his eyes, like I used to do. Watched your shoulders, your neck, like I used to do. His hunger was as insatiable as mine, and it all reflected in the fire in your eyes, and I couldn’t take it.

I got out of bed.

I was naked like you and you watched me disappear into the living room. I sat by the piano and played most of the night. You sat beside me. Watched me finger the notes. I played for you. Rough tones filled our ears and senses.

You listened. You knew about the fire raging in my soul. You had soothed it so many times before. You always knew how I felt. I saw in your eyes that you felt it with me, but you didn’t do anything to stop it this time. The fire got to rage wildly within me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

I stood up and paced around.

You played.

You played wildly as if to express the fire within me, my heart and soul. You played so beautifully. Harshly beating the keys until your fingers bled. I sat behind you on the chair and you kept on hitting the notes, one by one as if you couldn’t stop. You couldn’t stop, no more than I could. I held your breasts. You were so beautiful, sitting there naked on the chair, playing. I wanted to have this moment forever, just sit here with you, feeling you, hearing you, feel the keys one after another, feel how the music possessed you and me. Feel how the notes formed the words I could not say, could never say or express. Feel how we became one through your music. I was hard, so hard.

You are still sitting by the piano. Your eyes are dull, beautiful but dull and the tones have faded. Your kisses are cold and dead. The tears in my eyes have dried up. The blood on my hands is dry too. I shed your blood on the fire in my heart, the fire you couldn’t control or put out. You never said the words I wanted to hear, you never heard me, didn’t listen. You couldn’t understand that I couldn’t share you with others. You didn’t understand that I couldn’t share us with other people and now the voices have become images that reflect in your eyes. The voices have become whispers in the tones that echo from your piano. Broken chords.

They have been knocking on the door for days. They come day after day knocking, beating the door and the windows. They have been screaming at us to open. They go and come back again and they keep on knocking.

The darkness makes me soft, it soothes me. I know I am doomed. The screams, the sorrow and the stench is suffocating me and I can’t go on much longer. I will die without you, from the stench of broken love. I can’t even imagine going on without you and the music that you wanted to share with the world.

The angel of revenge is dying.

I can hear your whispers in my ear. I can hear you whisper that I am still your angel, your devil. The fire has gone out in my chest. I can hear the sound of old times, it’s echoing from the walls and from the faded screams your mother emanates when they enter the room. I can hardly feel your father beating me, again and again, as if that will bring you back.

You were never theirs, always mine.

I can hear your whispers and the echo from your notes. The stench is killing me, they try to drag me out of here but I won’t budge. I won’t leave you. I belong to you alone. You alone got to hear me play. Hear my tones. You alone knew and felt how I felt. You alone. I see you sitting there by the piano, stiff. Life reenters your limbs and you play for me alone, like before, play for me until I lay here dead and can join you once more.


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