I teased a few weeks back that I was re-starting my novel, changing its setting and genre. I can only say that it’s been fun. So I thought it only fair to toss a bit of the beginning at you. Please realize this is the FIRST draft! Much revision ahead, but I’m happy with the results so far. Be kind 🙂

— The final chords of The Moldau reverberated through the empty seats of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, trying to find their way back to their source, hitting wall after wall until they decayed into silence. Ellen always found The Moldau’s closing cadence wistful. A special kind of loneliness was imagined in their powerful yet solitary declaration.
Her personal reverie was interrupted by the players’ representative’s mundane announcement of call time and dress. She only half-listened as she packed her flute in its case. She stood up and stretched. Her unusually hard morning workout still left her stiff. She really needed to slow down.
“Fancy lunch?” Mildred said, looking up from her chair. Mildred and Ellen had been sitting side-by-side for the past two years. Their relationship was cordial. The routine was simple: one would ask the other about lunch, the other would decline, the offerer would then say, “Rain check, then.” And they would go their separate ways.
“No, thank you, I have to teach lessons at GW today. Some other time, maybe.”
“Rain check, then.” Mildred smiled and left the stage.
As Ellen was walking out, her phone signaled a text. She checked the screen, and froze. Kevin was texting her. But why? They haven’t talked in three years. She slipped into her Audi and read the text.
“Ellen, this is kevin. We need to talk. Tonight. 1349 Good Hope Rd SE. 9pm”
Ellen stared in disbelief. Three years of silence and then a summons to one of the worst parts of town at night? She quickly typed in, “confirmation code k627”
“Never happened”
“Cy”
“Dz”
Ellen sighed. It really was him. But why now? Why there? She started her car and drove off into the gray day, pregnant with snow, to teach. —

-Mark

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