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by Ashlie Allen

Enea sits alone at the piano. The view of Venice outside the window in front of him is inspiring. He wonders when he will be able to go outside and ride the little boats and dip his fingers into the copper colored water. The punishment has been going on for over seven years. Enea isn’t sure when it is going to end or if the piano will be the only luxurious thing he ever touches. His parents want their son to be the greatest pianist in Italy. But Enea wants something else.

He rubs his knuckles across the piano keys as he gazes at the glistening water and thinks to himself I will escape this torment. I will go outside and inhale the dirty air and I will accidently bump into strangers and smile. But he can hear his parents walking up the stairs. It is time for him to learn a new song. The shadow of him rising from the stool flashes across the wall as his parents unlock the door to his prison, but before they can throw sheet music in his face, Enea is staggering through the streets of Venice.

The first thing he does is run to the water. He washes his face in it as he sighs in ecstasy. “No more plaintive harmonies will be born from my fingers,” he says to himself. “Only from my mouth.”


Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in Burningword Literary Journal, Conclave: A Journal of Character, The Jet Fuel, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, and others. Besides writing, she has plans to become a photographer.

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