Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Perfection in Harmony


An anticipation of something special hung in the air. The Moscow Promenade series had been one of the most memorable in recent years; tonight the final recital was expected to provide a fitting climax. The line up of musical talent on display certainly promised all that, and perhaps more.

On the rostrum, Igor Vaclav shared some last words with his right hand – lead violinist Chi-Xe Lang. These two needed to perform as one. Every note, every chord, every semi-quaver had its place. Igor and Chi-Xe wouldn’t accept anything less. Their reputations were the ones on the line. The rest of the orchestra were seen as an extension of them. The orchestra’s faults would be their faults; tonight was too important for mistakes.

The hall was soon filled with an explosion of sound. The audience sat enthralled as sweeping chords, crashing drums and heavenly strings rained down. As the finale approached Igor and Chi-Xe both noticed it: the cellist due to lead the closing piece wasn’t there. No time to think why. A quick glance between the two – they knew what was needed. Where there was meant to be cello there was instead violin. As the last note sounded the crowd roared their approval. The conductor and his right hand shared a relieved, and knowing smile.


Apologies at once again blowing the 150 word guideline; I hope you regard the extra 70 words as a bonus!  This tale of two acting as one forms my entry into this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress siteThe picture is copyright of


16 thoughts on “Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Perfection in Harmony

  1. Alastair

    I think I will change it to between 100-200 as it gives more leeway 😉 . The extra 70 words go by without noticing them. It is an incredible piece as always,

    Thanks Paul

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers Alastair. Good move. 200 words gives you more room to breathe. The first few weeks of your challenge I was editing down from 220 or so to 150. Just decided not to bother as you’re not getting the best of the story. Glad you liked it!

      1. Alastair

        There’s a couple of people who have gone over the 150 frequently, so I’ve been thinking of it for a couple of weeks. I can’t take it higher than that, or it will stop the non-writers from reading so many of them.

      2. Alastair

        200 gives room to about 220 as some stories – like yours have been – cannot be reduced without serious damage to it.

        One story I wrote for Friday Fictioneers, I had to seriously carve up, and I left a few bits in that caused it to be confusing lol

    1. paulmclem Post author

      I think that’s good – if you knew what was coming it would probably be fairly dull. For me the two cranes working so closely together lead me down this path i.e. people acting almost as one. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. zookyworld

    These guys are masters to play like that, and then improvise at the end. I really like your descriptions of the music, of the sweeping chords, etc. Ah, if only to be there and hear it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s