The Wondering Workshop

Israeli authors and poets creating in English

Concerto for Violin, Violence and Velociraptor in C minor

Written By: Uri Lifshitz - May• 31•10

I entered the room as Johannes closed the violin case. My eyes surveyed the room for potential threats as Johannes went about his rituals of closing the lids and sorting the music sheets that lay on the table. When he was done he walked to the liquor cabinet and uncapped some bottle that was obviously too expensive for me to drink. I took the offered glass from his hand and inhaled the aroma. I have no interest in exquisite drinks or fine music but after so much time around rich people I learned to fake interest in order to avoid the repetitive lectures lavished upon the less fortunate.

Johannes set down and smiled. “Good show, Ja?” he asked me in his own unique accent. “Yes, the show was remarkable” I answered politely. He would not like to hear that I was too busy to listen to his performance. He drank and continued “and no one tried to kill me, that is good, Ja?” I nodded my head in agreement, how can I explain to him that the sooner they’ll try to kill him the sooner I could be done.

Johannes lit one of his cigars and closed his eyes, his long fingers gestured imaginary notes in he air leaving a trail of smoke behind. I appreciated his mannerism, despite not listening to his recital I can spot a professional when I see one. It’s something you pick up pretty fast in my line of work. Out of habit I positioned myself between him and the door. “You, maybe, don’t think this is over, Ja?” he asked. I had nothing to answer. He fixed me with a hard look “Maybe you can guess how they want to kill me, Ja?” I breathe in and tried to stay on the point “Probably a dinosaur. A small one. Get it in through the utility entrance, and then get it into the air ducts. Give it your scent and let it loose. After all, that’s why they engineered the damn things”. His gaze was priceless. “Really, sir!” he snorted, forgetting his accent as he turned his head. It was a relief to hear him say one sentence that didn’t end with “Ja”.

That silence probably saved his life. The slightest scratch of a clawed foot against the floor made me turn my head just in time to notice the small velociraptor heading straight toward me with an open jaw. Instinctively I throw my glass at the beasts face and took a step back. The volatile liquid splashed against the creature’s eyes, stopping it in its track. This delay was all I could hope for. I reached and grabbed the violin case from the table. The beast lunged past me toward Johannes shrieking form. I had one chance; I raised the case overhead and smashed it down on the creature head as was racing past me. The smash burst both case and violin into a million pieces. The strings screamed, the beast chirped in a high pitch agony and tumbled to the floor accompanied with the echoing boom of the instrument. The sound was heavenly.


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