Dark Winter

We had discussed music in our therapy appointment. Music holds a lot of power over us, it can calm us down from a manic rampage or send us spiralling into madness depending on the day. We love every shade of it and treasure it’s ability to honour any mood we may fall prey to.

It had been a rough session, we had felt the foundations of The Wall crumbling between us and as we left M had suggested we listen to something soothing to offset the heaviness.

We were raised in a world filled with the sounds of the great composers. Mozart and Beethoven reigned supreme in our house and symphonies never failed to transport Catherine back to a carefree part of our childhood.

Tension was building internally as we walked away from M’s office and by the time we reached the car the commotion from inside was so great that Catherine pulled away from the curb without noticing the stark silence around us.

We can’t drive without some sort of noise at the best of times, music or talking, something to ground us to the car. Without it we disconnect and float away, without it we lose all sense of speed and time. Without it, we are dangerous.

We’re a hundred metres up the road before Catherine realises her mistake, the silence around us is suddenly obvious. A deafening contrast to our screaming mind, it hangs thick in the air threatening to swallow us up into its starkness.

We have to fix this. A familiar haze descends upon Catherine as she fumbles frantically for the radio. Ads burst into our consciousness like nails on a chalk board and she shudders hard, she’s grappling to stay but losing the battle. Station after station is filled with ads, It was almost worse than the quiet. Doesn’t anyone play song’s anymore?

Our head is roaring. Catherine’s fading fast. She can’t pull over, there’s nowhere to go and the traffic is unforgiving and everywhere. In desperation she cries out for Siri, “Play Vivaldi Winter!”

Buried in a black bag resting somewhere on the cluttered floor, a muffled tone sounds compliantly and the slow burn of an electric guitar forges it’s way into the car.

“What the fuck is this? This isn’t…”

Catherine howls in defeat and V takes her place in the drivers seat as Winters expected flurry turns into a blizzard of epic proportions, cascading through our soul and shattering everything we thought we knew about music.

The rise and fall of the wrong yet oh so right version of a song meant to soothe us vibrates frantically through the speakers blocking out the screams coming from the other side of The Wall and consuming us with its raw power.

Everyone is listening.

This Dark Winter knows us, it senses our pain and grabs on tight, injecting itself into our veins and coursing through our body like life blood. It wants to show us its shadow side. It wants to show us that we too belong with its demons. It wants us all for itself and we are merciless to its whim.

V’s heart is pounding as the song fades out leaving behind only haunted echoes of itself begging for more.

Just one more hit. She presses play again and again laughing at the absurdity of it all. The pixels of universe begin to twist and turn around us dancing in time to the music until tears of joy and sorrow fall from our eyes and we are forced to accept our fate.

One more hit was all it took for the sound of a jaded season to infiltrate our mind and merge itself into our soul.

It has played inside ever since. For weeks now day in, day out it has become our master, our protector; a dark winter sheltering us from the secrets and screams on the other side of the wall.

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