WSJ: This was inspired by "Memory's Song", a GW fanfic by Maria Rocket. And, if I may mis-quote Z-system Quatre, "If you haven't read it... *pause, Z-system-insanity expression on her face* READ IT!"
Disclaimer: I don't own GW.
Anna paused at blew her heavy brown bangs out of her face with a puff from an upturned lip. Limply, they fell back into her gold eyes, and she 'harrumph'ed grumpily. Bending down, she pulled open the box in front of her to examine its contents.
"I don't know why Pietro insists on cleaning out the attic," she grumbled to herself. "It's not that messy..."
The twenty-two year old glanced at the label on the box. 'Momentos' it read. That meant nothing to her, must have been some of Pietro's stuff. Most were just papers, and a lot of photographs, some loose and some in albums. She picked one up and flipped through it off-handedly. Some of the people she recognised from more resent, better pictures that hung downstairs. Others she didn't.
She shrugged and set the album down next to her on the attic floor, putting two more on top. Pietro could go through them later if he wanted to. She did likewise with a stack of rather official-looking documents and the loose photos.
Rocking back on her heels, Anna pushed her hair away from her face again, and then bounced to her feet, desiding to go take care of a few other things before tackling the next box. She had some lunch, fed the dog, and then found a rubber band to tie her hair back with. Then she again accended the steps to the attic, this time to carry the photo albums down to the livingroom.
Anna sat the stack of books on the coffee table, and paused. On the fireplace mantle were several pictures, most of them of her and Pietro and their friends. A couple of them were older. One was a picture of a man and a woman, whom Anna recognised from several even older pictures in the photo books. She made a mental note to ask Pietro who they were, and then climbed back up to the attic.
The next box was also marked as 'Momentos', and breifly Anna wondered whose. Those papers and pictures had seems a lot older then anything she or Pietro could have taken. Most of the documents were dated at least thirty years before, when neither she nor Pietro would have been born.
Anna shrugged and put it out of her mind as she opened the next box, releasing a cloud of dust. She coughed and waved her hand in front of her to clear it, then peeked inside.
Unlike the other box, this one didn't have much in it. Several sheives of sheet music were on top, and, when she set them aside, a long, square box. Curiously, she pulled it out and sat back indian-style, the box on her lap. It was about a foot and a half long, and maybe four inches wide. The clasps were worn brass, but in good condition and unrusted. The box itself was black leather, and there were marks on one side where a handle might have been attached at one time.
She worked the clasps open without too much difficulty, and opened the box, catching her breath at what she saw inside. It was a flute, made of silver and in mint condition. Sitting beside it on the blue velvet was a simple gold cross, a hole torn strait through the center. Wedged into the lid was what looked like another photograph.
Carefully Anna pried it out, and looked at it. It was three people, two men and a woman. The man in the middle and the woman on his left were the same people from the picture on the fireplace downstairs, but they were a lot younger. The man was holding a flute, probably the same one now sitting on Anna's lap. The second man Anna recognised from some of the pictures in the albums. He was the same age as the other two, if not a little younger, and was holding a violin almost revrently in his hands.
Anna set down the picture and took the flute, turning it over in her hands. For a while when she was younger, she'd studied flute, and she suddenly wondered if she could still play. She tested her fingers on the keys and adjusted the mouthpeice breifly, and then lifted it to her lips.
She winced as her first attempted B went horribly flat, and tried again. This time the note wasn't as sour, but was still a bit off-tune. She adjusted the tightness of the keys a bit, and again raised it to her mouth.
This time the note was pure, high and wavering. Anna played a breif peice she could mostly remember from her student days, and then went on, playing whatever came to mind. The music swept her away, grabbing her hands and playing her like a puppet, instead of her playing it. She imagined a violin humming in the background, and could almost think she heard it.
Images danced in front of her. A young boy no older then ten, sitting with a slightly older blond girl as she taught him to play flute. That same boy, older, going off to war. Again, the same boy, though he was now a man, playing this same flute, his best friend on the violin.
So many pictures and tunes and snippets of song darted through Anna's head. Laughing voices, the sound of machine gun fire, the wail of a baby. On and on and on, until she could play no more and lowered the flute from her lips with tremblings hands.
She looked down at her feet, and noticed that a draft through the richetty boards of the attic had flipped over the picture that had been in the flute case. With shaking hands Anna picked it up and stared at the handwritten note on the back.
Trowa, Quatre, and Midii, age 21, AC 201
She heard a footstep behind her and turned to see Pietro, her husband, kneel beside her. Gently he took the flute off her lap, and fitted his own fingers effortlessly over the keys. He moved them as if playing a tune, but didn't raise the flute to his mouth. He reached over Anna and set the flute in its case, gently taking the picture from her hands and placing it inside before closing up the case, but not before the ran a finger down the length of the flute, almost longingly.
Anna suddenly realised how much he looked like the man in the picture. His hair was a bit lighter, true, but it was in pretty much the same style. Pietro was built like an acrobat, just like that man Trowa, and had his same green eyes.
Without a word Pietro put the flute's case back into the box where she'd gotten it, and closed the lid over top, almost in reverence. He then smiled saddly at Anna, and gave her a gentle squeeze. There was a suspicious wetness in his eyes as he stood up to leave her alone with his father's flute.
God bless minna-san!