Flashing lights. Sirens. Police.

None of these things existed. Only the music.

Chopin's Prelude No. 4 in E minor, in fact. And what a beautiful song it was. It practically drowned the listener in a slow moving ocean of emotion. Loneliness. Such loneliness.

Such beautiful loneliness.

Like cautious steps tread across an all-too familiar path. Like rain falling from a glowing, gloomy, slate-gray sky. Like tears and sadness. Like a lifetime of waiting. And losing. And wishing and wanting.

This was music.

What a fitting tribute. What a fitting farewell.

Ave to those poor, unfortunate girls.

Ave to himself.

And Ave to…

No. Not yet.

The room was cold and draughty. And empty save for that piano. Tattered curtains drifted inwards like ghosts, allowing a sliver of moonlight to puddle across the floor and his hands, wandering over the keys. They danced together as wanderers might along that moon-lit boulevard, depressed by gentle fingers as if in gentle caress.

Gently, gently now. Rise and fall with the music. Rise and fall, emotion.

Rise and fall. Rise and…
And rise
And fall and rise and…


Drift in and out of consciousness. In and out of reality. Drift with the music on a sea of loneliness.

He was a castaway drifting through life. Through time. Through eternity.

He raised his eyes towards the star-strewn sky, scattered like milky-white pebbles on a blue-black velvet cape. It was almost time.
Almost time for…

He stood and lingered above the three-tiered candelabra. The candlelight captured the crimson highlights in his Romanée Conti and the slender neck of his wine glass. He extinguished the first two candles and tried to catch the intricate trails the coiling smoke wove in the palm of his hand. Turning his eyes to the final source of light, he paused to appreciate the beauty of naked fire. If he kissed it, his lips would burn.

If he kissed it, he would…

His mouth hovered over the flame for a moment. Then it flickered under his breath, and went out.