The Cellist of Sarajevo

Avatar Author: stargazer1960 Feminist author and science educator. Midwest, middle-aged, growing midsection, but definitely NOT middle of the road. Read Bio

The crater was not so large that he couldn’t climb in. It was not so small that he couldn’t fit. The blast had been just large enough to lift 22 of his neighbors, his countrymen, heavenward.

The promise of bread had brought them there. The promise of further violence left him alone in the square, alone except for one small boy.

“Grab my hand,” Vedran called to the youth. The boy took Smailovic’s left hand and watched in horror as the musician stepped inside the crater holding his beloved cello in his right hand.

“It’s good. It’s good. You can let go.” Vedran signaled for his bow, which the boy handed him with hungry mouth agape. His tear-stained eyes were the only witnesses as Vedran placed the bow upon the strings and began Adagio in G Minor.

Smailovic played the piece 22 times, one time for each soul, for each family. Each time he played, the square filled with disbelieving eyes and hopeful faces.

From the ruins of 22 deaths, Vedran pulled life from his strings and sent his prayer aloft.

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Comments (5 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Catherine

    I love the title and all of the musical references.

    Very well written the ending is my favorite.

  2. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    Very beautiful and cleverly thought out. I love how you didn’t base the entire story about the line “Grab my hand” and I too enjoyed the musical reference. I had to read the first sentence a couple of times but it is very clever.
    I love it lots.
    Abby x

  3. Avatar kaellinn18

    This. Is. Gorgeous. I wish I could give more than five pencils.

  4. Avatar stargazer1960

    @kaellinn18 Thanks, lots of artists and authors have written about his act of courage during the civil war that tore Sarajevo apart in the 1990’s. I like spreading his message.

  5. Avatar Horrorfan13

    This is beautiful. A few lines read odd for me, but they didn’t detract from the message or disrupt the flow too badly. Love the concept.

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