Can revisiting the past set us on a course for our future? What if our future is firmly entrenched in our past? How do you unwind the mess of the past to clearly see your future? For Emmett and Toby, the answer is always in the music:
“I want to make music with you, that’s all. We were so good,” [Toby said.] Emmett
was frozen to the spot, frozen in Toby’s pleading eyes, until Toby broke
their gaze and looked down at the keys. “How’s this instead?”
He began the trilled opening to Bach’s “Sonata in A Major,” a piece
for one piano and four hands. It was a piece they had messed around
with for the two short years they were in each other’s lives, and never
As if propelled, Emmett rose from the seat and joined Toby onstage.
He sat to Toby’s left to take the secondo part.
“Do you remember it?”
“I’m not sure,” Emmett confessed. “We’ll find out.”
Toby began again, and, to Emmett’s surprise, the notes and fingerings
came back to him as if he’d never stopped playing it. Toby nudged
Emmett’s shoulder—a silent “I told you so.” They continued and slowed,
as one forgot and the other reminded, “B minor here, yes, yes.” It all it
came apart at the end of the first movement with missed notes and
Emmett futzed around with what he could remember of the second
movement, lingering over the notes to see if Toby would join him. He
didn’t. Emmett nudged this time, and Toby stilled Emmett’s hand with
his own. “Thank you.”
Black Dust, coming out April 7, is now available for pre-order from Interlude Press. In March only, with a purchase of Black Dust you will receive a copy of my first novel, Chef’s Table for 50% off with the code CHEF. You can also enter for a chance to win a copy at goodreads.