'Distant Music' by Kanwal Mukhtar


Night breeze carries the intimations of notes rising in far piece; drifts through the third floor window, touches the boy's face. Hypnotic melody beckons him to follow, and now he finds himself walking down the empty road lit by streetlamps. As he walks farther, the streetlamps are replaced by trees. Trees that are not merely green and brown but luminous as if a thousand twinkling fairy lights were aglow in each one of them. The music rises slightly and ahead of him, glowing in the softer light, a pair of hips moves to the beat. A river splashes softly nearby and he can smell exotic night lilies and blooming roses as she spins around slowly and back towards him. He feels lighter, as if his feet have been released of invisible chains and a weight has lifted off of his shoulders. Notes in the distance rise and fall, taking the shape of a snowflake, a bell, a heart of fire. He feels warm breath on his neck, only to turn around and find nothing.

He is staring in the distance from behind the window. The music never comes any closer.

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