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Ludia's Tempest

by TheOffBroadwayAuthor


It seemed nothing could comfort Ludia. The scar on the side of her head had seeped into her brain, twisting it into a wreath of fear and grief. Her hearing, once sharp as an arrow, now withered to eighty percent in the left, ten percent in the right. No voice seemed to ease her, not even her beloved composers, though she listened as if they did. Instruments were the only voice she would give attention to, yet they gave her little peace in return.

But now, she had no peace. Her phone was dead, and the cable was still in her backpack. It was ten feet away from the bed, which was far, too far. The heaviness in her heart was like lead trapping her body to the bed, the tightness in her chest was a net that tied her arms to her sides. She started to cry, she couldn’t help it, it would be so easy to just get up, only she just couldn’t, she just couldn’t.

Then she heard a few chords in the distance. Her sister Rose was playing a pop song on the piano -- and she wasn’t very good. Ludia could do better. She didn’t know how she would, but she could, and she didn’t need to be taught.

A quiet determination lifted the heaviness, the tightness. Even the never-ending pain on the side of her head seemed to dim. Ludia pulled out her earbuds and set them on the side of the bed, next to the dead phone. She walked, slowly but confidently, out the room, across the hall, down the stairs, behind her sister at the piano. Her sister stopped and looked up.

“Can I play?” Ludia asked.

Rose nodded. Ludia asked for so little these days. If there was any way to help her, Rose would.

Ludia sat and played a few chords. She had no names for them, but she knew what they were. She rested her fingertips on top of the keys, waiting for something to come to her. What came was the third movement of Beethoven’s The Tempest. She began to play.

It was then she understood what music could do, could be. This, she could control, could reason with, could understand. It gave her comfort, hope, strength, like no other thing ever had, even before her injury. She felt whole again, she felt love again.

As she finished, Ludia rested her fingers on top of the keys for a moment and smiled.

“Nothing can touch me here.”


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Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:53 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



 
Hi TheOffBroadwayAuthor,
 
Mailice here with a short review! :D
 
Incorporating music into stories is always a fascinating and individual way where writer differs from writer. You've proven and illustrated it well. I don't know how I got the idea to pause here when I was looking for a story and I have to say that it really did me good. You have something very developed and lyrical in your text, where one can only read without stopping directly:
 

It seemed nothing could comfort Ludia. The scar on the side of her head had seeped into her brain, twisting it into a wreath of fear and grief. Her hearing, once sharp as an arrow, now withered to eighty percent in the left, ten percent in the right. No voice seemed to ease her, not even her beloved composers, though she listened as if they did. Instruments were the only voice she would give attention to, yet they gave her little peace in return.

You have an extremely beautiful narration here and since this is more or less "only" the introduction, one falls right into the story. With the first sentence you give away the name and immediately start to tell about the reaction to the action. As a reader, you can only ask yourself questions. It's an excellent start and I love it when you can fall right into the story like that. Well done.
 
But it's not just the introduction that's like that. You build a chord with the sentences and create a dynamic that takes turns, like waves on a beach, and they quite enchant you. I don't know if there's a term for styles like that, but definitely it's something where you're magically drawn in. I'm literally enthralled by the story and how you were able to transform it in simplicity and brevity yet into something that is blessed with a melancholy and a heaviness that only the music can lift.
 
I really can't say anything where I have anything to criticise. It had produced the probably intended effect and made you think more about the text and its content, which makes the story stick in your head for a long while.
 
Have fun writing,
 
 
Mailice




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Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:46 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: This is a really interesting story. The ending here was nothing like I imagined it would be judging from the start which is quite rare for me...aaand I actually liked said ending which is even rarer so I would say...this is a pretty good story you have here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

It seemed nothing could comfort Ludia. The scar on the side of her head had seeped into her brain, twisting it into a wreath of fear and grief. Her hearing, once sharp as an arrow, now withered to eighty percent in the left, ten percent in the right. No voice seemed to ease her, not even her beloved composers, though she listened as if they did. Instruments were the only voice she would give attention to, yet they gave her little peace in return.


Well...that's a very interesting start to the story there...bit exact on those hearing percentages which stood out a tiny bit as being a bit odd but besides that it sounded like a pretty good opening paragraph. Its definitely capable of getting one's attention...that much is certain.

But now, she had no peace. Her phone was dead, and the cable was still in her backpack. It was ten feet away from the bed, which was far, too far. The heaviness in her heart was like lead trapping her body to the bed, the tightness in her chest was a net that tied her arms to her sides. She started to cry, she couldn’t help it, it would be so easy to just get up, only she just couldn’t, she just couldn’t.


Oh wow...this got emotional fast...and it seems fairly realistic so far...I can sense some of the main emotions going on here...let's see how it continues on from there...looks like we're heading for some fairly choppy waters here.

Then she heard a few chords in the distance. Her sister Rose was playing a pop song on the piano -- and she wasn’t very good. Ludia could do better. She didn’t know how she would, but she could, and she didn’t need to be taught.


Hmm...well that sounds a touch big headed not going to lie...but that might just be because I don't really have context here on who both of these people are....so...there's that.

A quiet determination lifted the heaviness, the tightness. Even the never-ending pain on the side of her head seemed to dim. Ludia pulled out her earbuds and set them on the side of the bed, next to the dead phone. She walked, slowly but confidently, out the room, across the hall, down the stairs, behind her sister at the piano. Her sister stopped and looked up.

“My turn,” Ludia said, and meant it.


OKay...very dramatically asking for a turn to play the piano...well well well, let's see how this ends up playing out...this is starting to get interesting.

Rose nodded. Ludia asked for so little these days. If there was any way to help her, Rose would.


Hmm...well that got surprisingly sweet...

Ludia sat and played a few chords. She had no names for them, but she knew what they were. She rested her fingertips on top of the keys, waiting for something to come to her. What came was the third movement of Beethoven’s The Tempest. She began to play.


Well that explains the name there...

It was then she understood what music could do, could be. This, she could control, could reason with, could understand. It gave her comfort, hope, strength, like no other thing ever had, even before her injury. She felt whole again, she felt love again.

As she finished, Ludia rested her fingers on top of the keys for a moment and smiled.

“Nothing can touch me here.”


Okay...much more wholesome ending than I imagined would be there but I shall...take it...I love a good wholesome ending...they are my favorite kind of ending.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this seems like a pretty good story like I said. A couple of minor issues I spotted but there not too terrible so I would simply say...good job and that's all I have to say.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






Thank you for the review! You're right, the asking for a turn was kinda dramatic



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Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:27 am
Poetry Misfit wrote a review...



Hi there!

I must say that the first words that come to my mind to describe this story are: immersive and profound. The way you write portrays Ludia's struggles in a very realisitc and immersive light, while also harboring a sadness that tugged at my heart.
Keeping certain sentences short like: "But now, she had no peace" was also a very great technique to allow more emphasis on what Ludia is feeling, adding to the Ludia's perspective.
I also wanted to highlight the lines that really stuck out to me:
"The scar on the side of her head had seeped into her brain, twisting it into a wreath of fear and grief."

"The heaviness in her heart was like lead trapping her body to the bed, the tightness in her chest was a net that tied her arms to her sides."

I LOVE the imagery you use in each line, your poetic manipulation of words is very captivating and left a resonating impact on me.

I also really appreciate how you end the story on a positive note - that Ludia was able to discover peace in the music she played versus simply listening to it in her headphones (a very profound notion).


You did an amazing job! :)






Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it



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Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:12 pm
tayaiowa wrote a review...



My understanding of this story so far: Ludia had an incident that damaged her hearing. It's made her distraught and unable to find comfort in anything, not even in listening to music. However, from far away, she hears her sister playing on the piano. This encourages her to also play, and she finds comfort in this act.

This was a very interesting story, and even though I have no clue who Ludia is or what happened to her, I can still relate her character through this small snippet of her life. In addition to that, I feel it's able to stand alone as its own short story, but it also could be a part of a broader story about finding solace through music.

I also thought the brief moment with Ludia and her sister, Rose, was intriguing. As a reader, I can tell that Ludia has probably relied on her sister for a lot of stuff, especially following whatever happened to damage her hearing. I thought you did a nice job of indirect and direct characterization regarding the sisters and their relationship with these lines:

“My turn,” Ludia said, and meant it.

Rose nodded. Ludia asked for so little these days. If there was any way to help her, Rose would.


Here, Ludia is the sister who wants to do something on her own, for herself, that she knows her sister cannot help her with. So, it is now "her turn" to do that. Rose, on the other hand, wants to help her sister so badly even though Ludia never seems to want anything from her. I appreciate the way this dynamic is hinted at, and if this were to be expanded into a full story, I could definitely see a lot of unique ways to build these two characters into FOILs for each other.

Lastly, as someone who's taken piano lessons before, I thought it was a little odd that Ludia could just whip her fingers across the piano keys and conjure up the score of a Beethoven piece in her head without any prior lessons, but I guess I'm being nit picky.

Beyond that, I really liked this little story. It did a great job of delving into the emotions of the characters in so few words!






Thanks for your critique! To explain the prodigious ability, Ludia has Acquired Savant Syndrome from her head injury. (Her head trauma also causes the hearing loss, anxiety, and depression.) I like the idea of expanding this into a full novel. I'll think on that!



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Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:11 pm
blueca wrote a review...



This story is strong overall. I applaud the choice to use Beethoven's Tempest, it works pretty well thematically. I interpret it as Ludia taking charge of her sorrow and finding the intricacies that make it beautiful. Beethoven is a good parallel to Ludia (who's name is a play on Ludwig, perhaps?), both physically with their shared deafness but also in passionate spirit, as they both learn to appreciate music despite it. That detail alone makes the narrative just a little stronger. The dead phone is another piece that made a lot of difference, it's a strong metaphor for Lydia's mental state.

The ending is agruably the most important part of any piece, and it fell short here. The crying feels a little silly as is. I reccomend describing the tears and their expressions instead of stating that they were "crying with joy." The last line confused me at first, too, since as far as I can tell there was no other indicator that Ludia's injury was from a person.

Your story works well, and represents how it feels to have depression very realistically. It's a great embodiment of "short and sweet." Good job, and keep writing!






Thank you! And yes, you guessed it, Ludia is the female version of Ludwig. I'll take a look at that ending with what you said in mind.



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Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:46 pm
JunePearl wrote a review...



Hey there @TheOffBroadwayAuthor

It's a beautiful little story. There's so much emotion and description. It's almost as thought I'm actually there. As far as I can tell there aren't any grammatical errors, and the general plot makes sense. Obviously, you aren't given the entire background, as it's supposed to be a snippet of Ludia's life. Honestly, all I can say is that I really like it, and I hope to learn more about Ludia. Great job!






Thank you! I'm glad you liked it




In dreams, we enter a world that's entirely our own.
— Albus Dumbledore