By adminTuesday - September 28th, 2010Categories: Story Post



Berlin, German Union
Schwarzenberg Conservatory Concert Hall
23 September 1939


Wilhelmina paused, hands raised above the keyboard.  Drawing in a deep breath, she closed her eyes as her fingers began to move on their own. Tonight was Brahms Variations on a Theme in A Minor.  As she began to play she felt the audience, the stage, even her physical presence melt away.  For Wilhelmina, music was never about performing for an audience.  For her, music was a chance to set her soul free, to dance among the notes, languidly drifting here, frantically spinning there, tossed about like a leaf in an intoxicating whirlwind of rhythm.  The piece continued, her fingers moving without thought or premeditation, in a wild race to express every moment deeply and with heartfelt emotion.  Her long shimmering silver hair was weightless as it obeyed every note, tossed about by the ebb and flow of the music.


For the audience, the effect was breathtaking.  It was the perfect union of visual and aural beauty.  Wilhelmina’s long slender form, elegant curves, radiant skin and impeccable black dress offset by her long silver hair and an intensity that crackled in the air melded with a hauntingly emotional interpretation of Brahms.  For her students it was inspirational.  Tonight was the Schwarzenberg Conservatory’s inaugural all-school recital, and their rektor, Wilhelmina Schwarzenberg had agreed, reluctantly at first, to her first public performance in almost 4 years.


Wilhelmina felt herself being pulled deeper and deeper into the music.  As the different variations weaved into an emotional crescendo, she felt as if entire body was flying in a starry black sky of musical notes, all racing towards a bright point of light.  Her intense love of music had driven her to found this school, to give other women a chance to experience this intense emotional experience.  Faster and faster she flew, with every note moving her closer to the light.


Suddenly, an icy cold blew through her like a winter storm.  Her limbs became heavy, her fingers suddenly losing control.  She was falling, falling away from the light as the sky seemed to shatter. Her fingers began to stumble as confusion broke into screams and panic.  Wilhelmina suddenly snapped back onto the stage, awoken by the sounds of explosions and air-raid sirens.  Coldness crept down her spine.  She stopped playing.  The theater staff immediately began evacuating the panicked audience.   Escorted by her family’s private security force, she was ushered from a side exit into the cool fall night.  Berlin was on fire. An icy pit formed in her stomach.  No one needed to tell her, Father was dead.


Chapter 1: First Encounter