Christmas,  Holidays,  Short Stories,  Thoughts

The Christmas Symphony

PruittWrites hopes you enjoy this Christmas story, our very own Christmas Symphony to you.

It was a Christmas violin. The top and back were stained with green, the sides, neck, and scroll were a vibrant red. Jacob, in his finest clothes, stood playing in the snow.

Virginia sat on the step of the Chapel, near the carved Nativity, listening as the crowd exchanged gifts. It was the traditional Christmas Eve night of the Christmas festival in the village of Paulsburg. One that had continued for a hundred years.

How it began was not quite as fine as it was currently practiced. Today, the violinist serenades either his fiancé or bride to the applause of onlookers. The first violinist did so attempting to avoid the noose. Yet it turned out to be a Christmas the village would not forget.

The original violinist, also named Jacob, the current ones ancestor, was not a famous musician like the Jacob above. He was a poor wood carver, with dreams of more. The girl he dreamed of, was the Mayor’s daughter.

Mayor Allegene had no desire to betroth his daughter to a poor man. The Mayor was not a bad man, in fact, he was a kind father. Every parent wants the best for his child.

So how did he end up sparing the wood carver, and giving him his daughter in marriage? An interruption to the Chief Of Police, and his plans. The answer is one of legend, and wrapped up in the tones of The Christmas Symphony.

What is the Christmas Symphony? It is the composition of a dreamer. One who planted notes the way a farmer does crops. He had worked on it since he was a child.

“Jacob, I think you are nearly there with the piece. Though I agree with you, I am not sure how you plan to to end it. Neither a crescendo fits it, or a diminuendo.”

“I agree Professor. Perhaps one day I’ll get the answer. Right now, the Chief of Police is awaiting on this carving of the Mayor. It’s to be his Christmas present.”

Jacob didn’t say it to Professor Carlisle the Church organist, but the money from the sell would feed Jacob through the new year. Money was not something a wood carver had much of in that day. How he hoped Chief Sorona would like it.

“If it is as fine a work as this Nativity for the Church, he shall be very pleased. At any rate, I must be going. We are preparing for the Christmas gift exchange on the Chapel steps. Good day Jacob.”

The next day, as Jacob would describe it later, a light entered his shop. It was the Mayor’s daughter, also named Virginia, who was a student of Professor Carlisle. Only unlike Jacob, her Father paid him in money, not in carvings.

She had seen a preview of the Nativity, and adored it. She wondered if she could find another, smaller one for hone. “Hello Sir, the Professor has shown us The Nativity that you carved. I was hoping for one like it?”

“Actually Ma’am, I try to make each carving unique. I could create a special one for you, but it would be different. I believe every piece should stand alone.”

She nodded. “That would be fine. You mean like that violin there? A very different instrument I see, and please call me Virginia.”

“Yes Virginia, I call it a Christmas Violin. Whimsical I know, but a quality instrument. It’s tone is affected by the lacquer ingredients, which I also used to stain the colors.”

Without prompting, Jacob took it out of his meager display window and began to play. She stood there amazed, not only at the violin, but the violinist. When she entered the shop she saw a young, handsome, poor woodcarver, now he was so much more.”

He only played a small portion of his Christmas Symphony and stopped. He smiled, and then saw her for what might as well have been for the first time. When she entered, it was the Mayor’s Daughter, now she was much more.

The issue was, each was so amazed by the transformation, they didn’t realize both had experienced it. The next awkward remarks were about nothing in particular, and the moment may have been ruined had it not happened. Just at that moment, a wood carving fell from a nearby shelf, without thinking Virginia caught it instinctively.

It was a carving of a small boy holding a toy violin. She handed it to Jacob carefully. “This was you wasn’t it? You’re the young musician.”

He took the carving, and returned her smile. “Yes ma’am, it and woodcarving were my dreams. I’ve achieved one of them, still working on the other. Some dreams are a stanza, others are a symphony.”

The two of them, with that simple sentence, saw each other in their eyes. Jacob knew she must be his bride. Virginia wished he was the one proposing Christmas Day in the square. They did not kiss, nor embrace, but each could see their future in the other’s eyes.

At that moment, the Chief Of Police entered the shop. The Chief too, was a good man, but also enamored with the Mayor’s Daughter. It was because of this, that he could tell she looked at him differently, as well as how she looked at Jacob.

Alvaro Sorona, Chief O Police was as I say a good man. He did not attack Jacob, nor make any harmful plans against him. Instead, he decided to act fast, and accelerate his proposal of marriage. He would not wait until Christmas Day, Sorona would propose Christmas Eve.

The Chief admired Jacob’s craftsmanship. “You are an excellent woodcarver. I will hire you for many more items. My previous man has dropped his quality lately.”

Jacob, himself a good man, did not ask any questions. “Thank you Sir.” Was his only reply, though he knew the other carver. It was Perrinel, the traveling carver. A much older man, with a shady reputation. They had crossed paths occasionally.

Perrinel, unlike the Mayor and Chief of Police, was not a nice man. He was very much the opposite. For some time, Perrinel had grown tired of losing his business to this young craftsman, no matter how talented.

The older man’s spy was watching it all. Haggarty, Perrinel’s nephew was tasked with planting he seeds of Jacob’s destruction. He had done so, the night before. When he gave his signal that the Chief was in the shop, Perrinel acted.

The old carver, left his hiding place, entered the shop, and feigned injury. “Chief Sorona, I wish to have this vile man arrested!”

“Arrested, on what charge? He was in his shop, minding his own business when I entered. What could you possibly arrest this man for?”

Perrinel pulled the rigged trunk Haggarty had hid behind some of Jacob’s things. “Theft and murder! My nephew watched him murder Heath my courier for my plans I was sending to a client. There they are, and the body. Dear Haggerty just found me and told me what he saw a few hours before!”

“I don’t believe it. This body could have been planted Perrinel. How do I know you’re not the culprit?”

That is when Haggarty entered. “Uncle, here are the clothes Jacob was wearing when he killed him. I found them where he hid them.”

While the Chief was still skeptical, he made an arrest. Jacob would not see passed Christmas in the village if something didn’t change. The Chief allowed Jacob to take some of his things, and the violin with him.

How was he to prove his innocence? Jacob had no idea of what to do. Truth be told, he was in shock. The Chief Of Police, as I say was a good man, so he notified Professor Carlisle.

“A Teacher should take care of his students. I must do something.” He began to hatch an idea. About that same instant Virginia made a visit to the Professor with a Christmas gift.

Appalled, she insisted on helping. The Professor was reluctant, but agreed. He would first go to Jacob and see what he could find out.

Jacob, still in a fog, obediently recalled the previous night’s events, or lack of them. He had ate and retired early, having a lot of work to do the next day. It was when the Professor asked Jacob the time he retired, that snapped Jacob out of his sorrow.

“I had a visitor, one that knocked after I retired. Someone beyond reproach, the Chief Of Police. He dropped off a last minute request for his project. He saw what I was wearing, between the time, and that it was not the clothes they said I will be free!”

Hurriedly he called for the Chief, but he had left to propose to Virginia. When the jailer told Jacob that, he was doubly sure. The jail was old, and high up in a tower above the town, without bars on the only window.

Jacob was young and agile. He was able to jump from the window, violin in hand. Landing on a rooftop and running along until he found the field outside the Chapel. Worried less about his neck, and more about Virginia’s hand, he played his Christmas Symphony as loudly as possible, to interrupt the Chief’s proposal.

When he gained both of their attention; he shouted two things. “Virginia marry an innocent wood carver!” The second was, “Chief, if I had done what Perrinel had said, how could you see me last night at my shop?”

Virginia smiled, and though shaken, the Chief laughed. He may not get his bride, but he would always pursue justice. Perrinel and Haggarty were caught and tried.

The next day, on Christmas Day, Virginia married Jacob with her Father’s blessing. He too had been in the courtyard of the Chapel. The Mayor heard not a woodcarver, but a composer of symphonies propose to his daughter.

Before you mourn for the Chief, I would hasten to add, he wed soon after. His bride was Professor Carlisle’s daughter, Jacob’s cousin. The tiny village of Paulsburg had much to celebrate, including their new star, the woodcarver, and Conductor Of The town’s first orchestra.

As Jacob said, some dreams are stanzas, and the others are symphonies. That does not mean they won’t occur, but just as a Christmas Gift, will be unwrapped at just the proper moment.

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