“The Stellirist” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Sophia Melkumova, Krasnodar School, Russia.
I don’t know it was my dream or reality, but I was standing on the pink, mild sand of absolutely unusual planet. Something like a blue sun was shining and the sky was yellow. There were flowers growing around. They looked like big trees with strong trunks. Their leaves were sticking out like branches. They had huge flowers instead of crowns. The odor of the flower-trees was pleasant. But most of all I was surprised by sounds which were flying up to the sky, and then fell down like a waterfall – til’-din’, til’-din’, din’. Who was playing? It was so interesting for me to see an extra terrestrial musician. I went quietly towards the sounds.
I saw a green being with long tentacles, standing on the pink sand.
“So that's how they look like, the little green men!” I thought.
The strange being used the part of the hind tentacles as a chair, and played the hammock with the front and side tentacles. There was something like a stretched hammock between flowers with a parallel strings like a staff. There was one string above the hammock with the bells, reminding stars. The green being put several tentacles on the strings and touched the bells with the others. The melody was very beautiful.
“Bravo, Maestro!” I thought to myself.
“Nothing special … ” the being mumbled, as it seemed to me.
In fact we didn’t say a word, our thoughts were transmitted telepathically.
There was a music desk in front of the hammock, where I saw a piece of paper with strange signs.
“What sort of blots,” I thought.
The green being heard my thought.
“Why blots?!!! Calligraphically written notes. You are absolutely incompetent in music, as I see.”
May be I am not an expert in music, but I have been practicing about a year, so I was a bit offended.
“Even if I am a total zero, your music is wonderful,” I thought, “I came from the Earth.”
“But who are you to judge! Someone came from the peripheral galaxies with their own meaningless opinion,” the green being became irritated, “I have read on the Cosmonet about your planet, what a horror! The sky is blue, the sun is yellow! All the colors are upside down!”
“Everything is OK with colors on our planet. How can you…”
“Sorry, I’m playing, but it’s not what I want!!! You see, that nothing happens.”
The green being rose all his tentacles to the sky and put them on the strings again with a load groan.
I was standing near him, thinking to leave or to stay.
The disappointed being calmed down a bit and said.
“Please, pardon me, I am very nervous before the All Universe Contest. Let me introduce myself. My name is Til’-Din’. I’m a Stellirist, I’m a laureate of the Intergalactic Stellira Playing Contests. Stellira is from “stella” (star in Latin) and lira.”
“Your instrument sounds like our electronic music,” I said.
“No! How can you compare the electricity itself with the star music?!! Every night the stellira remains in the open air and it is charged with the stars.”
“Sorry, sorry,” I whispered.
“And nothing, nothing is happening…”
“But what is it going to happen?” I asked.
“Oh, don’t bother me!” Til’-Din’ sighed.
He started playing again and it was wonderful, but he was still unhappy.
While he was playing amazingly I heard a light rustle, and the small bright lights began falling down from the yellow sky.
“Hurrah, I’ve managed to do that!” Til’-Din’ cried.
“Wow! He just needed the special effects. How is it concerned to music?” I thought.
“No, that’s not you have thought about,” Til’-Din’ said. “They are Angels who have been applauding me. A musician having a talent must work day and night, to reach an artistic excellence.”
“I think everyone should work hard in any field to become a professional, not only a musician,” I added.
“You are not quite right,” Til’-Din’ replied. “You can get sick and lose your job. Unfortunately such things can occasionally happen even on our planet. The main thing is to treat the people around in the way you could hear the Angels applauding you.”