Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
bubblewrappedkitty would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Diabolum Infra

By bubblewrappedkitty

Drama / Humor

Maestus Symphonia

Prompt: Violinists or violin.

It takes longer than he is willing to admit to figure out what that subtle smell that Karen sometimes carries with her belongs to, the one that only ever lingers on her hands and then only on certain days. The days when she comes in tired but with a steadier heart rate than the day before. Pine and sap and grit and dry skin and wood and earth and dust. He'll blame it on lack of familiarity later, but when it happens, when he finally puts the pieces together, it strikes him like a bolt of lightning.

Karen is teasing him; he's been carding a hand through his hair in stress while researching for their newest case so his fringe is sticking up slightly. She cocks a hip against the corner of his desk and gently combs his hair back down. As her fingertips brush over his brow and he finally feels the little hard ridges through the centres of the pads that he's somehow never noticed before, it hits him all at once.

"Rosin," he says aloud, interrupting her mid-sentence with his surprise. He tilts his face toward her hand and inhales again through his nose, breathing in the scent again and feeling certain in his conclusion.

"What?" Karen asks in confusion.

"Rosin, on your fingertips," Matt clarifies, instinctively leaning back in his chair to put a more acceptable amount of distance between them. "The smell's been bothering me for a while, couldn't figure it out. That is it, right? I didn't know you played the violin."

Karen makes an embarrassed noise and he can feel the wave of heat coming from her as the blood rushes to her face. She ducks her head, hiding behind the curtain of her hair - a draft of vanillalilaclavenderchemicals, a generic scented shampoo she's just recently started using. "Foggy's right," she says finally, and when she lifts her head he can hear her smile. "You are really good at that."

A quick grin flashes across his face, a sharp upward turn of his lips that never fails to make Karen's heart rate jump in response. "It's a gift," he says modestly, shrugging, although more shallowly than usual because of the stitches beneath his arm he can't let her know about. Karen's laugh is slightly stilted, but she doesn't make to move away so he can tell he hasn't offended her. There's something about the nervous energy thrumming through her muscles that tells him she isn't finished so he waits, his gaze hovering somewhere near her elbow and trying not to look too expectant.

"It's a stress thing," she admits after a minute of hesitant quiet. "I took lessons in high school. I was never very great, just fifth chair and even then only 'cause Lydia Trackston quit, but it was always really calming, you know? Just focusing on the notes and the movements and letting the rest of the world disappear under the music. I don't play a lot anymore, well more now than I did a few years ago, but mostly just when I - I dunno..."

"Need an escape?" Matt offers.

Karen nods distractedly, and then hastily sputters and says, "Sorry, I nodded again. Yes."

"Music is good for that," he agrees. "I'd like to hear you play sometime."

"No you wouldn't," she counters with a breathy laugh. "Like I said, I'm not very good."

Matt shrugs. "I've always been fond of the violin. Sounds good, easier to listen to than some instruments. Can't stand piccolos, it's like being stabbed in the ears. Never was very good at music myself though. Learned a little organ at the orphanage, but nothing more than that."

"I played the trumpet in elementary school," Foggy chimes in from the doorway, the wood groaning as he leans against the frame. Karen jumps slightly but Matt had heard him coming so he merely tips his head in that direction, his lips quirking in amusement. "Between the three of us, we could start a band."

"With a violin, organ, and trumpet?" Karen asks and her scepticism is thick and dripping, but she's getting better at humouring their odd jokes and Foggy's ridiculous flights of fancy. Settling into their rhythm and banter. "Odd mix. What would we call our band?"

"Avocados at Law?" Matt suggests, unable to stop the grin that splits his face. The other two break out in laughter; Foggy loud and booming at the old joke and Karen fluttery and bright as she just enjoys the easiness of it all. Matt joins in and lets himself revel in the comfort, the freedom of this moment.

Karen is the first to settle herself, standing up and smoothing down her skirt. "Alright, Avocados, we really need to get back to work if we're going to have this ready for the hearing."

And a few nights later, when Karen has been particularly strung-out and edgy at work, Matt slips by her new apartment in the middle of the night. He crouches on the gravel roof and extends his senses, searching out a particular noise amongst all of the voices and sleepy breaths and electronics humming away with purpose. There, on the third floor, he picks it out. Violin music, slow and sad and mournful, but somehow it unwinds something inside of him that he didn't realise was twisted too tight. He sits and listens to the way that her heart rate shifts, acting as a natural metronome for the music, and the floorboards whine beneath her feet as she sways back and forth with the power of the song. He can feel the way she pours all of her stress and sadness and fear into the music until it makes his heart clench painfully.

The sound of gunfire from four blocks over grabs his attention and Matt rushes away into the darkness to do his job, but every few weeks, when he can tell that the stress and anxiety is getting to her, Matt heads over to Karen's and listens to her play it all away and when she's done, he feels a little better himself.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...

Alex Rushmer: I just want to say that the writing in this is amazing! I read the first couple chapters and was absolutely drawn in by it, The way you use first person in this story is extremely engaging and does wonders with your character development. I immediately had a picture of the characters and plotline...

Julia Summers PA: Reading this now. It's fun, hilariously fabulous yet taste of what you desire in a unusual read. I will post an actual review when I am finished. But so far loving the flow and the story seems to keep me drawn

summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Liz Aguilar, author of To Have And to Hold a fast-paced, gripping, adrenaline rush from start to finish, one of perhaps the finest pieces of writing I've ever read, in particular because of its' telenovela-like feel, May she continually find success as an author. Bravo my dear, bravo!

PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...

Deleted User: I've only read so far to the first two chapters, but I already get that thick, underlying meaning of dark romance--which is good, because it sets the tone, with a hint of danger. However, some parts of the writing did come across as a bit dull, and I personally think that starting a second chapte...

Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.

Hannah Hall: This story will have you in tears in a good way. One of the best love stories written. Share with your friends and family!

More Recommendations

M.L. Bull: Hello, Aalia!Your story compelled the emotional pain and struggle of a teenage girl very well.. The imagery was also convincing and well-written, showing the different personalities of your characters and their actions. However, I do think that many of your sentences are too lengthy and could use...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."