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Dedicated to my friend who shall go by Winry, who taught me how to play this song. The art for this fic was a doodle on a transparent binder, so it sucks, but here it is:Beaming Sunlight

“D, A, C… high C, not low C… and that’s C and E in the left hand…” Winry sighed, poking at the piano uninterested. Why was Pinako making her do this again? The old woman’s voice echoed in her head.

‘Sarah loved the piano. You oughta try it out, kid, and let it stop collecting dust.’

Was it pointless to say that she and her mother were nothing alike? Winry couldn’t help but think to herself with another sigh. Sarah and Winry did, however, look exactly alike, with a few years of age difference to their faces.

‘My little girl. A little copy of me! I love you, Winry!’

Sarah would coo over and over that Winry was her little girl, her sweet, loving carbon copy, which she held so dearly to her heart. The last image Winry could remember of her mother was that last smile and her back as she walked away into the rain, her father’s hand in her own. Winry couldn’t decide how that made her feel, that she promised to be home soon and never came back. She tried not to dwell on it much, and continued to prod one key at a time, yawning lightly and yearning to be in the garage with her tools.

“How’s it coming, kiddo?” Pinako asked, poking her head into the room. Winry gave a halfhearted smile and a lackadaisical wave.

“Ehh…” she replied. “Can I upgrade Den’s leg now?” she said, looking over at the dog that followed Pinako in, close at her heels. She smiled lovingly at the automail leg he wore, that she herself had created for him. Pinako’s face firmed, wrinkled lines curving down.

“Give it a little more time, kid. You can play the piano.”

“I know. It just doesn’t interest me.” Winry protested with a sigh. Pinako began a routine rant that Winry had grown accustomed to.

“Sarah loved the--”

“The piano, I know.” Winry interrupted, anger harsh in her voice. “She also loved reading medical texts, and running off into war and never coming back. Want me to read some of those so I can leave too, or should we just let those collect dust?” she snapped. Her hand flew to her mouth, eyes widening.

‘Did I really just say that?’ she thought, appalled at her own words. She had never stepped that far out of line to her grandmother. Pinako’s eyes were sad, her face barely masking the shock that had come when she heard her granddaughter speak. The lines on her face seemed clearer now, carved in from long nights of worry, and tiring days of forced smiles to appease a child’s wondering mind, and the wearing down of interminable jobs to do. She seemed so much older in this light, the pattern from the ceiling fan causing deep pits of darkness in her face. Winry’s eyes trembled with thin tears, guilt obvious upon her pale face.

“Gramma, I’m so sor--”

“Forget it.” Pinako’s voice was curt and hard, cutting sharply through her words. “You don’t have to play it if it bores you that much. Go fix something with your wrench. Dinner’s in an hour.” She turned on her heel, her plump little form shuffling down the stairs. Winry heard pots clanging in the kitchen as she began to prepare supper, but otherwise silence.

Winry felt a rush of emotions flash through her; she turned guiltily back to the piano, hands running delicately over the thick, ivory keys that were yellowed from age and firm from years of playing. At first, her notes were light, apologetic, as though she was trying to play out her guilt through the tune, one by one making the feeling disappear.

But why did she have to be like Sarah anyway? The notes grew louder; Winry’s thin, skilled fingers moved rapidly across the keys, pressing slightly harder upon each one. Sarah had left with her father and never come home, despite their promise to. That last image of them flashed like wildfire through Winry’s mind.

‘Beaming sunlight, light my path
Gleaming sunshine, don’t look back
Gray clouds may rise, don’t feel alone
Beaming sunlight, lead me home.’

Sarah had sung that last song, Winry’s favorite, smiled and turned away, her hand falling from the knob and walking into the rain, not once looking back. Winry had stared, standing there on the doorstep feeling the drops soak her to the bone, each one like ice slashing through her skin as she watched her mother leave, watched her move away until she faded into the bleak gray of the clouds, another desolate blur in the scenery of the dreary sky. For years, all she could feel was that rain on her skin, the pricks of cold that chilled her to her core. Anger boiled in her veins as she pounded on the keys, moving lower on the staff.

She had every right to anger, didn’t she? Every day, waiting on that porch step, every night at sundown, staring from her window, listening for just one note of that song, wondering when they would come home.

How long was soon?

Winry’s fingers slammed the keys, feeling the piano itself rattling from the force in her hands, the melody turning dark and rapid. Her hands moved swiftly in their chords, deep and hollowed.

‘Soon never came, did it, Mom?’ Winry thought, eyes burning with tears as she scribbled notes onto her page, playing them over and over again, the sound of the keys echoing through the floor, trembling beneath her feet. The notes in front of her disappeared and that telegram appeared, filling the space in her crystalline eyes. The only notice she had ever received from her mother tore across her sight.

‘It’s from Mommy! Read it, Gramma, read it!’

Pinako had taken the telegram into trembling fingers, sharp eyes scanning the thin type words, each sentence separated by STOP. The yellow, frayed edges of the paper twitched in her hands. She placed it on the table where it would remain for so long a time, and recited it softly, gently, so the little girl would understand.

‘Dead?! They said they’d be home soon! Mommy promised she’d be home soon! She can’t be dead!’


Winry’s hands slammed against the keys in a discordant tenor, fingers pressing them down, unmoving, not allowing them to rise as the word screamed over and over again in her ears, not even the music blocking it out. A single tear fell against a key before her, sliding gently through the cracks and disappearing. The air was heavy with silence, the only sound being the faraway rattle of the fan blades, seeming so distant now.

Winry sat up straighter, moving slowly to the right side of her bench, carefully lifting her hands from the keys in the low part of the staff. She pulled the paper away from her stand and crumpled it up, tossing it in the corner. She took her pen and drew notes lightly on a new sheet, moving up the scale, her fingers light and swift.

“D, A, C… G, A, F… E, D, C, A…” Winry whispered, voice trembling as it followed the notes up and down, adding the left hand perfectly as she went. “Beaming… sunlight, light my path…”

‘Why do you wanna be a doctor, Mommy?’

Winry’s fingers pressed lightly on the keys, adding chords and overlapping notes. She paused only to scribble in the staff of her paper, memories replaying at high speed in her mind, like the broken reel of a movie, repeating on the old gray screen.

I always wanted to help people, Winry. You must always use your hands to help people, not hurt them. Yours will create beautiful things, my darling child. Beautiful things.’
Winry’s hand trembled as she rested upon the last note, drawing the finishing line to her paper. A simple song had appeared before her, one that she found had been written long ago.

‘Beaming sunlight, light my path
Gleaming sunshine, don’t look back
Gray clouds may rise, don’t feel alone
Beaming sunlight, lead me home.’

Winry’s hands lifted from the keys; her head hung, but her eyes were dry. A thin, simple smile had crossed her lips, the last few delicate notes of the song ringing in her ears. She stood from the piano bench and headed toward the door, turning out the light behind her.

Winry walked down the hallway and down the spiraling stairs, past the kitchen where the clacking of a wooden spoon echoed from the stirring of a pot, without making a sound. She pushed the front door open and was greeted with the heat of the night air, the landscape navy blue, the sky darkening as the sun slowly sank beneath the horizon. She sat on the front step, pushing the door back a little ways, her head resting on her knees.

“Beaming sunlight, light my path…”

How often she had sat here as a child, waiting, despite the pleas of Pinako and the whining barks of Den, she still lingered for hours, listening for the clack of shoes on the cobblestones heading up to her door.

“Gleaming sunshine, don’t look back…”

The moon glimmered upon Winry’s pale skin, a pallid glow lining her arms and legs, setting diamonds in cobalt eyes that stared at the horizon, her voice carrying on the light breeze.

“Gray clouds may rise, don’t feel alone…”

She watched the last gleams sunlight slip beneath the rolling hills, the base of the sky a pale violet. Winry waited patiently, a smile soft upon thin lips.

“Winry, dinner!” came a voice from inside. No matter where she would go, Winry would return here. She would create and explore beautiful things with her hands, in the workshop, on her piano, throughout the world, with both the determination and music of her heart, and the loving wisdom that Sarah had left behind. But when the day was done, and the sun faded to the south, she would return here, where she knew she belonged.

Winry grinned and stood, eyes scaling the darkened sky, locking upon the last ray of light that illuminated the road.

“Beaming sunlight, lead me home.”
Beautiful. I loved this one shot.
Random Person
wow. ((totally speechless, good job!))
That was really beautiful ^^
Thank you!
Really nice story, wonderfuly written. You should write more wink.gif
I love it. :3 It's a really nice and descriptive. :'D
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