In Case

Each night as the sirens sounded, the violin maker would carry it with him into the neighborhood shelter—held upright, wrapped like a child in his arms.

After the all-clear he’d return to his little apartment, set it gently on the table unlatched. Inside, plush yellow lining was losing its nap; a rosin cake fractured in shards. The violin maker would rub his sore knee, sigh.

His daughters wished he’d move to the country. It’s safer, they said. Quieter. But the violin maker refrained.

That night was louder, the case left fully open. When its yellow lining caught fire, music filled the room.

Julie Lein received her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah, where she’s now a postdoc fellow in Digital Humanities. Recent work is forthcoming from

Photo Credit: Mitch Huang

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