We recently published Charles Rafferty’s melodic “Six Fingers.”

Here, we ask him two questions about his story:


1) I love this idea of a 12-fingered pianist, especially when it comes to those octaves! When you conceived of this piece, was the musician always a pianist or did you ever consider having him play a different instrument?

It was always a piano. Probably this is because I play a little piano myself. I’m not very good though, and there have been times when I’ve struggled to form the right chords, when I’ve considered how useful an extra finger might be.

2) That ending, with the woman tired of the five-fingered world, is such a great moment. What do you think she would say to him? Or would she say anything?

Ah, that’s a tough one. I was intending that last moment to be mostly sexual. That is, the “saying the chords” bit suggests a kind of ecstasy, a once-in-a-lifetime encounter, which is really just a way of saying she’s fallen in love. What actual words would she say in this moment of flirtation or seduction? I’m not sure. I think she would probably be quiet for as long as she could get away with it — for fear of jinxing the moment. I’m like that. When things are going well, I tend to become taciturn. It’s the old fear of saying something stupid or giving offense. This is one of the reasons I’m a terrible cocktail party guest.