Marie’s hands skipped across the black and white keys, spinning the staccato tones of Balakirev’s “Islamej” for a spellbound audience.

Years ago, musicians had called Balakirev’s piece the “unplayable fantasy.” Nowadays, things had changed.

As the crowd applauded, Marie rose, smiling, and turned to face her audience. Her diamond earrings glittered in the spotlights as she curtsied, lifting the hem of her concert gown with twelve manicured fingers.

Years ago, music students had looked at those hands and called Marie a freak. Nowadays, things had changed.

Today, Marie’s name was in lights outside Symphony Center. “Tonight Only: The Polydactyl Pianist.”