lunedì, maggio 22, 2006

The Chromatic Scale

This piece was submitted for my second writing assignment, where readers are introduced to a character. It's only 600 words long, as per the word limit of the assignment, so it might seem somewhat truncated. Regardless, I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing. Cheers!

The Chromatic Scale
by Eddie G.

As the manicurist did his nails, Stephen Danforth narcissistically observed himself in the mirror, while an equally self-obsessed musical genius stared back at him with awe-struck admiration. As far as musicians went, there were mainly two kinds – those who specialized in a single instrument, but only up to a point where they would impress but not flabbergast. Stephen did not fall into either category, for he could play almost any musical instrument conceivable like a true virtuoso.

It was time. Stephen rose from his chair in deliberate fashion and sauntered towards the exit of his dressing room. An attractive young lady opened the door for him, her eagerness to please unashamedly blatant, and he made a mental note to “reward” her by inviting her over to his chateau after the performance had concluded. As he made his way along the corridor that lead to the stage, he was mobbed by a pack of journalists, like hungry wolves desperate for a few morsels of meat, and he responded by clinically withdrawing into his contemplative shell, eradicating them from his awareness like how a library would to unwanted babble.

They think my talents are a blessing, he mused, those poor fools! Has it never occurred to their pitiful minds that the curse of being able to play every musical instrument is that I have to play, well, every musical instrument? Ironically, this had to be forgiven. After all, the mind of a genius could hardly be fathomed; that was the very reason why they were called geniuses to begin with.

If only it were so simple, he lamented silently within, I hear imperfections in my playing that you do not; I detect the slightest of flaws that even the most acute of connoisseurs are blessed with the ability to overlook.

A voice had audaciously attempted to encroach on the periphery of Stephen’s awareness, but was nonetheless rewarded for its persistence.

“How do you feel going into tonight’s performance?” it had asked.

It had taken Stephen Danforth a considerable amount of effort to refrain from swearing aloud. Imbecile! You display the creative capabilities and the mental capacity of a squashed apricot! Must you fools always ask me the same old questions time after time after time? In a sudden movement, he swiveled round to confront his questioner, a scowl strewn across his angular, clean-shaven face. It was a scowl reserved for whenever he saw a cockroach or other creepy crawlies like moronic journalists.

“With my hands, just like everyone else,” he snarled, and allowed his mind to chuck the fool out of his awareness once more. However, in doing so, he allowed another voice to creep in. “I’m sure you have God to thank for your amazing talents,” this one had said. Stephen had chosen not to further encourage them by responding, but the comment had set his mind thinking regardless.

God? God? he thought, Oh yes, I have God to thank alright! I have Him to thank for all the misery I suffer every bloody day. After every performance, the standing ovations mean nothing to me! Because no matter how well I play, it will never be perfect! I always fuck up each and every performance; and tonight’s performance will be no different. He’s screwing me over on purpose, no doubt about it!

Stephen briefly looked up to give the Almighty an accusatory glare, fooling the journalists into waiting expectantly for his next quote, which was not forthcoming.

You think it’s funny, don’t you? the soundless tirade continued. Well now You damn well know why Lucifer rebelled, just as I am rebelling!

Ye who seek for audience, let ye speak now!

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