29 December 2010

Piano Playing

Title: Piano Playing
Author: SilverInk
Writing: short-short story thing, started at different times
Word count: 320+475+525= 1320


“Storm, listen to this!” Ever Blaize called to her mother gleefully. She pressed a carefully chosen chord on the piano and began a sweet little melody with the other hand. She could not remember it all and it was short to begin with, so she ceased her playing after only a few measures. “Was that any good?”
Storm Blaize looked up from where she had been sketching interior design models and listened. “What’re you trying to play?”
“That song Aunt Sonora was playing at the mid-summer banquet,” Ever replied. She replayed the tune without the supporting hand and frowned. Something was still off.
“Which one?”
“The really short one at the end,” she replied. She turned around and dipped a quill into ink and made another note on the music paper. 
“The one for your friend Mr. Wyn,” Storm laughed, not surprised that her daughter had picked up specific interest on that particular song of all the pieces played that night. “Auris’s theme,” she murmured to herself before taking a seat next to Ever on the bench. She played what Ever had already had down and added a few notes. She laughed when Ever frowned. “That’s all the fun in learning an instrument, I suppose!” she said.
“And may I inquire what you ladies are up to?”
Storm turned around and threw a handy projectile—a wayward slipper—at her husband. 
“Halt,” he said, holding up a hand and the slipper stopped in midair before falling into his hand. “Messing around with the piano, I see,” he said, answering his own question. He ruffled Ever’s hair to her evident distaste and pressed a few random notes on the piano.
“Hey!” Ever exclaimed, more so in epiphany than in irritation. “That could work!” She played what she had figured out and added the few notes August had played. She beamed and marked it on her paper. “Good job dad!”
Before the Competition--------------------------------

“Wyntir?” August Flood called out to his brother. Ever looked away from Auris Wyn for a moment. 
“Dad? What happened?”
“Your uncle’s cooking dinner and I think he burned something,” August replied with a chuckle. He patted his wife’s hand and disappeared into the kitchen. 
“Wyntir cooks now,” Ever’s mother, Storm Blaize, noted. She was talking to Sonora Lee, her best friend and Auris’s mother—creator really.
“Tell me son,” Sonora said, emphasizing the last word and watching him cringe slightly before looking towards her. “Does Wyntir usually cook?”
“He does, ma’m,” Auris replied evenly. 
“Don’t torture him tonight, Sonora,” Storm cautioned. 
“I’m sorry,” she said, and the evil intent faded out of her eyes and tone. She smiled smoothly and it was no longer a smirk. “It won’t happen again.”
“We’ll not bother them for now,” Storm said and left the children to their talk. 
“Go on? Tell me about Storm,” Ever urged her friend. 
Auris was confused for only a moment and resumed telling Ever about his and Wyntir’s stay on the second-smalled moon of Idyllen. 
August returned soon, a basket of bread in one hand and his mouth full. He set the bread on the table and took his seat next to his wife again. “Wyntir seems to know what he’s doing,” he said after swallowing. Storm and Sonora nodded pleasantly and the former took a piece of bread for herself. 
Wyntir soon came out of the kitchen. He took the only open seat—next to Sonora— and grabbed a crust of bread. “It’s cooking,” he said. “Who plays the piano?” he pointed to the black piano in the corner of the adjoining room. 
“Storm and Ever,” August replied easily. 
“Really?” Wyntir said, eyeing the instrument. He stood and ambled over to it and the adults followed him. 
“For fun,” Storm explained. “We teach each other to play. August tries. And Sonora comes over sometimes too. ”
“That was expected,” Wyntir laughed. He raised the cover and pressed a few notes. 
“Do you play?” Sonora murmured quietly. She too ran her hand by, and underneath her fingers a smooth scale sounded. She brought her fingers back and a melody danced into the air. Storm chortled and coughed something remarkably like “show-off” to which Sonora just grinned. She turned back to Wyntir. “Do you?”
“I think I’ve touched one before,” he said, now flipping through the sheaf of composition paper resting on the top. Sonora didn’t respond. “What about a contest? Sonora, you obviously don’t count. But I’m interested in my brother’s ability to do something other than read.” He eyed August meaningfully.
“Are you doubting my ability?” August said, puffing his chest out in mock bravado. Wyntir took it seriously. 
“A contest it is then!” He waved his hands dramatically and pulled out the bench. “Presenting Maestro August!”
The Competition----------------------------------

Ever Blaize, 11 for a day, pressed her fingers to the piano and played. She hadn't known what song she was going to play, but the moment her fingers touched the key they leapt instinctively towards the notes they favored. She soon recognized the song--it had been the song that her aunt Sonora had been playing the week before. It was a very short piece and Ever couldn't remember all of it anyways, so she ended it quickly with a bit of cute improvisation--a repetition of the beginning of the song and a final chord.
Her small audience clapped politely and Ever smiled embarrasedly before resuming her seat next to  Auris Wyn.
"That was splendid improv," he whispered to her.
"You caught that?"
"I know the song, of course I did," he replied. She nodded. Auris knew almost everything about her, so it didn't bother her significantly. They were best friends, and called each other cousins anyways. They weren't actually cousins, but Auris was Wyntir's student and Wyntir was August's brother and August was Ever's father, so it was close enough, they assumed. Ever would never mention it, but there was another reason too, one that troubled Auris very much--Sonora was technically Auris's creator, and since Sonora and Storm were as close as sisters, they could be considered cousins.
"Your daughter plays better than you," Wyntir was teasing August, who had played before Ever. 
"And I play better than you" the researcher joked back. "Storm? Do you want to go next?"
"Ever stole my song,"  Ever's mother replied, the grin never fading from her face. She got up anyway and played another piece, much more lively and fast-paced than Ever's slow melody.
Everyone clapped and Wyntir was about to tease his brother for being the worst piano player of the people gathered when Sonora pushed him forward. Wyntir did not play well at all but he was a good sport and after a few minutes of laughter he resigned to a very simple child's tune. Everyone cheered as he made a few mock-bows as Auris was encouraged to try the instrument. 
He too tried and failed miserably, although he was able to play something more complicated than Wyntir's children's tune. Finally Sonora stepped forward, and played a combination of all of their songs, earning laughs when she wove Wyntir and Auris's attempts into an intricate piece. The master of improvisation herself stood and accepted the enthusiastic cheers. 
"I think it goes to no surprise that every time we do something musical that Miss Sonora Lee makes us all look like fools," Storm said, punching her friend in the arm. "In good humor though."
She smiled and commented, "I thought Ever's playing was very nice though. You and her have obviously been playing around with the piano. Wyntir on the other hand...." she turned to him with an expression of grave seriousness that everyone laughed at. 
"Consider your ears lucky that I remember where 'do' is," he replied, keeping the joke alive. 
"Let's hope your cooking is better!" August proclaimed and the gathered swept into the dining room enthusiastically. 
Artist's Note: 
HI! :D [dodges tomatoes] So sorry to have completely not posted anything at all within the last fortnight.

The prompt was again from Mrs. Gail Carson Levine's Writing Magic, and was to start a story about a competition from three different points in time: the moment the competition started (I used the moment Ever starts to play), the moment the main character finds out there will be a competition, and when the main character starts to prepare for the competition, which was in this case, before she knew there would be a competition. 
I promise to post more in 2011! Hope everyone had a merry Angelmas and will have a brilliant New Year! :D

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