The Whale

"Imagine a world in which there is no time. Only images."
— Alan Lightman (Einstein's Dreams)


A half-left turn to the piano and a solid mass of hands, flapping like the wings of a humming bird. Expectant eyes and faces are turned up to the stage, and although they are shrouded in a veil of darkness, I can still feel the penetrating glint of their eyes. Blood clots in my chest, withholding warmth from my clammy, serpentine hands. There is another boy next to me- a partner, a friend- my mind floundering to recall that I am not alone in this battle. Snap!


The flash and pop of an unknown; and there we were, sailors before a storm. All was motionless; they sat upon the edge of their seat in expectation, us in our nervousness. Invisible lightning crackled in the void, waiting, biding its time. Sensing the change in the air, my nerves screamed out at me- and I nearly broke. My heart skipped a beat, and I knew that it was time. My fingers descended upon the black and white sea.


I was Ishmael and he was Ahab, fighting the same foe. My hands pulled ropes, grabbing the winds of music from the sky; he was captain, steering us straight for the heart. The whale seemed to shrink as I was caught in the storm of our sounds, the gale buffeting all thoughts away. Suddenly, the beast breathed its last. I'd been wrong- we were not sailors doomed to be entombed within the black wood upon which we played. There was a heavy sigh of relief, followed by thunderous applause.


Fear has no hold over me.





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