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The Pianist

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The piano rang off the walls of the empty auditorium and echoed off into the foyer and outside into the hallway of the school. Mozart danced along the young boy’s fingers gracefully, stringing the music together into an elegant sonata. He always comes here to play, everyday, sometimes two or three times a day. None of the other kids liked him very much, probably because he’s 13 and he wasn’t supposed to be in high school yet. He had plenty of friends though. Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, they were all his friends; they were all his escape. The teachers don’t mind him playing, he wasn’t hurting anybody, and the art teacher who was just next to the auditorium had thanked him for the music during lunch. She was his friend too.

His mind began to wander and he could his father hitting mother, like he did when he was drunk, and he hit a bass note harder than usual and it could be heard ringing violently through the auditorium. But he didn’t stop, he never stopped. He began to feel angry as he could remember mother’s black eye this morning and he began to play faster. His fingers were light as feathers, but the sound began to deepen and get louder.

He knew they were coming, they always came. It used to be they only came once in a while, and then they began to come once a week, now they came every day. He was expecting them. They came in all laughing, they were big, a lot bigger than he was, and they all wore their football jerseys; it was game day for them. The boy didn’t have to look to know they were there, they were really loud. As he finished the sonata, one of the boys, the quarterback and obviously the leader, clapped his hands menacingly as he made his way to the stage, closely followed by the other boys. There were more than usual. The boy just moved on to his next song, not even looking up. The lead boy said something that was drowned out by the piano, but the other boys laughed.

They began with the usual, hitting the keys to interrupt his song, calling him names, nasty names, and pulling his short hair, anything to get him to mess up, and usually he did, then they would laugh and tell him how much he sucked at playing. Still the boy did not look up, he never looked up.
When the bell rang, the boy thought they would leave, they usually did, but this time they didn’t. The leader put his hand on the boys shoulder and roughly pulled him off the bench. The kid hit the floor loudly as the piano stopped abruptly. He looked up to see that all but one of the boys was laughing at him. The boy that wasn’t laughing was new, this was his time in here, and he was trying to tell them that they needed to leave, that he had had enough. The others didn’t listen.
“Where did the music go, rug-rat?” The quarterback smiled at him menacingly. “You really shouldn’t stop in the middle of a song like that; it ruins the song for me.”
The boy just stood up as they laughed at him and walked calmly over to his backpack. The boy that tried to get them to stop was by his side, apologizing to him. The other kids were laughing at him too. This was a game to them; well, game over. The boy pulled a gun out his backpack and boys stopped laughing. One by one they tried to run, but the kid was a really good shot, he’d been practicing. BANG, BANG, BANG. The three kids that tried to run for the exit we’re all shot in the back. Three of them, including the leader, tried to hide behind one of the pews that were set up, but the boy found them. He walked slowly over, relishing this moment. The first boy he came to whimpered and tried to protect his face with his arm and hand. The gun went off and the boy was left in a puddle of his own blood; two bullets left and two kids left. He found the next boy behind the third row of pews, cowering, and the leader was right behind him. It sounded like he was trying to apologize, but the boy wasn’t listening. He could see his dads face now, and remembered his look that morning, as he looked down the same barrel, too hung-over to register what was really happening. BANG, BANG. The last two bullets imbedded themselves inside the quarterback, just as the first two did his father that same morning. The last remaining kid was paralyzed with fear as he watched the boy walk calmly back to the piano and began to play again as if nothing had happened. The pianist didn’t look up again.
He didn’t even look up when the police arrived.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

kimberdawn said...
Apr. 25, 2012 at 10:13 am:

Whoa! This is like....amazing! I love it! Its so...deep and reflective! I cannot tell you how much this made me want to cry. 

 

 
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ThisLife said...
Apr. 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm:
Wow, it's like I tell people to watch what they say and do everyday. It's nice to know that someone else out there understands. That was really touching and moving and I thank you for writing that.
 
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