Piano Madness

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During the afternoon of a blistering summer day, the staccato music of the cicadas allowed me to drift into a dream world. The sun now shines a pale blue, casting everything in shades of grey. I see an ivory white piano sitting in a basin, a basin filled with animal mosaics that makes up the heart of a lonely city. The slumping buildings and slinking power lines line deserted railroads that lead to this city, encompassing, perhaps even trapping it.

A pianist approaches his piano, his nervous footsteps echo with his shaking hands.

His eyes close. Finally, his hands draw back and his fingers attack the keys. I notice something odd about the playing—I can’t hear the keys, but memories and emotions burst into the air above the piano, spiraling, fizzing and dissipating. I feel an invisible and cold hand pulling me into the memories and colors. With tears falling, he jumps out of his seat, reaches with his right hand and slams the very last black key. This time, the memory kidnaps me, stealing my hands and yanking my feet as I am dragged through memories played in reverse. My eyes snap open to show me a thin house built between two buildings. Shy flashes of an orange light reveal my trembling shadow. I noticed the decorations in the window and a small wooden porch. The door shrieked as it was forced open from the inside.

Smoke dove into my lungs and attacked my eyes like flaming hornets. The fire, swirling and unpredictable, was also shaking—but not in fear. Fiery arms scorched the walls and its footprints melted the aged floor, illuminating the cracks. Along with the flying debris whipping around the room, sheets of music were soaring, soaring and rejected just like leaves carelessly tossed into a fire. Bending under the pressure and heat, a piano creaks and whines with pain as its legs hit the floor with an explosive thud. The ivory of the keys began melting, hissing and splattering, dripping down my face, burning a path there while it narrowly missed my eyes and mouth. The piano’s top had remained open, exposing the wires, which started snapping and whipping around causing keys to play dissonant chords. The musician approaches the piano when a wire cuts his face; I feel the pain of a searing poker being dragged across my cheek. His tears evaporated before they escaped his eyes. The piano emits one last dissonant chord, then implodes and slumps to the floor.





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