Piano – Short Story #19

Franz Kline, No. 2

He sat at the piano looking perplexingly at it, wondering what he did to end up here, staring at those dreadful ivories and ebonies; they stared back mockingly. They must’ve known all along, the full-bodied lot of them stood anticipating his doom, his doom. Time slipped and he knew it wouldn’t be long now: the curtain would rise and he

Well, the problem. He didn’t know. Not sure how he got here in the first place, or who he was, or why he was here, or how he could play, or if he could play. Or if it mattered.

(A bird sings in harmony. We are wrestling confinement. Kick, kick, kicking. Air. Light. Return. Dark comfort.)

He sat on a black stool up against a majestic grand with words written which he couldn’t quite make out. He didn’t know what he wore but felt like it was nice, and his shoes glistened offering some light to his sheet music. But he couldn’t exactly read that either, even with the added light of his shoes—illuminating his steps, we might say. The stage was large, dark, and empty except for him and his piano. Or he assumed it was his, he seemed to know it. Familiarity. The anticipation rammed up into his esophagus, suffocating with hot nerves and weak fatigue like standing on a cliff just to dive into abyss. Jolting up in rapid reflex he made out the figure of a woman nearby, but he didn’t know her name. He spoke but nothing. He spoke but nothing. He spoke but noth hsppkbtnthng nthng


But no matter, the piano stage right walked stage center and he followed. The time was arriving for his moment, and he forgot what he was doing. What fun we’re having. The noise. The room. Irrevocable; he drowned in it. No more no more. He must go on. Suddenly

Piano: Are you ready, ol’ foothands, trusty mistake maker, son of a failure from the land of botchery? You know, I know you’ll diminuendo my crescendo, you’ll ritardando my accelerando, you’ll Mozart my Bach, you’ll staccato my legato, you’ll forte my fortissimo, you’ll you’ll you’ll coda my fin. Awyesyawill, meme C minor flat to my A major double sharp quarter-tone. Shivering, my strings, at the thought of your merciless massacre of magnomious masses.

Foothands: Ah great, this is the last thing I needed at this moment, I was just proving by algebra my need to be gone and here ya come with your prove me mocking and must I must I must go on now, you’ll see how pianissimo I can be!

To this the piano was silent, for the moment, until at last Mr. shoe of the show was strutting his fingers upon the tongue of his mouth and making sweet sweet lemonade for him to show he ain’t no he ain’t no footshoehanded man.

Victorious, and quite confident of the impending performance, our sir Mr. sir was now horribly prepared for the curtain to rise, and so he sat in calm stillness as the crowd went silent. Silent.

Up the crimson curtain rose on an blank stage, a solitary piano alone stood motionless, mockingly. Empty. Stage without. Nothing to see. Creatio ex nihilo. 

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