Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Best of Pianissimo

Happy Thursday, troops!

Today, I wanted to do something a little different. I want to share some of my favorite sections, snippets, and lines with you. I would love to find out which lines are YOUR favorite! ;)

Corinne sat in the bare living room with the front door to the old house wide open. The screen door made a pitiful barrier between her and the raging thunderstorm outside. The light, sweet, crisp scent of rain tickled the back of her nostrils with each gust of wind. The rain was more than welcome, though. The humidity had finally died down and there was even a slight chill in the air. Drenched green leaves danced and twirled on just the other side of the door.
   Surrounding Corinne was a sea of boxes. Her whole life was contained in the plain brown parcels.
Pictures, memories, books, sentimental items: indeed, her entire existence was covered in bubble wrap and contained in the boxes she had clearly marked.

Corinne longed for the familiarity of Darryl’s scent; for his warm body hogging up the majority of the bed; for even his snore.

The backboard was missing, exposing the scrawny, naked strings and hammers.

The outside world was morphed and swirled around through the old leaded glass. Corinne stole an extra glance at the warped view as she vacuumed the cat hair off the area rug and then the couch. She smiled at the quirkiness of the old windows. Sweat raced down her face as she cleaned diligently despite the horrid hot, humid weather. After several minutes, she finally stopped the vacuum.
   As soon as the whirl of the motor died down, Corinne thought she heard something. She strained to hear it. After concentrating for a few silent moments, she could finally make out the faint sound of a woman crying.
   Why was there a woman crying? Was someone hurt? Did something happen? Corinne hoped whoever it was was alright.
   Panic stricken for the other person, Corinne ran through the house looking in every room, opening every door. What was going on? Who was that? There was no one in the house. She ran out through the back door to see if any of her neighbors were hurt. Not one sign of life. What in the world?   Something had to be happening.
   She could still hear the cries.
   Corinne walked briskly back into the house. As she came in, she felt drawn to the inside basement door.
   Corinne went to slide back the lock, but it was so hot, it singed her hand. Corinne immediately removed her hand from the door. She looked at her palm which was blazing red. She blew gently on it to try to ease the scorch. The crying was clearer now.
   Braving the lock once again, Corinne quickly undid the latch. She pushed the door open with all her
might. The darkness rose up the stairs like billowing clouds of smoke. There it was. The crying was clear and loud now. A woman wept down in dark, dank basement.
   “Hello?” Corinne’s voice trembled with fear. “Hello? Who are you? Are you ok? Do you need help?”
   Her voice echoed mildly down the stairs.
   The crying continued.
   “Who are you? Are you okay? Do you need help?” Corinne repeated herself.
   Still no response, only sobs.
   Corinne stood at the stop of the stairs, frozen with fear. The burn on her hand began to throb. She looked at her hand. Her palm was red and beginning to blister. Yet, there were no signs of fire. No smoke, there was no scent of anything burning, no crackling or visible flames. Was it possible the fire had only just begun? Why was the door so hot that she couldn’t touch it? If she were to go down there to help this woman, would she end up hurt herself? She was truly torn: unsure of whether to brave the basement stairs or tend to her hand.
   After a perceived eternity, the sobbing suddenly began to fade away. Just as when it began, Corinne found herself straining to hear this woman once again. Eventually, there was utter silence.
   Now paralyzed by both fear and confusion, Corinne stood in place and looked back at her hand. The blister was gone and her palm looked completely normal. No longer red, no longer painful. As if nothing had happened, life in the house was still and peaceful again.

Corinne stared down the piano.
   It pathetically stared back.
   She looked at the face of it. An instrument that was once solid, regal and beautiful was now merely a skeleton.

"Would you like to meet the one man who has captured my heart? My dearest friend since childhood?”
   Margaret was taken aback. “Most certainly,” she said with trepidation in her voice.
   “Come with me!” Agnes exclaimed. She grabbed Margaret’s hand and ran with her out of the house and down towards a barn that was a short distance from the back of the house.
   “You have a man living in your barn?” Margaret asked in between her deep breaths as she ran.
   Agnes laughed heartily.
   After a short jaunt, they reached the barn doors. With great enthusiasm, Agnes opened the doors.
   Margaret stood at the door way.
   “Go on!” Agnes encouraged her.
   Margaret took one cautious step in. “Hello?” She called. Her voice slightly echoed through the barn.
   She shrieked when a large chestnut horse head appeared out of one the stalls.
   Agnes walked in laughing. “Margaret, this is Chief.”
   Margaret was still breathing heavily from her shock.
   Smiling, Agnes grabbed her hand and walked her over to the majestic animal.
   “Chief, this is Margaret.”
   As if he understood, he softly nuzzled Margaret’s elbow with his nose.
   Margaret studied him, taking in the sight of what very well could have been the most beautiful horse she had ever seen.
   He was a rich chestnut color, with vibrant white patches. His mane was black, except for one patch of cream colored hair that rested above one small white spot on his neck. His eyes were big, deep, gentle brown eyes. He was tall and regal, just like Agnes. He had long white “stockings” on all four of his legs. His tail was also a mixture of black and cream hair.
   “He’s…gorgeous!” Margaret said softly.
   “I’m glad you like him.”
   Again, Chief lightly nudged Margaret’s arm.
   “And he clearly likes you!” Agnes chuckled.
   Margaret began to gently pet his face and nose. “What a remarkable creature!”
   Agnes beamed. “Thank you.”
   The women were quiet as Margaret continued to pet and admire Chief.
   Margaret turned her head slightly to look at Agnes. “Thank you for introducing me.” She said softly.
   “It was my pleasure.” Agnes’ face radiated with gladness and joy as she watched her new best friend with her childhood best friend connect.

Sunbeams weaved through the leaves of the trees as the sun began to greet the world.

Agnes stood proudly in the closet door frame holding up a pair of black trousers.
   “They’re pants! These are my father’s trousers!” She looked down at them. “I can’t believe they’re here. I had no idea. I thought all of his belongings were long gone.”
   “What do you intend to do with them?”
   “Well I think I should wear them!”
   “What?” Margaret laughed.
   Agnes pulled the pants on under her dress.
   Margaret laughed hysterically. “Now that, my love, is quite the fashion!”
   “I agree. It is all the rage in Paris!”
   “I could only imagine.” Margaret chuckled.
   Agnes began walking around the room. “I must say, I do quite like this.”
   “You do?”
   “It would be better with just a blouse rather than this dress. This is comfortable, though.” She sat in the chair. She sat with her legs open and she leaned back in the chair. “So this is what it feels like to be a man! Oh this is so much better than having to act like a dreadful lady. You may sit anyway you choose. You may slouch. You need not worry about posture or appearing inappropriate. Oh this is wonderful! You should try it, Margaret. I think you shall enjoy this as much as I.”
   Margaret chuckled again. “I’m not quite so sure of that. I think I shall leave you to be the man. I am quite comfortable as I am.”
   Agnes quickly pulled the pants off, bundled them up and tossed them at Margaret. “Spoil sport!” She teased.

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