Friday, June 13, 2014

Prompt: Vocal coach with amnesia, female serial killer escapes prison

Karen sat with her fingers resting on the keyboard. Snatches of songs ran through her head, came out her fingertips, but she couldn’t remember the words. A tear traced a hot line down her cheek. She jumped at the knock on her door. Without glancing at her clock, she called, “Come in, dear.” Must be time for her next lesson…

Sharon slipped into the apartment, frowning as the woman called out. If she was expecting company, things could get complicated quickly. Scanning the room, she took in the country d├ęcor in the small kitchen, the table set for one, the lounge chair and sofa with needlepoint pillows, and the lady at the piano, only now looking around with a tremulous smile.

Karen couldn’t put a name to the sharp face in her doorway, but that wasn’t unusual these days. Her students never seemed to notice that she didn’t call them by name until she had their workbooks in hand – mercifully labeled in her own neat handwriting. She glanced around her guest, but saw no bag or notebooks. Well, that made it a little more challenging. Not only did she not have a name, she didn’t know this student’s level. Standing, she motioned to the woman as she moved to the chair next to the piano bench. “Come on in, dear,” she echoed. “Are you ready to play today?”

Sharon raised her eyebrows, then shrugged and moved across the room. Did the woman mistake her for someone else? Well, she needed a place to hide out for awhile, and she had always wanted to learn to play piano. Mom Bertha used to play the rickety old piano in the cafeteria, and sometimes Sharon would sit with her when the teasing was particularly fierce. No one messed with Mom Bee.

Sitting at the piano, Sharon remembered her first lesson, a fingering piece, Mom Bee called it. She started with her left hand at the far end of the piano and found the “C” key with her left thumb. She stumbled a bit over the first few keys, but then she remembered the tune and relaxed, letting her fingers run more smoothly through the pattern. When she reached the right end, she replaced her left hand with her right, and ran back across the keyboard, playing the pattern in reverse. Nearing the end, she glanced up and saw the teacher’s wide smile. She couldn’t help smiling back.

As she played the final chord, the woman clapped her hands with a laugh. “What a marvelous Hanon, my dear!” She stopped short, and stared down at the keyboard. “Yes, Hanon. That’s it. I remember…”

I struggled with this one. I had a half-baked idea spring to mind when I read the prompt, but I feel like my wheels spun in place. So I give you a prelude, or a scene setting. Didn’t do more than hint at Sharon’s role. Where could I go with this? Maybe nowhere, and that’s okay, sometimes. It’s an exercise, and they can’t all be winners…

Dogs in house:

The Avengers

Time writing
~40 minutes

June word count

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