Chapter One (of something)

Fiction By Amy // 12/21/2007

Chapter One

I’ve been waiting for this day so long, and now it’s finally here. So much depends on my performance: If I sing well enough I’ll be granted a scholarship, and I’ll be able to study nearly anywhere.
I can hear the first singer beginning. Ohhh...she’s good. Lucky her. It’s not that I don’t want her to sing well, it’s just that I don’t want her to be at this competition if she’s too good. If you were already so good, why would you need to study voice in college? I was ridiculous. I was jealous, I suppose.
I had about an hour before my turn. I walked into a practice room and sang some warm-ups, even though I was already warmed-up. After I sang for a while I sat down in a chair, made myself close my eyes and think about something else. Anything else. It was little use, though; my thoughts gravitated back to were I was.
Another girl with bouncy blond curls entered the room and I caught a snatch of a boy singing high and loud. Poor boy; he sounded tense.
I tried to appear calm and unconcerned to this girl. I was a singer, yes? It isn’t as if I haven’t done this a million times before. As if that made a difference.
“How long’ve you studied voice?” She inquired.
“About five years.” I replied, a little surprised that she had questioned me so abruptly. “You?”
She shrugged. “Ten or so.”
I swallowed and nodded with feigned indifference. Her next question caught me even more off guard.
“You think you’re any good?”
I thought about this for a moment then said: “I guess I wouldn’t be here if I thought I was awful.” She had to concede that this was true, though she didn’t seem too pleased with my answer. I decided not to push her question back at her, since I wasn’t too fond of it in the first place.
“What number are you?” She asked.
There was silence then. I could think of nothing to ask her except whether her hair curled naturally (I was pretty sure already that it didn’t), but that didn’t seem like a great idea. We sat awkwardly for a while, then she broke the silence. Equally awkwardly, I thought.
“Aren’t some of those guys out there cute?” She said and giggled. I blinked stupidly at her and shrugged. We were silent again.
I took out my bottle of water out of my bag and sipped some. I wasn’t really thirsty, but my throat was a little scratchy. I pulled out a throat drop and sucked away.
“Would you like one?” I offered to bouncy-curls. She accepted and we both sat like this, occasionally dropping bits of attempted conversation on each other, until an old lady came and told us that numbers twenty through twenty-five were to move to the wings. I took one last gulp of water and followed her to the stage. The five of us stood there anxiously, listening to number nineteen, who had just begun. I listened to all the others impatiently, not thinking much about their performances past that they were all quite good.
“Number twenty-five.”
I walked on-stage and stood there. I wasn’t sure I could even remember what I was to sing, but I saw the pianist looking up at me expectantly. I smiled and nodded. I came in at the right time, though I could hardly believe I actually managed to start singing. I performed mechanically for a moment, then I began to relax. I let the words glide away from my body, I caressed the notes, I felt my excitement rise with the piece. What could be more glorious! I didn’t care whether I won the scholarship, I just let this beautiful music carry me. The last note slipped gently away and I could feel my heart pounding.
“Thank you.” A voice called from the auditorium, and I was dismissed. I walked as far as the downstage leg, then tripped over my own feet and fell. I heard a gasp and footsteps coming toward me. I was shaking visibly as I got up. I hadn’t realized quite how nervous I was; my nerves always made me more clumsy.
“Are you alright?” a middle-aged man who had come to my assistance asked.
“Yes, I’m fine, thanks.” I stammered and giggled. It wasn’t exactly funny that I was a klutz, but between being nervous and embarrassed I could hardly keep from laughing hysterically.
I successfully made it all the way offstage and back to the practice rooms without any further mishaps. I then had an entire, delightful hour to obsess and worry over every minute detail of each note I sang and over how stupid and clumsy I must have seemed when I fell over, over nothing, no less. I didn’t even have the excuse of high heels.
I sat down and idly fingered the sleeve of my dress, rubbing the fabric between my fingers and feeling it’s grain.
“How did it go?” Asked bouncy curls who had come to join me. “You look disappointed.” I looked at her for a moment. I could tell she didn’t want me to have done well.
“I don’t know yet; there are still several more singers before the judges even make their choice.” I said.
“Of course! I’m one of them!” She exclaimed as if I had insulted her.
“I know. Break-a-leg.” “I nearly did” I added to myself.
“Thanks. I’m getting sooo nervous.” She said, then became quiet. I had a feeling she wanted me to say something like “oh, don’t worry, you’ll be great.” but besides my rather cruel desire not to oblige her, I had no idea whether she was great. I hadn’t heard her sing one single note. I couldn’t comfort her, so I kept quiet.
Once she deduced that I wasn’t the most flattering person to be with, she sauntered over to a group of boys who were talking animatedly about something or other. They seemed perfectly willing to receive her, and I was perfectly willing to part with her, so everyone benefitted from this rearrangement.
I slipped off my shoes and pulled my feet onto the chair, tucking them under my dress. I had what appeared to be a long wait before me, especially since no one but bouncy curls seemed to even notice me. I was quite used to being ignored, however, and I had learned to make the best of it.
I decided to be brave and go wherever my thoughts took me. Mostly we journeyed back to my performance, but I was surprised to find that occasionally they led to something else. I was wondering how bouncy curls had started taking voice lessons when bouncy curls herself returned and said “we’ve all gotta go into the theatre, they’re gonna announce the winner.”
I jumped up, slid my shoes back on and followed her hastily. We walked into the auditorium and all the singers took seats in the front rows of the theatre.
The man who had come to help me when I fell was standing on the stage smiling away at us.
I sat down, folded my arms and tried to calm myself. Finally we were all seated and the man began.
“You all did an amazing job today. With so much talent it was really difficult to select a winner,” he paused “but you’ve all heard this speech before, and even though it’s true I won’t make you listen to it while you’re all dying to know the result. The winner is number twenty-five: Miriam Elliott.”
I stared. Somehow I made my way to the stage and the man took my hand as I mounted the steps.
“To prevent further injury.” he explained and winked. “Our secret.”
I smiled, actually, I beamed as he handed me an envelope and the others clapped politely.
“Congratulations, Miss Elliott.” the man said “Congratulations to all of you. It was a pleasure hearing so much excellent music today.” I think he said more, but I hardly heard any of it.
I was ecstatic as I drove home. I wished Mom had been able to hear me, but they didn’t allow any spectators. Still, on the bright side, that left someone for me to tell everything to; and since mom was bound to hear the story either way, maybe it’s better for her that she didn’t already know what happened.

--We'll see if a chapter two ever appears (since it doesn't exist yet), or if this is all there is to the story.--



Ooh i loved this. It was very intersting and took no effort at all to read, it was very easy to keep going! And i loved the writing style! Good job! I hope you write more.

Anonymous | Fri, 12/21/2007

Great job!

Wonderful! I really enjoyed this piece. I hope you write more! I especially liked it as I can relate very much with Miriam.
Very nice writing.

Raine | Sat, 12/22/2007


I liked it alot! Please, please, please, write more!!!

Emily | Sun, 12/23/2007

ohhh, nice!

ohhh, nice!

Sarah | Wed, 12/26/2007

"Sometimes even to live is courage."

Blogging away!


That was really good. You should do more of it.

Tiffany W. | Tue, 01/08/2008

I Love Horses!

pretty good! do we get to

pretty good! do we get to see a song? you should make one!

Anonymous | Sun, 01/13/2008

Thank You!

Thank you all so much for your support! I'm so glad you liked it.

Amy | Wed, 02/06/2008

thumbs up

We're glad you wrote it! lol! :o)


Emily | Wed, 02/06/2008


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