the silver glinted in the moonlight sharp and cool with its steely point and its purpose a deadly purpose a living purpose with its need need need give it to me now now please ohgodplease and then it slides in with a slick quickness and it spreads spreading down and up and around and moremore and there and the rush comes not at all gently but its expected and good so good and not good but the not good is far away now and the rush oh its intense so good body heavy tired clouded dull waking up screeching to a halt yet rushing all at once starting up going away no no nonononono please dont wanna leave obsess obsessed crave more and more more needneedneed again
The Scarecrow stood tall but hunched over, sulking. The straw was falling out of his left arm, picked at by the crows that mercilessly teased him. Scarecrow was not, apparently, very scary. He felt useless and depressed until one day he befriended some of the crows. They stopped teasing Scarecrow so much but still nipped at him here and there, making sure he knew they were the boss. One day Scarecrow was fixed up by the farmers and suddenly he was very scary. The crows would not go near him anymore and he felt lonely once more. Gradually the crows came back to him in fury. Scarecrow had betrayed them and he had to pay. They tore at his overalls, flung his hat on a cornstalk and proceeded to peck his eyes out. All that was left was a pile of shredded clothes, hay and buttons. Scarecrow’s once-friends gave new rise to the meaning, ‘murder of crows’.
The trees in the mountains are turning. They come alive, bright with fiery color. It’s slow, almost unnoticeable at first. This process, natural, has happened for eons. A young girl watches, mesmerized. Leaves fall gracefully, blanketing the ground. The scent, sweet yet bitter, is everywhere. The girl had heard a fairytale before.
Long ago, the trees were afraid. They didn’t want to lose their beauty. Their beauty was their leaves. Even the pine trees were fearful. Mother Nature promised they could keep them. There was one condition, however. They mustn’t fall asleep through winter, ever. ‘Easy!’ exclaimed Birch Tree to Pine. The two friends agreed to help one another. One encouraged the other to stay awake. Rustling leaves, shaking branches- whatever it took. But Birch Tree was so tired. He couldn’t stay awake, even with help. Pine Tree tried everything but nothing worked. Birch Tree was getting sleepier. ‘Please, stay with me!’ Pine cried. ‘Winter is almost done!’ But the cold was too much. Poor Birch Tree could not stay awake. Mother Nature saw this and was sad. She took pity on the sleeping trees. ‘Fear not,’ she said. ‘They will grow their leaves again. Every spring they shall bud anew. In summer their leaves will be full. At fall, they shall turn color. They will be at their most beautiful. In winter they shall lose this beauty. This process will continue for all time.’ ‘You, Pine Tree,’ she said. ‘You will never lose your beauty. Your color and scent shall remain.’ She ended her decree. She awoke all sleeping trees with spring. ‘Thank you, Mother Nature!’ Birch Tree wept.
The girl knew the trees were sleepy. It was close to winter. ‘Sleep well, Birch Tree!’ she said. She patted the trunk goodbye.
My mind is foggy as I try to recall notes that I had thought I memorized only to find that I could not. My heart beats faster, palms sweaty as I grip my precious instrument tighter so it doesn’t clatter to the floor in an embarrassing show of nerves. I couldn’t afford to do that now that I had worked so hard to achieve my spot as first chair. I had proven myself to be the best violinist out of the whole orchestra so how could I forget those notes? I knew that the cellos went first for the opening, then the second violins and finally the first violins- me and the others- but beyond that I could not recall anything.
My conflicted thoughts cease as the conductor raises his hands and we all get ready. I lift my chin and slid the wood under it until my chin sits on the black rest and I lift my right hand, bow ready. I glare at the sheet music that has been in front of me the whole time, accusing. I wanted to memorize it so I would not have to do awkward page-turning in the middle but it could not be helped I suppose. I try to appear undaunted by this piece, my favorite piece- Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slav- as I rest my bow quietly on the strings. Resin falls from the slight impact on the once-clean glossy surface. Somber and slow the piece starts, the cellos mourn and then it is the violas and second violins until at last my fingers curl into the correct positions as the cue for us to start is given. Start with the D string, then G and A, E, third finger, fourth, slide down even lower on the E for that high note and there! I am flowing, my bow sliding with ease in long strokes that go to shorter as the solemnity wanes into happiness, vibrato to pizzicato and at last the ending as the bow glides for that final long note, wavering for effect. The crowd deafens me as I once again hold my violin next to me. The conductor motions for me to stand for my bow and I do so on unsteady feet that had kept the rhythm unconsciously for me during the song. I straighten and smile slightly, light-headed with nerves and happiness for my accomplishment- I did not have to turn the pages once.
Kaitlyn’s green eyes flickered briefly to her mother before resuming texting. That was the only acknowledgement her mother got as she stood up and went to get lab work done. The teen sighed after her mother left, bored but worried; she hoped the results were better this time around. Kaitlyn wanted her mother to overcome the cancer but it seemed as though she gave up fighting it. To be quite honest, Kaitlyn wanted to give up as well: what was the use of fighting something no one else wanted to face?