Singing for Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
My final essay for matric based on the following topic/legend

There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves its nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then singing among its savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And dying, it rises from its own agony to out carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen and God in His heaven smiles.

FOR THE BEST IS ONLY BROUGHT AT THE COST OF GREAT PAIN…
OR SO SAYS THE LENGEND
Colleen McCullough

Submitted: August 26, 2008

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Submitted: August 26, 2008

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The lights from the stage beaded heated droplets on her forehead. The cheers at her entrance slowly subsided. Feeling the dull nagging at the back of her mind gave her the necessary persuasion to take that single step forward. Centre stage.
~*~
 
They were known as the charmed sisters: equally beautiful, equally talented. Their lives charmed from the start. With only a year to separate them they were thicker than blood. Sometimes forgetting where the one began and the other ended. It was almost expected (something unspoken yet acknowledged) that together they would shoot to stardom. And soar they did: the whole world lay beneath their feet.
 
Emma and Andy Harte. Their rapturous harmonic voices flew above packed crowds and screaming fans. Exquisitely beautiful they graced many glossy pages. It seemed that such beauty and grace; such enduring love could never be torn. Charmed as they were they held eternity in the palms of their hands, and forever in the lilting of their voices. However forever and eternity were things of fantasy to mortality and as lovely and infallible as they appeared: mortal they were.
 
Different in their unique ways they had a strange dependence; knowing they were great individually and spectacular together. Like many before them they chose the starbursts of being spectacular. So it was that when that strange white powder (so common to celebrity) entered their lives they dove into its inhibitions together. The whirl and popularity of its effects however rendered them separate.
 
Equal amounts entered each delicate nostril. Both girls felt its rich cadences and peculiar irregularities. Both whirled half the night away until oblivion claimed them equally. The moment before life changed irrevocably they saw each others faces. Each knowing the others contours by heart.
 
Late morning arrived; smudged mascara and marred clothing marked both girls. Andy awoke: her head cloudy with the remnants of cocaine. Rolling over she attempted shaking her sister into consciousness. “Wake up Em.” Her body was cold to the touch and impossibly still. Shaking her further; Andy barely heard her hysterical screaming of her sister’s name over and over again. Minute’s later an ambulance would arrive for her sister. Hours after that the autopsy would read ‘Drug Overdose, Dead on Arrival.’ But, it was some time between the first sinful snort of cocaine and Andy’s awakening that her sister Emma ceased to exist.
 
~*~
Her hand grasped the microphone as the first few strains of the new melody floated out. She closed her eyes against the vastness of the crowd and the blinding light. Picturing her sister Emma; standing next to her just as she had always done (swaying gently to their latest harmony) she thinks softly: For you Emma . Then powerfully lifting her voice for the final time to sing the most beautiful song of her career, pain and existence its price. For Emma. 
 
You are that bird
The one legend speaks of
Singing amongst the thorns
Sweet and lovely
 
Singing for me
Sweeter still
Lovely still
Hearts song
Singing for me
 
There you sing
Out of reach
Impaled on the thorn
Singing finally, eternally
 
Singing for me
Sweeter still
Lovely still
Hearts song
Singing through me
 


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