The Piano

Reads: 875  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 36

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
For Zayther's challenge.

Submitted: September 16, 2009

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 16, 2009

A A A

A A A


The silver doorknob was cold in her hand as she twisted it, the door slowly and noisily creaking open. The room was dark, the dusty blinds denying the sun’s light. Everything in the room was covered in a thin layer of dust, from the floor to the lone lamp that stood in the corner. Everything was dusty save for the large white cloth-covered mass that stood in the center of the room.


It had been several months since Taylor had stepped foot into this room. She glanced around the dust-strewn room, remember all the hours she used to spend just laying on the floor or looking out the window at the people on the street below. Her eyes stopped on the large white cloth-covered mass in the middle of the room, and she wondered how it managed to stay dust-free after so many months.


I guess Mom has been keeping it in tune for me, Taylor concluded.


She took her first step toward it, the wooden floor groaning lightly under her foot. She continued toward the mass, leaving footprints in her path. Her fingertips grazed the smooth top of the mass as she reached it, closing her eyes as she did so. Soon she clenched the cloth in her hand and pulled it away, dust flying as it hit the floor. Her eyes opened and there it was as it had been many months ago.


The black piano glistened before her even though there was little light in the room. The small black bench still retained its soft cushioning as she sat, her fingertips gliding across the smooth surface of the piano. She closed her eyes as she gently pressed down on some of the keys, a low and soft tone filling the room. She took in a slow breath, drawing it out just as slowly.


Taylor’s fingers began to dance across the keys, soft and light tones bouncing off the walls. With this tune came memories of her first year in high school. She had been timid about it, having been taught by her father at home for many years. However, it wasn’t long before she had made friends, and had grown especially close to a girl named Morgan.


The tone grew a little louder as she remembered her best friend. Morgan had had long and curly brown hair, similar to Taylor’s. Morgan had had braces during their freshman year, and Taylor remembered how Morgan envied her for having perfect teeth. The two young girls were the same size, so they would often trade and share clothes.


Taylor’s fingers began to progressively play harder and darker as one day from her junior year flashed in her mind. She clenched her eyes shut as the images of a boy with spiky blond hair dressed in camouflage appeared. She had seen him throughout her years at Wanickam Creek High School, glancing at him with desire whenever he had passed her in the hall. On the outside, Alexander Washington had not seemed too different from everyone else. But oh, how wrong they all had been.


Taylor, Morgan, and her boyfriend, a boy named Nathan, had been sitting in Mr. Coon’s Algebra II class for just over an hour. The sky had been dark all day; the sun had seemed to refuse to fully shine. Mr. Coon’s lecture had barely been half-over when the first shot reached them. Everyone in the room had stopped what they were doing and looked toward the door, curious as to what the sound was and what caused it. A couple more loud bangs were then followed by several people screaming. The whole room had become tense, and it was Mr. Coon who was the first to move.


The elderly math teacher had disappeared into the hall, and after several agonizing moments, another loud bang had echoed through the hall and into the room. The classroom had now become a frenzy as students shoved open the windows and jumped out.


Taylor, Morgan, and Nathan did not run for the windows, but instead had headed toward the door. Taylor peeked her head out the door and saw the boy in camouflage, his back turned to her. She had signaled the other two as they crept out of the room and down the hall, luckily reaching the end of the hallway without being heard.


“We’ve got to let everyone know,” Morgan had said.


“Chances are they’ve already heard the shots,” Nathan had countered.


“Still, we should at least help everyone get out,” Morgan had urged. “Taylor, you head toward the English hall just in case he hasn’t been there yet. Nathan and I will head toward the office.”


Taylor had simply nodded before the three of them split up. The English hall had been on the opposite side of the school then, so she hoped that Alexander hadn’t beaten her there.


The students and teachers had already began to flee as Taylor arrived. The shots had reverberated from the room at the end of the hall. She had at least a minute or two before Alexander would make it to her end. She had ran into the first room where there were students trying to climb out of the window. The shots had seemed to grow louder as each student jumped down onto the front lawn.


As the last student had made it out, a deafening boom had slammed into the room in which Taylor stood. She froze against the wall as Alexander strolled past the doorway. For a brief moment, she had thought that she was safe, but these hopes were lost as the boy with spiky blond hair walked into the room, a shotgun in his hands.

“It’s Taylor, right? Taylor Springs?” he had asked after a moment of silently staring at her.


Taylor had slowly nodded, too frightened to speak.


“Ah, good. I’m Alex, by the way, in case you didn’t know.”


The fact the he had began to smile was terrifying, coupled by his cool, care-free tone. He had continued to step toward her, but stopped, pulling up a chair and kicking his feet up on a desk as he relaxed for a moment.


“You know what I’ve come to realize, Taylor? It’s that we never truly know who our friends are. I mean, one day you’re all jamming it up in one of your garages, and then the next day, everyone turns on you for saying one teeny thing. And then rumors start to spread about things you may or may not have done in the past. Now, you can imagine how someone could get really angry really quick right?”


Again, Taylor had nodded. She had jumped slightly as he began to chuckle lightly.


“Good, I’m not the only one. Well, just picture in your head what the consequences of these rumors would be. Maybe the last of your friends abandons you, scared of what you might do to them if the rumor about your anger issue is true. Then, your girlfriend of three years leaves you, disgusted by the rumors that you had done some questionable things involving a younger cousin. But of course, the shit-storm isn’t over just yet. Your parents hear word of the rumors from other parents who heard them from their children. They interrogate you, toss around the idea of sending you to an institution, and pretty much disown you. They end up calling your therapist and tell him about the rumors. When you go see him, his probing questions annoy the piss out of you so much that you just want to snap his fucking neck!”


Alexander had stopped for a second to calm himself down. He had drawn in a breath and quickly let it out before continuing:


“People are animals, Taylor. They seem all cute and cuddly and nice on the outside, but when you pet them the wrong way or accidentally step on their tail, they turn on you and gnaw their teeth in your flesh. And you know what happens to animals that do such things, right? They get put down.”


Taylor had still been frozen against the wall as Alexander stood, continuing his slow path toward her. He had began to smile once more as he drew nearer.


“Nearly everyone in this goddamn place is a vicious animal, and I’m the veterinarian. I need to protect all of the innocents like you from their potential harm.”


He had stopped, barely an inch from her. “You were one of the few who never regurgitated those putrid lies, Taylor,” he had whispered, his warm breath on her lips. “I thank you for not taking part in such horrible rumors.”


He had leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her lips, not seeming to mind that she didn’t kiss him back. He had pulled away after a moment, backing away from her with a soft smile.


“Do me a favor and stay beautiful, Taylor.” Alexander had then winked and disappeared from the room.


Taylor slammed on the keys, the last loud chord hanging in the air. She began to shake as tears streamed down her pale cheeks. With the tears came the memory of finding Nathan rocking back and forth on the ground, holding Morgan’s bloody and lifeless body in his arms only a few minutes later. She remembered how the police were able to stop Alexander before taking his own life and arrest him. The service that was later held for the victims played in her head as well.


After several minutes of quiet sobbing, Taylor stood and left the room, leaving behind another set of footprints on the dusty floor.


© Copyright 2020 Tyler Gohde. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Young Adult Short Stories