As the Ivories Run Red

I inhale a long breath and sit down at the bench. I am finally here, and this time I refuse to mess it up. The ivory keys spread out like a blanket infront of me, and I lay my fingers on them. I stare, silently at them for a moment. I hope that they won't betray me and slip a key. One key played wrongly is enough to ruin a whole peice.

I wait for the judges nod, and when they do I close my eyes. I don't need my eyes to play this peice. I know it all-too-well. This peice is an old enemy, the same enemy I had been writing on the day that entitled my misery last year. That was the year I had lost myself, or should I say, I found another self. One I didn't like nearly as well as the one I am now.

I start slowly, playing one key, one chord then another key, another chord, letting all my feelings move into the peice. It is a sorrowful peice and I encorperate all of my own misery into it. I know to play it, I must relive the last year, but I am willing to do so, for as idiotic as it sounds, reopening old wounds is comforting in a weird way.

I do not open my eyes as the music creshendoes and the notes become more complicated. Instead, I let myself creshendo with it, let myself spiral upward into my thoughts. I am going to bring the music to life by bringing my real struggle into it. By reliving my own twisted play I will truly present the peice I have written. The peice I have named My Bleeding Perfection.

Chapter One

Perfect Pianist

I smiled as I trotted down from the stage, my black gown glittering as it flowed out behind me. Immediately I was bombarded by my family, chattering in exited whispers.

The first to speak to me was my mother. "Darling, as always you did magnificently!" She chirped exitedly as she kissed my cheek lightly, making sure not to share her makeup. "I'd say that was gold material!"

My mother was the pennacle of perfection and educate. She was the woman that every-one in town wanted to be. She was always dressed to the highest fasion, but she did not follow trends, she set them. That day she sported long royal blue silk slacks and a matching top. This was known to be one of her more casual outfits for my contests.

"Good job Pumpkin!" My father whispered, using my pet name affectionently. "I'd have to say I agree with your mother!"

Ah, yes, we cannot forget my father, now can we? My father was tall and lean then, and still is now. Always alert to everything around him. The corporate Vice President of his company, he made enough money to support my mother's vast, if not a bit extravigant taste, my sister's college tuition, buy me a Baby Grand Piano and still have the time and bucks to bet on golf. On golf of all things. Jeez.

I sat for the rest of the time just watching. Picking out mistakes that the other players had made as their fingers flew accross the keys of the grand piano, and weighing my chances of winning. Knowing that, if I won, I would be one step closer to being accepted into Juliard, the school of my dreams, created only for the arts.

It was then that Katrina came up. Kattie had been my best freind since first grade. It was now our senior year. I had met her at a junior piano competition at five years old. I had come in first then, and her, in a not-so-far-away second. We had realized how close we were in comparison and had thrived on the friendly rivalry. We had become friends, almost immediately after.

She sat down at the bench and closed her eyes, as she often did before playing. It was a habbit that I didn't understand, then, but would come to later. She layed her hands slowly on the keys. I knew her peice, and knew it couldn't win against mine. The peice's technicallity was very simple compared to the one I had chosen.

Katie's eyes came up, only as she played her first note. I look back now, and can almost see her getting lost in the music. She let it encircle her, and everyone in the audiance was lost, in awe of the degree to which she played the part. Her eyes glazed as she stared into the space between her and the piano. Again, this was something that I did not understand. There was no sheet music for her to look at, so why wasn't she looking at her hands, making sure she didn't slip a note.

But, there I still sat, coldly calculating every move that she made, every twitch of her fingers, just waiting for her to mess up. I know it sounds cruel to wish ill-fortune on my best friend, but my music was everything to me, and no one was going to take Juliard away from me, not even Kattie.

As circumstance willed it, though, she did not mess up, did not even slip a key. I still knew, however, that despite her flawless performance, she had still chosen a song that would not be winning that night, if not only for the simple fact of lack of technical notes.

As the announcer called every one up for their awards. I gave Kattie a smile, that said, good job, nice song. She walked past, grinning in such a happy way that she looked even more beautiful than she already was. And she was beautiful. Her short green dress accentuated her features, mainly her eyes, which where such an intense leaf green that they seemed to look through the soul of the beholder. It also showed her legs, which where long and shapely, instead of showing her breasts, which where not. Looking at her I felt plain and dull.

Her long brown hair was curled in wringletts that spiraled down her shoulders. My hair was down to my hips, but was strait, blonde, and boring. My pail blue eyes where not at all peircing, or noticeable. I had freckles dotting my face, and ghostly pale skin, that never tanned. It just burned. The one thing I did have going for me though, was, I was the better pianist. Or, at least that's what I thought at the time.

They called up fourth place, then third. I cannot remember the names of the ones that recieved the awards. At the time it really didn't seem important. They were just second rate want-to-be musicians, to me. Second place, as I expected, was Kattie. She always won the small competitions that I didn't bother to go to, but she always seconded next to me.

When they called my name for first I tried to looked shocked. This wasn't hard for me, since my mother was one of the best actresses in the city when it came to looking a certain way. He handed me the trophy, and I shook his hand, as if I had done it many times before. Actually, I had. I smiled to the croud, and all the competitors up with me bowed, graciously.

After the competitions where always just blurs of congratulations, and firm patting on my back. There were always many old women shoving cake in my face, when I had already had three peices, and telling me I was amazing. I always took the compliments, just as I had since I had been a child. The child protogy, they called me, at five years of age, when I had played 'Moonlight Sonata' by Beethovan .

Needless to say, I had never wanted for attension. When your mother is like mine, your father, one of the richest men in town, and you, the child protogy of the piano, it's hard to keep away the attension. In fact, the only one who didn't get any attension in my family, was my sister.

My sister had always been the odd ball of the family. She had been the partier; the trouble maker. Her drinking habbits, according to my mother where atrosious, and her grades were always barely passing. My father had, had to force her into college and pay full tuition. No one in town liked to talk of her. They didn't want to taint the perfect image my family set for them. For the most part, though, they didn't have to. She only came to town on major holidays, and for a couple weeks in the summer. After all, what is that saying again?

'Out of sight, out of mind'

That was the attitude everyone had tward my sister. Even my own parents, who spawned her, their own little form of satan, didn't talk of her. They didn't seem to want to. In this process of seclution, I had, as well, learned to keep her out of conversation.

I still wondered, what was it she did that made them hate her so much? What had she done to deserve it? None of the things I had heard warrented full isolation from your own family. I always thought, myself, that there was some other reason. That she had done something more. After all, my parents where fair people, in their own right, and wouldn't hate their own daughter without reason.

Later that night I staggered into the house, wavering from exhaustion, as I always did after my competitions. I entered the door of the enormous house and it gaped open, revealing its vast entrance. My heels clicked annoyingly along the marble floors of the entrance, and the glinting of the moonlight off of the chandelier adorning the ceiling peirced my tired eyes.

I climbed the staircase to my room, and flung open the doors, happy to see my bed in front of me, just waiting for me to sleep on it. As I lay down my head I wondered of my dream school, Juliard. That school was why I always attended the competitions. Had they noticed me yet? Sent word as to a scholarship? I was just entering my senior year, and if they didn't send word soon, then I would have to arrange for my own audition.

Author's babble: Hey ppls what's up? KK...I have posted many poems on this site before and they don't get a whole lot of attension, but this is my first story that I'm planning on keeping up. I'm hoping this gets more attensions than my poetry...But if it doesn't, oh well. It's fun to write anyway. For those of you who do read it though, plz PLZ leave your reveiws for me. Tell me about the good the bad and the ugly. I'll take flames (though most will be ignored), constructive critisizm, and of course praise is always welcome. I thank you for taking your time reading the story and my endless babble. THX!