A/N: Thanks for clicking on this story! (Side note: Thanks to Green-Silver-Ravenclaw and Call me Indecisive [they're on FanFiction] for agreeing to go through this!) Read, review and enjoy!

Topic: A Strange Request at The Piano Bar-

Include the following in your story:

· Carnival

· Sprained

· Mask

· Oxidation

· Awkward

· Apple

· Juvenile

· Controversy

· Twirl

· Sassafras

(The words are underlined.)

Word count (excluding A/N): 648 words

headline: play me tonight

My eyes surveyed the piano bar, noting the familiar masks as I sat down on the piano stool. This was almost a routine for me, playing at this quaint piano bar- with its darkened corners, bargain chandeliers and the sweet scent of oxidized apples in the air.

I pressed down on the keys, immersing myself in the music as it filled the room and masked people twirled around in a flurry of silk skirts and pretentiousness. A few people hung awkwardly in the shadows, sipping sassafras tea, a specialty from the nearby carnival, that the bar had offered as a popular seasonal drink. Others swayed to the rhythm of the music, discussing the case of the neighborhood boy who was sentenced to juvenile prison. It was a controversy, that topic- most people believed he was guilty, but others believed the court's judgement to be unfair.

A girl dancing in a grey dress caught my attention. She wasn't what one would call a striking beauty- the kind that dropped jaws and inspired immediate confessions of love- but there was something in carelessness of her gait, the waves of her luscious brown hair and in her soft smile that drew one's eyes to her immediately. Somewhere between the first song and the next, her hazel eyes snapped to mine, noticing my glance and she glided to me. Her dress was loose and fell to her knees with a slight wrap to the right. She tilted her head and leaned closer to me.

"I'm Annalise" she whispered softly; her breath was warm on my face. "Do you think you could grant me a request?"

I paused, swallowing down the sudden stone in my throat. "What is it?" I managed.

"I would like to play a piece on the piano."

Something of my surprise must have shown on my face, for she quickly added "In case anyone asks why I'm playing the piano instead for you, just say that your sprained your wrist"

I hesitated, but eventually caved at the pleading sincerity in her eyes and gave her my seat. A few heads turned our way; however, no complaints were raised once the music resumed.

Softly exhaling, Annalise started to play. One shy note, like she was introducing herself to the keys, getting a feel for the instrument, before a flurry of soft lilting notes began.

Her music enraptured me.

Growing volumes of graveness, followed by intervals consisting entirely of minor scales- my heart pounded with the soul of the melody- I was in a trance. It was a piece of love and betrayal, peace and war. Arched over the ivory keys, Annalise seemed to be in a world of her own- her eyes were shut and her mouth set in a pained line, it seemed like she'd given herself over to the song in entirety. She reached the crescendo and tipped her head back, letting the notes wash over her like crisp breeze.

It seemed that I wasn't the only one bewitched by her music- everyone gazed at the young woman, in awe. The moment she finished, everyone burst into applause and requested her to come to the bar again one day and play. A faint blush tinted her cheeks and she bowed.

Annalise turned to me and murmured a thanks for letting her use the piano. She was just about to leave when I blurted out "Could I please have your number?"

She blinked at me, and I quickly scrambled for an excuse.

"The-the people here were very enthusiastic about the piece you played. You might want to play the piano here, when I'm- well, I'm not as good as you, really."

At that, an amused, knowing smile crossed her face. Nevertheless, she scribbled her number and name on a piece of paper before she left.

I grinned widely at the paper and memorized the number.

A/N: Hope you enjoyed it, please review. I'd love to know what you think of this. Also, feel free to check out a few of my poems, no pressure though.

Continue writing worlds of imagination!