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Shattering Point: Part Two


by orginalcliche

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The mansion was only a couple of paces away now. I turned around, to see if my owner had followed me, but I seemed to be in a different world than her. I shook with excitement at the thought. The large dead oaks filled my vision instead, with black bark. I moved to the side to look around the trees, but they only moved along with me.

      I decided to try and run straight through the oaks instead; perhaps they weren't real. Smack! I collided head first into the largest oak sending its last leaves fluttering downwards. This was insanity! Trees don't just move! Secretly, though, I was a little bit glad and amazed. There was magic here and not the usual kind, a strange and wonderful magic that had no real explanation.

     I turned around then to find I was right at the doorstep of the mansion. "Bizarre," I said to the house, which seemed to shudder a little with the insult.

     "I wonder if it's alive?" I whispered, now certain the house could here me. Tip-toeing up the stairs, I was kidnapped by paranoia. Someone was in the house watching me, I was sure of it. I whirled around only to find the trees standing innocuously all around me.

     Stretching out a paw, I easily flew to the door. I touched it lightly and it opened inwards.

      I suppose I expected darkness, or a magnificent entryway, but it was rather plain. There was a bronze coat rack and a long worn red rug, but other than that the endless corridor was empty. The floors were a highly polished cherry wood and the entire house was fairly warm for being unheated in the beginning of winter. I was about to turn around, but the door quickly slammed behind me. Turning back was really impossible now, though some part of me knew it always had been.

     Just as I took my first step, I heard a tinkling sound, like that of a piano. I shivered. I had once played the piano, a long time ago, but I had quit after my third year; perseverance was never my specialty. That of course wasn't the full reason, but it hurt too much to think about. Slowly, I found my self humming the eerie tune as I walked; my foot falls falling into eclectic rhythm.

     The corridor really did stretch on forever; it seemed, with only blank green walls and the same worn carpet. I was reminded of the time in my childhood when I had gone to the barber to get my hair cut and there were two mirrors parallel to each other; if you looked into one you could see eternity, both reflecting off of each other. The hallway was a twisted eternity like that, one I could never escape from.

     A shadow, I was sure I saw a shadow in the distance a tiny blot, another faerie Kougra. "Hey!" I yelled, and began a frantic dash to the other figure before it disappeared into forever.

      Splat! Full force I ran into the other creature. "Sorry," I said, dusting myself off and looking into the other Kougra's eyes. I was staring in a mirror, directly at my self. I took a good full moment to laugh at the house. I had fallen for it, me, the most intelligent Neopet in my entire town. I slapped the mirror affectionately leaving a steamy paw print on its surface. The trick wasn't free, though; I had a good-sized bump on my forehead now.

      After laughing I began to search for a doorknob. Anger overtook my amusement at a frightening speed as I watched myself look and look for a door knob, my face contorted by rage and frustration. Angry I slammed my fist against the door, expecting it to break. It only swung inwards. I took a deep gulp of air stained by the taste of forbidden magic. "Pets come in there and don't come out," I whispered to the silent house, and stepped into the next room.

     It was a music room. Instruments of every kind were placed around in a pattern of a conch shell, a maze of brass and sliver, of sound waiting to explode into symphony, but for now it was as if time was frozen by the house's mischievous hand.

     At the center was the most gorgeous grand piano I had ever seen. Understanding spread through me like a disease; I knew this piano. It was my piano teacher's old piano. This room was so odd. The room was strange certainly, but I had no understanding of how disturbing it really was until I glanced at the warped walls.

     They were made of glass.

     I whirled around to look into the walls, and found myself staring at my reflection. They were all mirrors, but something was missing, a little off, with my reflection. It took me just a second to figure out. In my reflection I looked younger; my eyes were still wide and innocent.

     This was not amazing; this was scary. I tried to turn around but I found I couldn't. I was being drawn into a story that I already knew. The music began again, a frightful arpeggio in minor, descending into memory.

     "With less power; this is a sonata, not an etude," my old piano teacher chided a younger version of me. I watched in horror as the mirror showed a memory I had tried to suppress for so long.

     My paws danced across the keys with a grace that I only gained when on a piano, though the piece was still butchered by my childish paws. Each crescendo was fraught with all the anger and fear I held inside. It was supposed to be a peaceful piece about a Lenny flying, but each note was desperate. The Lenny was falling.

     "What are you doing?" Horror crept into Sonora's wise green Eyrie eyes. I played on, uncaring to Sonora's orders. "Stop, you are destroying it!" She was becoming frantic now, her whole being rising as if to slap down the cover to the piano. I played on, carefully changing the cords to a dissonance that sounded harsh and sad. Then after a couple of seconds I stopped.

     "You have a gift." Her voice was strangely cold and cruel for saying such a compliment.

     "You've only told me twenty times already," I muttered my fingers prancing around the keys preoccupied with changing the piece.

     She continued, ignoring me, "that you waste, Aranel. You could be the best pianist in all of Neopia but you become obsessed with your own way, never even giving a thought to why the piece was written. This isn't just me you're ignoring, Aranel, but all the great pianists of the past." Her face was scrunched and funny looking to me back then but now I only felt pity for her. Her eyelids fluttered and then drooped. Her wrinkles seemed to have been carelessly drawn by a child's large crayon, so deep and strong they were.

     Had I done that?

      "Who are you to say? You can't even play properly; your fingers are lame. You have to show me with diagrams. You keep on critiquing me for something you can't do yourself and never will. There is a reason that the people of the past are in the past and not the future."

     I shuddered at my own words. I was so cold and cruel, but there was one last line, one dreadful line that would seal my fate as a professional musician forever. "And you, Miss Sonora, are part of the past; may Fyora make you friendless alone. I am the future."

     I had to get out of this memory; I tried with all of my might to tug myself out of the mirror. But when I came back to the present I only remembered what happened afterwards.

      Sonora had left me and promised to ruin my career forever, and she had. I had been denied entrance to every performance hall in all of Neopia, even the dingy one in the Haunted Woods. That was my first lost dream, my first failure.

      I had expected monsters, or perhaps even a cliché evil villain, but this was most terrifying thing I had ever experienced, myself.

          

      The door behind me was locked, and there was one on the other side that was wide open. I tread foreword into the next room heavily, the floor shuddering with my every step.

      I refused to look up; I assured myself I could walk across the room without looking at the walls. I jumped as I thought I heard footsteps. The floor trembled like a harp string strung too tightly. I whispered to myself a thousand nothings, promises that nothing was wrong. There was no one here.

      The floor creaked again but I still didn't look up. I could felt the hot breath of whatever it was against my neck, my fur tingled. 'Whatever it was, it was so close. But maybe if I don't look up', I thought, 'it won't really be there.'

     "Such a beautiful house."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Shattering Point: Part One
» Shattering Point: Part Three



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