Dreams Do Come True: Part One
The spotted Cybunny shook her head, continuing to read the note in amazement. Why her? Why? The winter breeze fluttered across her long ears, so she pulled her jacket up to keep them from blowing around.
She reached her destination: the Neopian Hall of Musical Talents. It used to be her sanctuary, the one place she used to go to feel better. Now that was shattered. The note was gripped in her shaking paws, flapping madly in the wind as she desperately tried to keep hold of it.
It has come to my attention that you turned 13 last month. I never realized that it was your 13th; instead I thought it to be your 12th. My, how time flies. However, you know the rule for staying in the Cybunny Charming Choir is that you must be between the ages of five and twelve. Although you are a marvelous singer, I can not continue to let the rule slip for one student. Please meet me in the choir hall tonight around six, because I’d like to talk to you about other options available. I’ll see you tonight,
Annette had completely forgotten about the choir having an age limit. She had been in it since she was five years old, coming to practices even before that. Ever since she had learned to talk she had been coming there. Annette had gone from being a nobody to a somebody-- a somebody with a beautiful voice.
The little ones had always looked up to her like an older sister, and she shuddered at the thought of all that being taken from her.
Annette was her section leader, and went recruiting to local schools to find people to join. She reread the note, to make sure she understood it clearly. She had gotten it in the mail today, after the practice session yesterday. No wonder Ms. Chanley had been acting strangely towards her yesterday.
She stepped into the dim halls of the music center, passing many rooms before reaching one that had been familiar to her for the past eight years.
Ms. Chanley, an older Neopet, who was a silver Cybunny, was waiting patiently for her by the ancient piano that took up the top left corner of the room. Annette signed and entered.
“Ah, Annette, welcome. Just take a seat, and we’ll get to discussing this, this... situation.” Ms. Chanley motioned for Annette to sit down, and she wordlessly took a seat in one of the wooden chairs that was part of the semi-circle of chairs in the room.
“I-” Annette began to state her point, but Ms. Chanley held her paw up for silence.
“I called you here against my will. Annette, please understand it is a terrible thought to have to cut you out of this choir after all your dedication, but I can’t continue to bend the rules. There are many other girls about to turn thirteen as well, and I can’t bend the rules for them,” she said sadly.
“Singing has been my life. Is there any other way?” Annette begged.
“There is another way. However you will not find it in this choir.”
“What is it?” Annette’s amber eyes sparkled.
“I would like you to try out for the Terror Mountain School of Music. They offer great lessons, and auditions began when you turned thirteen. I think you have a great shot. If you are interested, I picked up the try-out music for you to study. Much of this is beyond my teachings, but I know I could find a couple of people to help. Everything you need is in this packet.” She handed Annette a thick registration packet. “Are you interested?”
“I’ll have to think about it,” Annette replied, skeptical of starting down back at the bottom of another music program.
“That is all I needed you to come here for for. Before you make your decision, please know this.” Ms. Chanley broke into a warm smile. “I have full confidence in you. You can go places with your voice. You really can.”
Annette nodded and hugged her choir teacher of eight years, tears streaming down both of their furry cheeks.
“Thanks for all you’ve done; you’re the one to thank if I get into this school.” Annette gave a weak smile.
“I have full faith in you, Annette. You’ve been a wonderful student. I’d like to have you still come and help, if you’re willing to.”
“That’d be great.” Annette widened her smile, trying to look on the bright side of things. At least she would still be able to be around the group.
They said silent good-byes, and Annette made the short walk home. Her house was in a bright corner of Neopia. Although the house was old, its warm red bricks and fitted windows making the house appear cozy. When Annette was younger, her friends would always tell her that her house always reminded them of fresh-baked cookies.
“What did Ms. Chanley need you for?” her mother asked pleasantly as Annette walked into the door.
“I can’t sing with the Charming Cybunnies anymore,” she mumbled, going up the stairs. Her mother stopped her, giving her one of her crushing bear hugs. For a pink Cybunny, she did have one strong grip. She didn’t let go for what seemed like an eternity to her daughter.
“I’m sorry, Annette. I knew this day was coming, but I didn’t really want it to come.” Her mother sighed, letting Annette burst out of her arms and into tears, running up to her room.
She didn’t want to do the try-outs, but singing had always been her life. How could she give up now? Plus, she couldn’t remember anyone coming straight out of a small organization ever make the Faerieland Regal Choir. She needed proper training at an academy like Terror Mountain’s to even think about making it up there.
It was her dream to make it into the Faerieland Regal Choir. Every year they would sing at the Faerie Festival, and then on minor festivals. They even sang for the Fountain Faerie the day before her busiest day of the year: The Faerie Festival.
Annette heaved a heavy sigh before picking up the booklet she had thrown across the room on her run up the stairs. The music seemed okay, until she got to the second piece. It had some high notes, along with tricky rhythms. This music was certainly no piece of cake.
From what the forms said, she had two months to perfect the music. She shook her head, but began the task of filling out the long forms. Her mother needed to sign many of the papers, so Annette filled out everything but that.
“Hey Mom!” she called down the stairs, after she finished filling out everything.
“Yes?” her mom replied sweetly, coming to the foot of the stairs.
“Can you help me with this permission form?” she asked, and her mother nodded, coming up the stairs.
“What’s it for? School field trip?” Annette’s mother reached the top of the staircase.
“No, Ms. Chanley thinks I can get into the Terror Mountain School of Music. You do approve, right?”
“Of course. Anything to promote your beautiful voice.” Annette’s mother pinched her cheek like a little kid as they sat down at the small desk in Annette’s room.
“Mom!” She groaned. Annette hated it when her mom brought the cheek pinching out.
“Okay, okay. I’ll stop. What do I need to do for this permission form?”
“Forms,” Annette corrected, showing her all the sign up information and deadlines.
“Wow. Look at this schedule. You will be a very busy bee.” Annette’s mother handed her the schedule. After Annette had pushed it away, without a glance, her mother resumed reading it. Annette continued to read information on the school, which was what most of the packet was about.
“Look here, you have a practice with that Faerie choir if you make it,” her mother said pleasantly, not realizing how Annette’s ears perked up at the words.
“WHAT?” Annette screeched. She hadn’t noticed the schedule that was clipped in with the many forms that were with it. “I can practice with them?”
“It sure looks like it.” Her mother continued to sign the forms, while Annette dropped her current work, dreamily stared into space. She then resumed to read through the information packets, until reaching a paragraph confirming the schedule about her dream choir group.
Many of our students have graduated to become choir directors, music composers, and much more. Every year the head director for the Faerieland Regal Choir Association comes to our school to pick ten of our best students. The choices can go as young as fourteen years old.
To start the picking process, we take applications to be selected and narrow those down to fifty students. Over the course of a month, their names are sent to the director, and she sends undercover scouts to observe the dedication to those students. The most dedicated and best singers and musicians are chosen and a spot is made for them to begin sessions with the choir.
Annette stopped reading the entry right at that point, her jaw hanging about as low as she could get it.
“Isn’t that nice?” her mother asked, reading over her shoulder.
“Nice?” Annette squealed. “THIS IS MY DREAM!”
Her heart lifted, and she felt like she could run around the room squealing.
Maybe this would all work out after all...
To be continued...