Note: Forgive me for any mistakes! I am not a professional piano player!
By the March Hare
"Well, hello there. How did you get in here?"
The exact object in question was a simple piano, black as night without the stars. There was neither a moon, to Coraline's dismay, but no scratches either, much to her joy. Its four legs were sturdy and the seat provided was padded with red felt, but other than that there was little to mention about it. Regardless, it was an intruder to her room (what little was left of it now that there was a giant piano in it).
"Mom!" she yelled downstairs, in the way children do when they demand immediate attention from their parents. "Mooom!"
She suddenly stopped and face palmed herself. Mom and Dad were out grocery shopping!
As soon as the reality of her loneliness set in she realized (without a second to lose) that since she does not know who the piano belonged to, she had the right to a little innocent "fun". Plus, it was in her room anyway, so possession is 9/10s of the law.
She pulled the seat out, and sat down. The seat was as cushy as it looked, which was good. Her bony buttocks made sitting down a selection in fine art.
Tapping on the piano keys, she found it in working order. She giggled with barely-held anticipation. With a simple smile, she steadied herself and placed her hands on the keys. With another breath, she looked around on the keyboard, and looked, and looked.
And realized she did not know a single thing about playing a piano. She had seen someone play it (correction, it play them) but it was not a pleasant memory, and she pushed it out of her mind. So what? She could just bang a few keys and come up with a tune. Simple as that.
She raised her hands and, with a sudden fall, the thin extremities bashed upon the piano. This, of course, created a sound more akin to a cow dying in childbirth than actual music. Flushing blood-red, she stopped dead in embarrassment. Nervously, she raised her hands and looked around for some stupid reason. She suddenly felt watched by tiny, little prying eyes, and for her it was the worse feeling you could ever, ever imagine. Perhaps it would just be better if she left it where it was…
As she got up to leave the piano alone, until her parents got home, she suddenly felt very…drawn to it. As if she was meant to play it. "But that's silly," she reprimanded herself. "It's not like it's a gift from Wybie or any of my other friends.", which she would admit were not that many. Despite her logical objections, an illogical calling is hard to ignore.
She approached the instrument very solemnly. Without sitting down she placed her right hand on the keyboard, and tapped a key. The high-pitched ivory sang a song that echoed in the air and into her soul. Her heart skipped a beat. Pulling her in like the marionette on the string, she sat down and with her left hand tapped another key. Its baritone boomed through the room, and, slowly, a smile crept on Coraline's face.
For the first minutes or so, it was just that. The girl as cute as a button was just pressing the keys and learning the sounds. But minutes passed, and Mom and Dad were still not home yet. Squelching the odd fear at the thought of them being "taken" again, she took a swallow and focused on learning this newfound world at her fingertips. She was the explorer, and this was a new land just for her, and like the explorer who learns the lay of the land, she was soon putting two and two together, figuring out what paths to take, where there were rivers and lakes, and the places to watch out for pits of stakes.
And then something connected…
If someone was to walk in and observe her playing then and there, you would say she was a genius, a master of the 88 steps to Heaven. Like bolts of lighting her fingers graced the pale plains, the black hills, the whole world was at her hands. Her sapphire hair flung wild as she began rocking back and forth violently to the new sounds. Closing her eyes, her world became notes, disturbances in the calm. All around her was nothing, a blank white sheet, and with the keys she painted the world whatever color she wanted.
For some stupid reason, she found herself humming, and then… singing! But she was too far in to step out now. And the song went like this:
Creaking Van Iddli Fla Lu Va
Pretty Sah Lu Feh Iddli Twu
Ki Padi Trelly Goilly Doilly
Seli Pretty Chedi Emi Swalin
Gwoh Seri Ferin DorinGreh
Fairy Seiry Don Sweedes
Machin Twinky Doo Fweeden
Soreti Oosi An Tweeban Retiso
Neh-Neh Fehreeden Sindwee Bin
Doh Swin Ting Lan Twenty Some
Dring Doli Sweet Lan Bih City Tran
Dolinda Pretty Leheleni Switi Kull
Meli Swimmin So
She had a one of those hidden voices, the kind too afraid to come out in the day. Oh, but when they do they are the brightest stars! For now, however, the thought of how good she actually sounded was ten millions dreams away, and for a moment, oh, yes, a moment, she was free.
The clock rang, and her mind suddenly balked. What the Hell was she singing? Why the Hell was she singing it anyway? In her mind she was just another musically-inept girl. Stopping suddenly, she realized that all the notes, all the words, everything just vanished from her mind as they did from the walls of the room. Echoes mocked her as she looked back down at the keyboard, and came upon the harsh realization that she did not know the keys or what she had been singing or everything she had been learning in the past-
She looked over at the clock. 15 minutes!
She felt her breath catch in her throat. How is that possible? She had been playing for, what, an hour or so? She knew from past experiences that she was no musically maestro.
But what if she was…
Downstairs, the front door was slammed open, followed by "Coraline! We're home!"
Coraline shot from her seat, knocking it down in the process. Racing downstairs, she yelled back. "Mom! Mom!" Her mother, who was now just returning from dropping the full parcels on the kitchen table, popped into her vision . The blue-haired gal waved her to come, that mouth of hers going so fast that the poor woman was truly unsure whether her daughter was speaking English or not. Rolling her eyes Coraline's mother followed, muttering about calling the local mental institution to see if they have room for a 12 year-old girl.
"How did you do it in! I mean, I'm not arguing, but its so big!" Coraline continued to ramble on, but her mother was lost in the flurry of words. Arriving on the second floor, the young girl slide into the door frame, arms waving excitedly as she pointed to the piano.
"Coraline, what are you pointing to?" Her mother raised an eyebrow as she looked around young girl's room.
Her stomach suddenly dropped as Coraline turned to scan her living chamber. A cold wind burst through an open window. A bed laid up against the wall, covered in sheets of lonely, star-filled night. The afternoon sun was suddenly covered in a sudden cloak of ashen clouds.
The ebony, steel-stringed instrument had vanished.
Coraline's mouth fell open so wide a train could of slipped in and out of it.
"Well, Coraline? I can't wait here for the rest of the day." her hands fell to her hips, her countenance was suddenly cross, and a bit of impatience was slipping in. "What were you pointing at?"
"There was this giant bird on the window sill," she lied, her body sinking into itself in shame, "and I thought it was a stuffed bird that you got for me. I guess," she added sheepishly as she rubbed her arms, "it was real."
Her mother looked her dead in the eyes, and shook her head. As confusion overtook anger, her mother's tongue clicked. "Some days, you are the strangest child ever."
"Hey, honey!" Coraline's father yelled up stairs. "What's the big commotion?"
"Coraline thought she saw a giant stuffed bird on her window, and she thought we gave it to her." her mother said as she strutted her way hurriedly down the stairs. "But it must have been a real bird, because it's not there anymore."
"What kind of bird, Coraline?" Her father asked, his eccentric curiosity stimulated.
"An eagle," his daughter replied, following her mother down to help with the groceries, "a big one." she added unenthusiastically.
"Oh, bummer, kiddo." he said, patting his daughter compassionately. "but call me first next time, okay?" he added, leaning in so his wife couldn't hear it. "I think your mother scared it away."
"I heard that!" said mother question chimed down the hall.
"How does she do that?' her father shouted in disbelief. The two burst into a fit of giggles, and father went outside to finish bringing in the groceries. Coraline began to follow him, but something pulled her head back, a suspicion or something, to take one last look up stairs.
The glance caught, for a flash, a worm-like string disappearing at the top of the stairs.
A shiver, like the pitter-patter of 4, little feet, ran up her spine.
"Coraline!' her mother called. "Come on!"
"Coming!" she cried back, keeping her eyes fixed on the top of the stairs until she could no longer see it.
And in her head, all she could hear was:
We have eyes and we have nerveses
We have tails, we have teeth
You'll all get what you deserveses
When we rise from underneath.
Two notes of interest. This is a year after the events of the movie, which is why Coraline is 12 and not 11, and that the actual voice for Coraline, Dakota Fanning, actually sang in the movie "The Runaways". It is better, for the sake of reader, to imagine Coraline with more Amy Lee kind of voice, but to each imagination their own.
Another note. The words she was singing were lyrics heard by someone for the end credits of Coraline, the movie.
On a personal note, I'm okay with people pointing out errors in my stories. I am looking to improve, so if you even see one spelling mistake please tell me.
Disclaimer: I own nothing in this chapter. Not even the freaking ninja piano…
Thanks for all the reviews! You have no idea how much I appreciate them!