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Caravan; tl;dr jasmine turns the air-conditioning on and plays the piano for a bit
Topic Started: Mar 15 2016, 04:09 AM (200 Views)
Yugikun
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Jasmine King stroked her left hand through her hair as she pressed the buttons operating the air conditioner, turning it on and making sure that it was cool air that made its way through the house. She pushed her hands over her brow, getting the sweat out of it. God knew what would happen if the house was any hotter. After she felt satisfied with the temperature of the air, she walked into each room of the house, making sure that every window and door was closed. She felt a twinge of guilt having to shut Molly into her room, but it was a sacrifice that she needed to make so that the hot air of Kingman and the cold air of her house didn’t mix. Well, that was why she had to close the windows, anyway; she didn’t really know why the doors had to be shut as well but it was something always done when her parents turned it on. Maybe since the hot air was isolated in batches it’d be easier to cool it down? Maybe. She didn’t know. Maybe she’d check that up once she finished practicing. Anyway, going back to the topic, she felt kinda bad about shutting her cat in her room, but if it meant that the house was perfectly cool then it wasn’t something that she was going to regret.

Besides, the cat was out cold on the bed. It wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

((Jasmine King: Pregame Start))

Ok. So. With the topic of the air conditioning out of the way, it was time to get some work done. Jasmine headed down the stairs and towards the living room, strutting and swinging around the banisters as if she owned the place. Well, to be fair, she currently did own the place right now. Julian was off studying in Harvard and her parents were out of the house looking at antique couches or something like that, so other than Molly she was the only person in the house right now (not that Molly really counted as a person anyway, even though Jasmine loved her and super regretted shutting her in the room); which meant that she could do a couple of things her parents usually didn’t allow her to do. That was why the air conditioning was currently on, and it was why she was walking around the house as if she was the queen.

It was also why she was currently in the kitchen, turning down the volume on the radio. God, the stuff that her dad listened to could be a real snoozefest sometimes. She could appreciate the classics (she had to play them all the time) but the stuff her dad listened to on the classical channel wasn’t even like, classical. It was just some random ensemble or orchestra playing some piece from a polish composer that she had never heard of before. She did know that this was new music that she could listen to and that she shouldn’t judge it just because she hadn’t heard of it before but most of the stuff on there was just so boring and she could honestly fall asleep just listening to it. That wasn’t to say that there wasn’t anything good on that channel, once while driving to school with her dad Chariots of Fire played and she was pleasantly surprised; but the vast majority she just couldn’t listen to. So down the volume on the radio went. As the ruler of the house she was the one who decided what music played, and she decreed that no classical will play while she practiced.

Oh right, that. Once Jasmine finished turning down the radio she turned back towards the living room, passing her math homework on the dining table on the way there. She had spent most of the morning making a sizable dent in it, but there was still about a third of the questions to go. The homework was due by Monday, and there was no way she could have done those questions in less than a couple of hours. Apparently Mrs Brown didn’t want her students to have lives. Who knew?

Anyway, now she was at the piano. She opened the seat, fumbling through the books trying to find the one she wanted. She found it soon enough. She opened the piano lid and placed the book down, its pages automatically flipping open to the song she was going to play. Huh, handy; she had opened the book to this page enough times for it to just open it on its own. Now she didn’t have to open it herself and she didn’t have to hold it down. Neat. She pulled the seat out and sat down on it, and she was now ready to play. She could do Dolly’s Dreaming and Awakening without making any mistakes at this point. She had to, there was a competition next weekend that she had to win.

So she started playing, her hands gently touching the ivory keys as she softly played the lullaby. Ivory? That was what classical pianos were made of, right? Well yeah, they were. She had known that since she was like, ten. Real question was if this particular piano was made of ivory. This wasn’t a classical piano, this was an electric one. Not a keyboard, but the sound coming out of it wasn’t quite natural music. Hmm, she’d ask her parents about it later, afte-

She moved her hand too far as Dolly fell to sleep, creating a sound that definitely wasn’t right. Her hand twinged, slightly. This was the easiest part of the song, she shouldn’t be making mistakes here, especially since there was only a week before she was supposed to perform this. Well, she wasn’t going to make any mistakes. Not anymore. Her eyes moved back up to the top of the sheet. She had to play perfectly for the competition, so she began from the start again. No finishing the song until she could play through it without making any mistakes. That was how she did it. Every time, when a competition was on the horizon, she played through the song she needed to play and removed mistakes from her system. If she could play the notes perfectly, then she could focus on the expression.

And it worked, every time. She never came home from a competition with anything lower than third place. She played the song perfectly, and the judges couldn’t do anything other than award her with a prize.

So she started playing again, trying to remember the exact moment where she messed up so that she wouldn’t make the mistake again. Her hands continued to touch the keys softly, and her foot pressed down on the pedal, moving up and down at the end of each bar. It sounded fairly good, if she did say so herself. While she did hate most of the stuff on the classical channel, she did like hearing this when she first heard it, and asked her dad what it was. He told her what the song was, and he had dug up some stuff in the family’s archives and gave a book with the song in it to her, so that she could play it. It sounded beautiful if played properly, and-

Dolly didn’t even fall asleep this time, as her hand slipped on the c sharp key and slid down onto the wrong note. She held the note there, letting the disharmony reverberate itself through the room. She was starting to get a little irritated now. This was the easiest part of the song, how could she mess it up twice? And a week before the competition, nonetheless? No. This wasn’t acceptable. She needed to play the piece perfectly or else she wouldn’t win. Someone else would take the prize and she would walk home still a shadow to Julian in her parents eyes. So no, this wasn’t acceptable. She took a couple breaths - in, out - put her eyes back up on the top of the page, and started playing again; soft, watery, beautifully.

Her hand slipped again and she slammed her hands onto the keys angrily, creating a sound unlike any lullaby she had ever heard. Goddammit, this was the easiest part of the song, how could she keep fucking it up? She held her hands on the keys for a little bit, breathing in and out. She had to get this right. She had to play without making any mistakes, so she looked back up. Played the song. Kept switching her eyes between her hands and the song, so that her hands didn’t accidently slip on the keys. This wasn’t what she normally did when she played a song, but she had to make sure she didn’t make any mistakes. This was her fourth time playing through, it’d be unacceptable if she had to make it a fifth, so she put all her attention on not making any mistakes.

Soon enough, on her fourth try, Dolly fell to sleep. She had played through the first part of the song without making any mistakes. Sure, it sounded different. angrier than how she should play it, but she didn’t care. She finally got through the fucking song and that was all she cared about. She took the book off the stand, closed the piano, put the book under the seat, and walked off. She was fucking done. She knew perfectly well that there were three pages of the song to go but she didn’t give a shit about that. She was annoyed, she was mad at herself and she needed to go somewhere where she could be happy. She saw her homework on the dinner table and she walked past it. She wasn’t interested in doing her homework. She was annoyed and Mrs Brown was a fucking Nazi and she wasn’t going to pull into her fucking bullshit anymore.

She headed up the stairs - not quite strutting this time - walked into her room, and tried to slam the door behind her. She didn’t even care when the door rebounded back open; it wasn’t like the air conditioning had actually changed anything.

Funny, that. She still felt like she was dying under the heat, even after she did everything properly.

((Jasmine King, continued in The Blood Witch))
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