A Prodigy


A small short story.

More of a concept really.

The air was still as the massive theatre audience glazed over in a daze of emotion. They all stared with such intensity at a young man in the centre stage gently but ferociously performing. He struck with such precision and perfection it left a sense of awe. The beauty that cascaded across the room, like a hurricane, pummelling them note after note. The sounds of the inanimate piano lived more vivaciously then they could ever hope too. This boy blindsided them with pure talent and left them speechless. Every note more beautiful than the last but it wasn’t the song or notes but the passion. He played the exact same piece as every other competitor in his age group but somehow this was completely different. This song was no longer a classic of Beethoven but an original. The notes were all the same but the tempo and emotion it casted was that of pure originality. The boy unlike his song however was unfocused. He stared up at the stage lights blinded by there intensity and thought of not the room or the piano but of the silence. This silence he heard was tremendous. His hands as if independent played rapidly but gently as rehearsed thousands of times. His mind wandered as always. He looked almost bored. Then his eyes sharpened and his attention darted to the keys. He stared for a few moments as his hands still played with no need for his guide or permission. He breathed and with ferocity, determination and desperation attempted the same feat as every one of his performance. He began hitting each singular note with intensity and force successfully piercing the once hypnotising atmosphere. The audience know stared not in awe but confusion. What was once so delicate and inspiring was hateful and almost desperate. The boy’s determination grew to the point where he was almost punching each key. A fire surrounded the air around him making all those that listened uncomfortable. The sounds were distorted pained and not that of a prodigy or even amateur. This was horrible and screamed of a desperate child. Then in a split second his persistence shattered and his hope dissipated and once more the tranquil song of before returned carefree. It began to float through the room sweeping the brief rubble that was just released. The audience was slowly coaxed back into their daze almost pardoning the disgusting outburst. The piece came to an end the boy bowed, as he has done countless times, and marched off not waiting for applause or reaction. After all he wasn’t doing this for them and at this point it wasn’t for him either. He had no purpose to play the piano in actuality. It was all he knew though. Raised to play it and now expected to, he did. However he gained no reaction from it for he had a secret. While his music portrayed perfection and emotion that was only due to practice and repetition. The only time his true emotions were captured is when his ugly outbursts of key smashing flared. That was when he attempted to hear his music. He was nothing more than a puppet, a fake. He was no prodigy. On stage he was a maestro to the audience but in actuality he was deaf. Not in the full sense of the word. He had perfect hearing when it came to anything apart from his playing. It was only when he attempted the play that his hearing failed. It would always begin fine. The thud of each key resulting in the hum of a chord. However as he began to play with attention, focus, and near enjoyment the sounds dulled, faded and refused to speak to him. They became muffled and then silent. The only thing in this world he knew and loved would shut him out. He was a walking oxymoron. A prodigy pianist who couldn’t hear his own music. How fucked up is that?


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