The Art Site

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yellow Paper

This is a story I'm writing at the mo. See what you think. I've written more, but I thought I'd just put them up at decent intervals, so you don't have to read the whole thing at one go...



The cold August wind pierced through Ava's jersey as she walked down the shingled driveway. Involuntarily, she pulled her jersey around her more tightly. She had something bigger on her mind than the cold weather.

Her fate rested on a letter that she'd been waiting for for two weeks. The letter would either say: “Your application has not been accepted. Thank you for your effort.” Or: “Your application has been accepted by the board of The Music Department." Ava desperately hoped that it would be the second. She walked slowly to the letter box and opened the door cautiously. Opened too fast, the rusty hinges on the thing would give out an unearthly screech. Ava grabbed the pile of advertisements and letters and sifted through them. There was a pamphlet from Countdown, a piece of green paper advertising gardening services, a couple of letters for 'Kathleen Newbery' – Ava' s mum, and a little yellow slip of paper that said: The Music Department. Ava turned it over and read: "Dear Miss Newbery, your application has been found acceptable by The School of Music. Please be present at the hall at 7:00 pm on Saturday, August 17." Ava gripped the paper with both hands. Happiness wasn't the word to describe it. All those weeks she'd slaved over her piano and theory so she'd get this piece of paper, and the work had paid off. She felt all the worry and stress of the last few weeks go, and in it's place was relief, and thankfulness. Those stodgy people at the music school couldn't know how she felt. It was her granma, Ava knew, who'd made it happen.

She'd gone to talk to the directors of The Music Department about her grandaughter and the'd listened to her because she was a well known concert pianist. Ava could see her handling those high and mighty directors, twisting them around her little finger. She laughed. Her granma acted so dignified and powerful with those people.

She'd pushed Ava along to come and meet them and made her play for them. It had seemed weird, all they wanted her for was to play for them. All that Ava remembered of playing was that she felt like she'd mucked up the whole piece. When she turned round to face the directors, the'd smiled at her for the first time, and talked really fast to her granma. They were saying a whole lot of things Ava didn't understand yet, technical theory terms and the flow of her playing and things like that.

Her granma had seemed pleased though, and had told Ava to study hard for the competition. So she had. Ava couldn't have slacked if she'd wanted to, because her piano teacher was in on it as well, and he'd made sure she had more than enough to do.


Ava walked slowly back to the house and thought of the only problem she could think of. It was a big one. Kathy had never approved of the lessons that her mother- in-law had paid for, or that her daughter spent so long perfecting the pieces. To her mind, music as a career was a waste of time. Music was nice, and playing a CD always had a calming effect on her, but to have a career in it would be dreadful. It would be almost impossible to earn any money by playing. To use good money on piano lessons, when her daughter would never need to play, was a needless waste of money, and it wasn't as though they had much. She had made up her mind: her daughter would not go any further with the music than the lessons. Ava would study law. If she took up a good line in that she would be well paid. Ava had heard it all before, but still, she hoped that she'd be able to talk her mother round. They were poor, Ava knew that, but her mum didn't have to give any money towards the lessons. Soon, if she won the competition, her granma could stop paying as well.

1 Comments:

Blogger Andy Moore said...

Hi Lyd. Great story. Here are a few thoughts.

1: Ava could see her handling those high and mighty directors, twisting them around her little finger. She laughed. Her granma acted so dignified and powerful with those people.

That very short sentence, (VSS) "She laughed" is well placed and very good.

2: Those stodgy people at the music school couldn't know how she felt. It was her granma, Ava knew, who'd made it happen.

Nice.

3: In the last paragraph, it should be "a calming effect on her"... Those two words are easy to confuse... :)

4: she'd been waiting for for two weeks.

Hmmm, doesn't read quite right, I'd suggest one of the following two, but they do sound somewhat antiquated...

For two weeks she had been waiting for the fateful letter...

or

...waiting for the letter which her fate rested upon/on

OR

Her fate rested on a letter for which she had been waiting for two weeks...

or

Her fate rested on a letter which she had been waiting on for two weeks

...It's pretty tricky to make it sound just right.

Go you. :)

2:02 am  

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