Thursday, July 09, 2009

Entry #12

Joan's Debut at The Met
by Catherine Vibert


“Sing it again,” the master instructed. “Control your vibrato.”

Joan put her hand on the Steinway and tightened the muscles in her back.

“Ah ah ah ah aaaah,” her voice rang up the scale. Sustaining the high note, the tone vibrated her head.

A crack chimed. Her goblet shattered. Wine spilled into the silver tray beneath.

“You are ready for the stage, Diva,” the master grinned.

Joan glowed.

*

Walking toward the subway, Joan dreamed an aria as she passed the Lincoln Center.

“Brava!” the Chagalls applauded from behind the glass, luminous in the empty night.

Joan curtsied to the murals. Raising her head, she found herself staring down the barrel of a gun.

“Your money and your jewelry,” the thief demanded.

Her heart pounded. She tried to scream but no sound came.

The thief rammed the gun into Joan’s ribs. Her back muscles tightened. She opened her mouth, emitting a high note. The thief stepped back in surprise. The note grew stronger, Joan’s body vibrating with the pitch. The thief dropped his gun and fell to his knees, clawing his head. Her voice rose to a crescendo. Windows shattered throughout the center, shards dropping to the courtyard below. She gasped abruptly. Alarms sounded. The thief lay unconscious. Blood dripped from his ears.

Joan’s muscles were taut piano strings. Hearing footsteps approach, she whirled toward the sound. A policeman. Her shoulders dropped in relief.

“Are you alright ma’am?” the officer inquired.

“I could use a glass of wine,” she whispered.

37 comments:

Josh said...

Hah. Love this. The wine glass shattering in a high pitch is a classic, but using it to fend off a mugger? Excellent.

Aimee Laine said...

Oh my! She'll never lose her 2nd Amendment right. ;) Very unique!

wrath999 said...

Way to stop a mugging, great idea. I enjoyed it

alex

laughingwolf said...

lol... well done, cat ;)

Chris Eldin said...

Very clever and well written!!! Liked this one a lot!

Merry Monteleone said...

Nicely done and very unique!

Aerin said...

hee hee. wait til I stop giggling and I'll comment....

...okay. Very cute piece. Particularly love your pacing, moving the plot along without sacrificing description or feeling.

I'm all about constructive criticism, but please don't hear it as negative - only if you were going to do something longer with this - I'd think the transition from trying to scream to letting out the high note is a little quick.

Again, this is an excellent entry; best of luck!

Aniket said...

Hey Cat,

I thought you were on a break. :D :D

Well am I glad or AM I GLAD to see you made it here? :P

Now I know you are a singer, but after reading this am sure I don't want to hear your high notes.

Your passion towards art and music flows in everything you do. This is not an exception.

Its quirky and fun. And hey, Jaye did ask for unconventional and surprises? :P :P

Therese said...

Hee, I love that last line. Changes the feeling of the whole piece. Gives it room to grow into a whole story.

I particularly like "Joan's muscles were taut piano strings". Nice theme.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Why am I thinking of Carmen Sandiego?

I liked the opening to your story, how your character's vocals will soon become a lethal weapon.

Laurel said...

I love it! She made his ears bleed...fantastic. I absolutely did not anticipate the disarming of a mugger with operatic soprano.

Karen said...

Love it, Cat! The voice as her defense is perfect - what a debut for Joan! (great details, by the way - love the bit about the Chagalls!)

Tessa said...

Wow - a wonderfully original and compelling story. The imagery is astonishing. Excellent - this has to be a winner!

Ello said...

Awesome! Love that ending! I want that power! and what a perfect last line!

joaquin carvel said...

i am smiling too - i couldn't help but think of kristin chenoweth's voice - and i like the way joan's reaction is instinctual and not intentional. i used to think the high note / broken glass trick was more of an urban (or metropolitan) myth - but i wish we could always fight malice with something beautiful.

Catvibe said...

Thanks everyone! She was a fun character to come up with. When I was little, I used to annoy the c**p out of my brother with what he used to call 'crusty noise'. What Joan has is like that, only with training. :-) I can think of lots of situations where such a weapon would be quite useful...

lucy said...

And I thought the ultimate equalizer was a gun! Great twist.

Carrie said...

Impressive work. Loved it.

Sarah Laurenson said...

How, um, fun. Yep, fun is the right word. The transition from taking a bow to getting a gun in her face was very well done. Love using her talent to defend herself.

The Preacherman said...

An opera singing banshee eh? Like this very much indeed. Great writing.

Four Dinners

Mona said...

LOL! that is classic! I love the humor here :D

Reminds me of the Indian legendary singer Tansen, who could light the lamps with his singing, or bring in rain :)

BernardL said...

Yes!!!

desiderata said...

A Soprano's feat in downing a thief with a climax -- wow, how novel! I'd like ye to be MY film director if I could write such a dramatic script worth your while!:)

pjd said...

I could use a glass of wine. I love the finish, especially saying it to a cop. I wonder, if after the investigation, she'll get the bill for all those broken windows. Great work, Cat; I'll be smiling all day about this. When I get home and am asked, "How was your day?" I'll answer, "I could use a glass of wine." :)

Kurt Hendricks said...

Her muscles were taut piano strings...that really rounded out the story well!

Hoodie said...

Okay, this is my new fantasy- To be so well vocally trained that I can down thugs with my voice.

Fun concept. Nice job.

aditi said...

Whoa, now THAT's an idea and this was really creative. But the ending -
“I could use a glass of wine”
Icing on the cake - oops. I am not to use cliches, ryt?
I am learning so much from all you amazing writers.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Richly visual and very clever! Great story, really well handled! I'm now off to practice my vibrato in the shower... ;-)

Margaret said...

I knew you'd come up with something grandiose Cat!
I can just imagine how dry Joan's throat was after that and how good a glass of wine would taste to her.
Superb ending!

Gughan said...

:) this was bloody brilliant! I am still smiling.

To think that a glass of wine was the starting point of inspiration! Wicked ;)

Dottie said...

A real stand out. Very fresh and well written.

Jade L Blackwater said...

awesome - a wonderful story! :D

JaneyV said...

I love the originality of this piece and the way it flows from her walking along contentedly immersed in her fantasy to being faced with the horror of being at gunpoint. As others have said - the vocal dexterity of the woman is to be admired.

Viva la diva.

As the Mind Meanders said...

The voice is heard... long after he stopped... through this story...

Very inventive... and I liked the way you brought in the wine at the end :-)

Blog Gore

Cormac Brown said...

Excellent througout.

Geraldine said...

Wonderful Cat! Bravo!!!!

jason evans said...

I especially like Joan's dreams as he walked. That felt very real.

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