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 Thirteen (The First Practice)

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PostSubject: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:19 pm

Ru had played her instrument a total of thirteen times since her arrival at Beata Academy. As many moments as there were pastries in a baker's dozen, the girl had picked up her violin and played a tune. The tune was the same each time; a sweet tune, a melancholic tune that gained more energy by the tenth line. After every time, all thirteen performances, the vast crowd would applaud her with adoration, would throw roses at her. Each time, she'd find that she had taken the roses back with her, that they returned from each concert to settle delicately on her nightstand. A stock pile of roses had been begun by Rue at Beata Academy, branching from the one she left at home, in the sleepy town in northern New York. The one she left in Kiev, where faceless music connoisseurs clapped for her soulless performance every night, and her father patted her shoulder with a congratulatory smile. Thirteen dead roses. Thirteen dead performances.

Her instrument was made of a lovely mahogany, lamented with polish and protective layering. Each string was a steel core material, a sturdy alloy typical of skilled violinists. The bow was horsehair, the upper part created with a lighter wood. Small Cyrillic letters were written along the length of the violin's bow.
Пабіян Уткін. Для моєї дівчини.
Pabiyan Utkin. To my girl.

Beata's studios were unkempt, a clutter of painting materials and musical notes, sprawled on stands and the floor alike. Was this a standard condition for their artistry center? It frustrated Ru, making her claustrophobic, but it was the only place she was permitted to play. If someone were to hear her, it would still be of the norm in the studios.
Ru had not played the violin in five months outside of her dreams. She still heard the notes, though. They danced in her mind, the melody of a thousand songs. She breathed classical orchestration; it lived in her head and nested in her ears. In her fingertips. She began to play a serene melody, one she had learned at age nine. It was made to simulate the rolling of wind across an open plain, through the buds of colorful flowers and the afternoon sky. Each note hung softly, carrying itself and overlapping with the next, whipping through stalks of grass and creating a graceful illusion of springtime. The girl played with her eyes closed, envisioning the sensations she molded. High notes faded to low notes with feather-like ease, and vice versa, aiding the sweet melody as it reached its climax. The girl made few mistakes despite her rustiness. She had played it many more times than thirteen; around five hundred. It was perfected until playing it felt like riding a bicycle. She could never forget it. Ru had won over the judges hearts in her oblast's recital, and opened the door for more prominent competition. This was when she was ten. This was a long time ago.

The song's highest point had a sudden pace change, a heightened arpeggio of ascending and descending chords. The winds were collected into a storm, a more frantic turn of events. Each note was rapid, the melody a more solemn and fearful song than the previous half of the performance. This carried on for a minute, garnering the most mistakes from the girl, but she ultimately finished the piece. The storm died out, the melody returned to its calm highness. The final string was a lower one, a sendoff, and she was done. Having dreamt of playing so many times, she expected to hear a crowd cheer. There was nothing. She smiled. No roses, no fake congratulations. It was finished, and she had done it in reality.

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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:01 am

Another young woman was walking through the quiet, small hallways of the studios, a small, fresh pad of sketch paper and several drawing utensils held close to her chest; almost a bit protectively, to keep them from falling. Over the last year, she'd been growing in skill and talent when it came to her pieces - and, day by day, her drawings slowly formed from childish impersonations to real life-quality works of art. It pleased her greatly, to say the least, that all of her efforts in both training her gift and her artistic skills were not at all being wasted.

Along with a few other factors, Alicia was in a rather cheerful mood, for the first time in a while. Even with the dreadfully hot weather, with the school year coming to a swift halt, everyone seemed to be in such good spirits - herself included. There was very little drama and plenty of time for friends. Each step she took was light and dainty, a small tune heard humming from her quietly. She was about ready to head back to her own dorm when she heard a beautiful tune start to play.

Curious to find out where it was coming from, the Summer couldn't help but make a detour, following the sound of the instrument playing. It didn't take long for her to find it, and so she stood at the door way, watching this girl lost in own creation. At some point, Alicia had set her supplies down, taking a step forward to get a better look. She wondered if the girl could even see her there, with her facing the wrong way, and all the dusty supplies piled high.

When she finished, there were certainly no roses, nor professes of love or adoration, but there was the sound of a modest applause coming from the young woman in the corner of the room with a smile on her face.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:04 pm

Was that applause? No, no, that wasn't right. She was hearing clapping. Was this an actual dream? Would she wake up? Would Ru never be able to play the violin without waking up to a rose beside her bed?
She spun around to where Alicia stood, and sanity returned. She let out a worriless breath, a shaky exhalation of relief. "You scared me..." stated Ru, sounding like Evelyn a shaking rabbit. It was the first time in a while that she had played her instrument, and the girl did not want an audience. Nevertheless, the face across from her seemed to enjoy the performance, and so Ru did not feel negatively.

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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:13 pm

Alicia ceased her clapping, resting one hand gently on the side of her cheek, almost as if she were embarrassed to intrude on this stranger's personal time. "Oh, I'm sorry. Please, forgive me." The Summer said with a small smile on her face, noticing at once the unique accent that this other girl had. There were several other exchange students from other countries, she knew, so the foreign slur to her words was nothing knew - she simply wished she could recognize where it came from. It sounded Russian, of some sorts. "I just heard your music and simply had to follow. It sounded so different from the songs normally played here."
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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:00 pm

Ru proceeded to smile too. The song she had played was well received, despite her hiatus from the violin. "It is a Ukranian piece. I haven't heard it much over here." she explained, giving the origin of the song and the origin of herself. Despite the relative distance between the two girls, Ru rushed forward a little, extending her hand and hoping to meet the stranger on middle ground. "I'm Ru. I'm new here."

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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:50 pm

The Summer gave her a curious glance as she held her hand out, thinking this girl looked somewhat familiar to her already, but quickly tossed the thought aside. It was probably nothing. Someone with Ukranian origins, that was surely something new to the school. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Ru." Alicia smiled politely, taking a few small steps forward and shaking the girl's hand far more daintily. "Alicia. I just finished my first year here." She took her hand back, folding it gently with the other. "Have you been sorted yet?"
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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:12 pm

"No." admitted Ru. She had heard of the sortings and knew she had to be experiencing them soon. What was the artistic one? Ru knew the dorms relied on seasons for their namesakes. "A year in this place, huh...?" she peered around the room they were in, at its clutter and mess. "I'm not going to last a year if this room stays like this."
Perhaps she would clean it. It would be a nice little project.

The girl made her way to a corner of the room, near the door, and for the first time began to inspect the instruments it contained. Old violins and horn instruments, some dating back to more archaic days, were propped in display cases against the wall. Closer to the door, a final shelving unit remained. The unit was rather old and shaky, for as she picked up the papers that lay on its shelf, the structure wobbled. Paying no heed, Ru flipped through the papers, seeing musical sheets for a variety of songs. Notes glided across these pages, danced across lines in stunning calligraphy. Ru smiled at these. "This place is great, though, I'll give you that."

She flipped through different songs before reading the label on the clip that conjoined these papers. Clarinet. No, she could not have that. Placing the papers back on the shaky shelf, she perused the drawer labels at the bottom half of the unit. Each had its own instrument, its own group of songs. At last, Ru read the word she had been looking for. Violin

The violinist pried at the drawer, but to no avail. It was jammed, ancient and stuck to the drawer beside it. The girl opened the adjacent drawer, and the violin specific one, before the wobbly structure began to collapse. Her heart jolted in panic as she fought to keep it up, but the weight of so many paper stacks added up to an insurmountable tally. Unable to keep the burden up, she found her foot slipping. She fell, rolling slightly so that the shelves fell mostly to the side of her. The unit didn't hit the ground, propping itself on a sturdier erection, but its contents leaked from drawers opened by gravity. What was worse was where it landed. Ru felt it pin her arm as she tried to get out of the way. She let out a yell, slipping in the fields of papers. She'd really done it then. She tried to wretch it free and was slowly gaining success, but it wasn't quite out when she called. "Help me!"

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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:41 am

Alicia giggled quietly, hiding her little laugh before her hand as she tried to imagine the initiate spending the entirety of the next room trying to clean the towering art rooms. "Many before have tried, I assure you." she said, glancing around at the messy room. Nobody knew how, but if someone did so much as to sweep the room, or clear out a pile, things would just be worse the next time they arrived. One of the great mysteries of the school. "No one's been able to do it yet."

When the shelves started falling, papers slipping, the young woman instinctively shuffled back - as to avoid getting caught up in the mess, watching with wide eyes. She hadn't expected everything to happen so fast, thinking that the girl would've had time to jump away, but clearly - with a sinking feeling in her stomach, she'd been wrong. "Ru!" she gasped, running over the fallen piles of paper to help. "Are you alright?" The Summer saw where the shelf had pinned her arm, trapping her there. With fleeting worry, she pushed up on it, trying to lift it - to see if her arm could get lose.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirteen (The First Practice)   Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:00 am

Ru pushed at the shelf too in desperation, and when it let up in the smallest degree, she pulled her arm out. Backing up from the mess, she tallied the damage sullenly. "T-they're going to kill me..." she murmured. After her surveillance, the girl knelt by the mound of papers that lay under the half-fallen shelf. She began to collect them, but stopped. She glanced behind her, to Alicia. "Help me move the shelf first, so we can get out. Hopefully nobody heard it fall..."

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