Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Fiction : Day 10

Author's Ramblings: This one took a lot longer to put together than I thought, so it is a bit strange in a few places and yes, it is my first time exploring these sort of characters and the interaction between them. But I did have fun with it and I hope you all enjoy it. The song featured is "Let There Be Peace on Earth" the version by Vince Gill and next in the queue is (courtesy of Qzie!) "I'll Be Home for Christmas"other requests include "Toy Soldier" and "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve". Thank you all for the wonderful comments and encouragement. It keeps my fingers happy and busy working on the next piece. If you have a song you'd like me to storify, please mention it in the comments, on my facebook page or via email. Merry Christmas!

To find out more about the Christmas Fiction Challenge, Click here to read and join! 


Disclaimer is at the bottom. I do not own the lyrics or the song, this is merely a bit of of creative fiction for the fun of it. The idea/plot/characters created are my own.  

Title: Let There Be Peace In The Choir


The morning was bleary, bleak and stained with various shades of grey when I finally forced my eyes open to begin the day. I did not want to think about the entire day, because it was too much stress to handle when the morning hadn’t even seemed to set in. Of course, staying at the Kamyou Suites was a treat in itself, I knew a bribe when I saw one.

The Peace conference was slowly buzzing to life as leaders from countries and intergalactic ambassadors began to arrive. There was a tense hum in the air, whether from age-old prejudices or weary anticipation, the energy had various secretaries and aides, dashing about frantically to keep everyone happy. I was instructed to stay out of the way if I wanted to go exploring and we were only allowed to leave our rooms in pairs.

That significantly reduced any actual thoughts of exploring, much less an actual adventure. I was sharing a room with Brandon, Deuce and Allistair. They were busy practicing and drinking voice tonics. They were always more a group than I was, for whatever reason. We all sang Alto, yet I was always the odd one out, regardless of my talent.

Things were already twisted enough as they were. The conference center was protected by twelve independent security firms, ones that had been approved through a complicated voting process to ensure all visitors were comfortable with the arrangements. It had been the biggest headache to pass through the security checks and everywhere I turned, there seemed to be some sort of guard or soldier on hand.

I could understand the risks, but there were several different venues hired for exclusive entertainment besides our Erestville Boys Choir of Avensworth. We were headed by the capable Choirmaster Matthew Nellis, and our choir had been selected to deliver the opening song, a musical selection in line with the peaceful theme of the conferences itself. It should have been a happy thing, a coveted privilege, but I was stuck on the fact that it was beginning to feel like anything but that.

The pitcher of water on the end table was almost empty and I took that as a cue to get away for a few moments. “Pitcher’s almost empty. I’ll get the refill. Anyone want anything else?” The trio paused in their mumbled speeches to think amongst themselves.

“Nothing.” Brandon spoke for them all. “But you can’t go down there by yourself-”

There was a knock on the door and I sprang to open it. It was our assistant choir director, Lyrica Knowens stuck her head around the door. “Just checking in on you four, everything alright?” She stepped fully into the room, dressed in a sufficiently jaw-dropping gown of shimmering red sequins, with her hair all pinned up. “Nelson, are you alright?” She reached out hand towards my forehead and I shrank back. Her hand stopped midway and a pretty red blush painted across her face. “Oh, I’m sorry. I forget sometimes.” Her cheerful smile turned to an expression of apology. “You seemed a little down, I was hoping you didn’t have a fever or anything. Have you eaten your breakfast and-”

“Breakfast was hours ago, Miss Lyrica.” Deuce sighed. “He was just going to get some water, I think.” He scowled. "Right, Nelson?" 

I didn't answer. There wasn't a safe answer to questions like that.

Lyrica looked from them to me and the smile returned. “Oh, I see. You three are still trying to keep your rhythm, yes?” She winked. “Nelson, why don’t you come with me? We can send up room service and I have some paperwork to deliver to Matthew.”

I couldn’t refuse, not that I wanted to, so I found myself shuffling along down the corridor a few steps behind her.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” She cast a glance over her shoulder, worry still showing plainly in her furrowed, perfect eyebrows. “You’re very quiet and you rarely-”

“When are we leaving?”

“Leaving?” She stopped to stare at me. I looked away. “We’ve only arrived last night and our program isn’t on until this afternoon.”

“So?”

Her expression softened. “That bad, huh?” We started to walk again. “Well, we’ll probably stay the night, because it’ll take forever to check out of security and that’s best done on a full stomach in the morning, don’t you think?”

“Whatever.”

“Have you done your exercises for today?”

“I’m fine.”

“You need to keep up with your routine.”

“I’m fine.”

“I know you practice all the time, but this is a very big event and-”

“I said I’m fine!”

“…I see. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” She smiled, but it didn’t light up her face as it had done before.

I didn’t mean to snap at her, but apologizing would’ve been weird, so I didn’t say anything else for the rest of the walk. She seemed to know her way around the confusing conference center, because no one stopped her and she didn’t have to ask for directions. Eventually we reached tall double doors, denoted as the “Main Hall” by the sign posted to the left of it.

“Ah, we’re here.” She reached for the door, but I hurried in front to hold it open for her. A look of surprise registered and she gave a little smile again. “Thank you, Nelson.” Entering the room, she cast a quick glance around and I followed her gaze.

There were guards all along the circular corridor and several men in suits whispering to each other. Our entrance attracted their stares, but Lyrica was blissfully unaware of them as she strode forward, every inch a beauty in her shimmering red dress. I followed a few steps behind, the door closing softly behind me.

“Lyrica!” Choirmaster Matthew waved from across a wide room where he stood at the far end, speaking with the music conductor. “Over here!” She turned her steps in the direction of his voice and soon we stood before him. He frowned. “What are you wearing?”

She blushed. “I had a meeting and lunch with one of the-”

“Never mind that, we’ll have an actual rehearsal here in the next few hours and there won’t be time for you to change so do that first thing.” He ran a hand through his cinnamon curls. “We’re going to have to work on timing because Mr. Carson here seems to think that…”

His voice faded out as I stood there listening them to them for the next fifteen minutes and hearing nothing but mumbling as what they said swirled around in my head and didn’t so much as help in any way. The arrangements seemed to be troublesome, but neither Choirmaster Matthew or Mr. Carson was giving an inch where their groups were concerned.

“Hey Nelson?” Lyrica touched my shoulder. “I think we can go now. Those two might be duking it out right until the performance starts.”

“Sure.”

Her hand stayed on my shoulder.

I was happy.

~*~*~*~*~

Let there be peace on earth…and in the skies. Ha. There’s a joke.

The choir boys were bickering again. I wasn’t going to be in the middle of the stupid mess, but it was all Richard’s fault. I’d been minding my own business when they all started up with that business of who stole what.

I didn’t take anything.

But they didn’t believe me.

They rarely believed me.

The shouting matches had started up and I was guessing that they’d be at it for a while. I wondered how long they’d be shouting before they realized it wasn’t good for their voices. Pointing that out now would only mean they’d all take their frustrations out on me. I retreated to my corner of the room and searched for my Ipod.

Stuffing the earbuds in my ears, I cranked up the volume, searching for a song to fit the mood. Christmas music was out of the options, because it was the very last thing I wanted to hear. There was nothing happy, pretty or good about this holiday season. At least, nothing apart from Miss Lyrica. Her memory danced through my head and I turned to face the wall.

She was trying so hard to help us all get along and yet it seemed as if all her efforts were in vain.

“Well you’re the one that took my lemon drops and-” Allistair snapped.

Deuce tackled someone.

I heard the scuffles on the floor and closed my eyes trying to sort it all out. Someone would probably break them up in a few minutes. Rehearsal had been as close to a disaster as it could possibly have been. Choirmaster Matthew was so on edge that it was impossible to do anything right, but Mr. Carson and his orchestra hadn’t been very accommodating either. I couldn’t understand why we weren’t able to bring our regular ensemble, but it wasn’t my headache and I didn’t bother to think about it.

For all the talks of peace and harmony and warm, happy fuzzies, there was nothing I felt that was worthy enough to contribute. It didn’t feel right to go out there on stage in the state that we were, singing half-heartedly. At least, for me, the stage was always my worst moment of transparency. I didn’t know if I could handle that.

In the background, the shouts and yells continued.

~*~*~*~*~*~

The shouting and yelling did not stop. I couldn’t quite figure it all out in my head and I didn’t want to bother to try. Choirmaster Matthew had arrived just moments after Miss Lyrica and instead of helping, he’d started yelling. They’d been at it long enough that I couldn’t even focus on the music streaming through my headphones.

I couldn’t take it.

He was yelling at her and the others were still bickering. She never said a single word, except to check her watch and then hold up her wrist for his inspection. His face turned several shades of pale and he ran from the room, shouting back at her to get us all ready.

She turned, smoothing her face, hair and a plain, simple skirt of burgundy, paired with a plain blouse. Her smile was soft and her voice even softer. “Well, I’m sure this wasn’t what we were all expecting, but we still have a song to sing, boys. If you would please gather yourselves together and-”

“And what?” Deuce growled. “Waltz out there and sing? You’re crazy!”

“He’s right!” Allistair was glaring at her. “We’re not even ready, rehearsal sucked!”

“Don’t get me started on rehearsal.” Brandon snorted. “But seriously, I am not walking out there.”

“I don’t have a problem with it.” Richard was straightening his rumpled tie and hair. “I can at least keep my word and-”

“Shut up!” Deuce lunged for him again.

“Stop it!” Miss Lyria’s voice went flat and dark. “You boys ought to be ashamed of yourselves!” There was a strange new light flickering to life inside of her. “How dare you? Do any of you have any idea what an honor it is to do what you have come here for? Do you even understand the gravity of this-”

“Shut up!” Deuce whirled on her. “You don’t know anything about us! You’re only an assistant director and you haven’t even been with our group for a year! You don’t know what we-”

The look on her face stopped him. She had turned an unnaturally pale shade of white, until her skin seemed to be shifting towards a pale, translucent purple. “You’re right.” Her voice was off. “My sincerest apologies. I know nothing of you and what understandings are between whom.” She took a shaky breath as I pushed my way through the gaggle of fellow participants to stand in front of her. “However, as an adult, I do understand promises, peace conferences and keeping one’s commitments.” She lifted her head. “We are onstage in twenty minutes. I have nothing further to say to either of you.” She turned on her heel and exited the room as I started after her.

“Hey!” Richard caught me by the collar. “You can’t go out there without-”

“Let me go!” I struggled, breaking free from his grasp only to be pushed to the ground. “Hey!”

“Where do you think you’re going?” Brandon cracked his knuckles. “You know, if you’d only-” He slugged me.

“Don’t drag me into your petty-”

“Petty? You think this is petty?” He scoffed. “You know something, Nelson? You always manage to irritate me. I can never figure it out. I don’t even really hate you, but something about everything you do, just grates on my nerves, you know?”

“Stop it!” I wiped my chin, standing up. “You didn’t have any right to take that out on her! She tried! She’s always been trying her best and you just treated her like-”

“What?” Brandon blinked.

Allistair looked away, one hand reaching out to steady his friend. “Wait.”

“Why?”

“He’s right.” The blond boy wiped his forehead. “He has a point.”

~*~*~*~*~*~

In the main music hall, the navy velvet curtain began to part. Lights flickered to life, illuminating the center stage.

There was the sound of whispers as shadowy gestures appeared in the corners of the curtains.

Then, the sound of heels clicking across the smooth stage floor. They were strong, decisive and deliberate, before the person stepped into the light. It was a tall woman, in a simple skirt and plain blouse, who clasped her hands behind her, lifting her face to the light, her messy hair falling away behind her shoulders as she smiled.

“Good evening everyone, it seems there has been a slight change of plans in your opening program, please allow me to extend my most sincere apologies. The Erestville Boys Choir of Avensworth is unable to perform at the moment and so I will be your substitute.”

A ripple of murmurs spread through the audience and the men in suits along the corridors began to check their earpieces to verify if the change in program was allowed.

And then she cleared her throat and closed her eyes. Her voice was soft, sweet and filled the room.

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.


Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step i take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.

A faint blue-purple sparkle of light began to glow around her body, lifting her hair up to form a halo around her head. Sparkles seemed to glow around her simple outfit as a pale golden glow blossomed from her chest, lighting up the stage. A smile was now visible on her face as her eyes opened, glowing a fierce purple, she continued to sing.

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

The orchestra was silence as music came to life on the stage, seeming to flow directly out of her very being. Lyrica sang, pouring her soul into the sounds that left her lips. It was like hope in a bottle, being shaken and thrown in the air, to drizzle down in a calming, pouring rain. The music swelled filling every possible corner of the hall and twirling through the air. Her voice seemed to only grow in its beauty as the song progressed.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.

Applause thundered throughout the hall as she took a quick bow. “My name is Lyricana Aronwith. I am honored that you allowed me the freedom of this presentation. May the Lord’s peace be with you.”

~*~*~*~*~

I watched her from backstage. My chest ached. It was as if I should’ve been out there on the stage with her, but I’d been unable to move, standing there, transfixed as her very presence grew to a blinding perfection I didn’t think existed. She was beautiful and her voice was something I had never heard before. She took a bow and introduced herself as Lyricana Aronwith.

That name didn’t fit at all.

“Wait, the Lyricana Aronwith?” Allistair gaped. “You’re kidding!”

“Shut up.” Deuce growled. “What is she, famous or something?”

Richard smacked him on the head. “Duh! She’s only the most famous female mesmerizing vocalist born in the universe!”

“Universe?” Brandon scoffed. “Sure.”

“No, really!” Richard waved his hand. “She’s not human. She’s one of those from that planet, the purple one. She’s really famous. Whenever she sings, they say it’s like-”

“Shh! She’s coming this way!”

The boys scrambled back to their positions backstage where we stood as a group, to offer our apology. Choirmaster Matthew wasn’t present, as he had left to argue with Mr. Carson again.

Lyrica walked into the darkened section and her face dissolved in an expression of happiness. Before either of us could speak, four of the suited men appeared, one holding a thick fur coat, the other a shiny purse and one with an expensive communicator. “Miss Aronwith.” They greeted her, bustling around to help. She shrugged into the coat, took the purse and began to dial something on the comm.

“Miss Lyrica?” I heard myself say.

She turned, producing a thin, gold envelope and a white paper. “Ah, Nelson. Hello everyone.” She nodded to them and handed me the papers. “Could you please see that Choirmaster Matthew receives these?”

“Why don’t you give it to him yourself?”

“I won’t be here, love.” She smiled, but the expression was somewhat sorrowful now. “And neither will you if you wish it.” Her hand settled on my shoulder as leaned forward. “Merry Christmas, Nelson.”

I felt her kiss the top of my head as the four men in suits each reached towards her. They exploded in a burst of purple sparkles and the ache in my chest eased—just a bit.

Merry Christmas, Miss Lyrica.

Disclaimer and rights. © Sara Harricharan. I do not own the lyrics, the song or anything of the sort, only the original characters I have created and the plot, which are solely my own creation and any resemblance to an actual event, person or place, is entirely coincidental as this is a work of fiction.


1 comments:

NekoMikoReimu said...

Very nice...too bad it isn't snowing here at the shrine.