Write On!

The Great Fall

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm

by Tara Wiley

Did you try calling her mother?”

“Yes. The minute we held the phone up to her ear she started to scream like a monkey. Tell me you can do something. We can’t keep delaying much longer. The kids out there are starting to get crazy.”

“Tell me again. What exactly have you given her so far?”

The voices filtered across the green room, barely distinguishable from the drumming din reverberating through the floors, the walls, beating like an incessant drum against Lindsey’s conscience. They wanted her. Why didn’t she want them?

The voices and the noises pressed in on her, but she was somewhere else, a little girl running through an open field until the prairie grasses were taller than she was, dropping to the soft earth, instantly entering another world entirely. The grasses whispered in the wind; the meadowlark sang, and she sang along her own song for her own heart, lilting and free.

“I don’t think we have a choice, Vern. You need to make the call.”

How long had it been since she sang for no one but herself? She didn’t remember how to choose her own song like that little girl creating her own melodies against the Kansas winds’ accompaniment.

In her dream world, on that prairie, the clouds above her began to shift and change, darken into the thick black of newsprint announcing the next young rising star. And the little girl rose and chased the wind, the clouds, the adulations and honors. Like those little ones blindly following the pied piper, she didn’t know. She didn’t know how fickle her new lover would be.

The little girl followed the lover into a woods thick and dark. Each tree had a face, the masks of theater muses Thalia and Melpomene. Gaudy and glaring, laughing and jeering, they followed her every move. She chased Thalia’s beckoning grins filled with praise until Melpomene lurched into view like a nightmare, taking over and replacing the Thalias one by one until all she could see was Melpomene. He cried and accused her relentlessly.

What brought this on? If we could name the trigger, maybe I could bring her back…”

“I told you, I could only protect her so long…”

A team of knights appeared in the forest. Armed with powerful chain saws, they cut down every Melpomene in view. One whisked her onto his horse and led her into a more pleasant part of the forest where she was surrounded by Thalias, nothing but Thalias. She knew it was too good to be true, all these yes-men, but she couldn’t stop herself. Their praise was a powerful drug. She was giddy and wild on the knight’s horse, singing wildly to the trees as they swayed and sang yes-yes-yes-more-more-more.

She was sick. She needed rest -“

The little girl grew and blossomed as the forest thickened around her, Thalias pressing in on her. The smiles became too wide. Too bright. The branches began to press into her, whipping against her as the knight and his horse drew her further in. A vine appeared, wrapped around her throat, pulled and constricted until her lovely meadowlark-voice rasped and gasped against its pull.

The steroid shots were a necessity.”

“Too bad the weight gain became such an issue.”

The knight cut the vine, but it remained around her throat. Another knight came, pulled with all his might and loosened the grip, but it was still there like a hideous necklace. One wrong move by the girl, and the vine thickened and wound back tighter than before. She could not get free. The vine enshrouded her with an insidious snakelike coiling.

The knight’s steed skidded to a sudden halt when a stone wall blocked its path. Quickly, the knight dismounted and lifted the young lady up where she could scramble to the top. She stood there, finally free from the thick trees, raised her head to the skies, and drank in the blue like a cup of fresh water. The height was exhilarating. She breathed deeply as invincibility rose within her. She could not see that the vine had followed her up there, was recoiling even as she stood.

Okay. So tell me again – she went out on stage -“

The young woman opened her mouth, a meadowlark song rising within her, but when she sent breath across her vocal chords, nothing happened. Clouds suddenly lurched across the blue sky, thick and black with accusations. Weight Watchers’ Next Rising Star? Young Artist Bursting at the Seams. Is Lindsey Losing Her Voice? The vine tightened. She looked down and saw a crowd of admirers. One was shaking his head and yelled out, “Hey, fatso, get a new wardrobe! Show us you can still sing at least!” She was teetering, then falling, falling, falling…

She missed her cue – ”

“The car’s here. We’re ready to go. Who’s going to deal with the crowd?”


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