Death Waltz
Author: Dalek Cruccibul

Chapter 3
The Talent's Dilema

The Talent prepped his fingers, getting hyped for the song he was about to play. He could do it, he told himself, if he just put his mind to it. He laid his fingers on the keys, stroking their surfaces gently.

One note played out, and then another. The song was strange and exotic to the Talent, unlike anything he had ever played before. And just as he had felt when he had read out the title, now felt stricken with an ill feeling in the pit of his stomach. Then, once again, a shrill, sour note played out across the room. The Talent halted suddenly, looking around franticly. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see something moving across the room. He spun around, falling off of the stool and onto the ground. Rex rushed over, holding out a hand to lift the Talent up.

“Talent! Are you OK?” The Talent grumbled a little before saying, “Yes, I think I'm fine.”

“Don’t be discouraged, Talent. The music…” Rex inquired.

“I'm fine, I was just thrown off by the music, yes, that's all. It's just so foreign to me, and it's all too hard to handle.” the Talent spoke, getting up back on his feet. The Talent noticed that Rex was a bit jumpy.

“Sir, are you OK?” the Talent asked, worried with his stance.

“Yes, just a bit took aback by your incident. It’s nothing I didn’t expect, but worrying none the less.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I only mean that the song can be very off-putting.”

He sensed that Rex wasn't telling the entire truth there, for some reason. He just didn't sound assured by his statement, and the idea of it was baffling. Rex had something about him that was new and didn't fit in.

But it was just so indescribable that the Talent couldn't narrow down what he was trying to pinpoint. Just like the sound he had heard, he brushed threw notion aside.

“Take some deep breaths, and then we can get back to playing the song. I believe that you can do it; you’re just psyching yourself out, that's all.” Rex reassured him.

“Yes, you are right. I'm just...” he thought about his next words, “... I just felt like there is something wrong. It’s all in my head.”

The Talent sat himself down on the stool. He got ready to play the song, yet he couldn't bring himself to do it. What was wrong here? There was something unnatural about the situation, and the Talent needed it all to go away. He flexed his fingers, staring down at the keys with a grimace.

“Dammit, Talent, just do it!” he whispered to himself.

He forced his hands to strike the keys, as he began the song anew. One note after another and the song was flowing smoothly again. But he couldn't do it! No, he wouldn't do it. He stopped playing to look at Rex again.

“Talent, what's wrong?”

“I don't know, sir. There is something amuck and I don't know what it is. It's just itching at the corners of my mind. I think I just need to play some music that I'm familiar with, that was I can try to attempt the song again.”

“If you think that would help. I trust your judgment, Talent.”

The Lord President strode on over towards the large doors, were he whispered something in the doorman's ear. The man soon scurried off down the hall, as Rex returned with a smile.

“He will be back with your music momentarily. I know that you know your songs by heart, but I think it would help if you were to look at some familiar sheet music as well as play it.” Rex offered, keeping his smile bright and big.

“Yes, that's a great idea. I'm sure that it's all just my mind letting off some nervous tick. We'll be done here by tonight, I'm sure.”

“Hopefully...” Rex muttered.


It was not long before the doorman returned with a large folder full of papers. The Talent snatched up the sheets and placed them on the piano. He set the tome aside and leafed through the music. He particularly liked the song “Ariamere's Pride”, as it is a song about the epic story of Ariamere and the people's history. Soft at times, yet loud and triumphant at others, the song holds a special place in the Talent's mind. He pulled out the notes and set them neatly, upright, on the piano. Without further hesitation, the Talent played the song with grace and elegance. The notes, one after another, were the sounds of angel song. It was beautiful in every way, and the Talent played it with his eyes closed. But it wasn't Death Waltz, and the Talent dreaded the thought of the song ending. He shouldn't though. He wants to play the song, but he can't bring himself to conceive the idea. It's like biting off your finger; no matter how hard you want to do it, you simply can't do it. It's this subconscious fear that is holding the Talent back. But, he asks again, what is there to fear?

It was over before he could even finish his thoughts. Unsatisfied, he pulled out another song. This time, the title was “The Winds of Time”. It's a soft song that carries an eerie, somewhat hypnotic tune of long, drawn out notes. This too was a favorite of the Talent. As he played this one, he relaxed his mind. No more thinking just let the piano playing come to him. The more you think about the Death Waltz, the more you don't want to play it.

Nope, he still really didn't want to play it. Lord, he couldn't bring to bear the idea.


“Talent, this is the tenth song you've played. Aught you try and give the Death Waltz a chance?”

Rex asked, with some exasperation in his tone.

“I'm sorry, sir, but I just can't bring myself to play it. I just don't think I can play it today, and I think I'll just need to rest on it.” Charles said, seeking some relief from his thoughts.

“I guess it wouldn't hurt. After all, I've waited this long, why not another day?”

“Thank you, sir. I promise tomorrow will hold something greater.”

“Get your rest, and we will meet the same time tomorrow.”

The Talent cracked his fingers and lifted himself from the stool. A good night’s rest should do the trick.

He shook hands with Rex, as they both left the room together. Shutting off the lights ounce more, the room was left in silence for the night being.


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