Death Waltz
Author: Dalek Cruccibul

Chapter 4
Charle's Dilema

It was a dark and beautiful night in the small town of Vargo. Through his bedroom window, Charles sat on his bed staring up at the incandescent stars. The way they twinkled amongst the blanket blackness of night was worthy of any poet. One of the words, or one of the notes like himself. The night sky could represent subtle beauty. It could represent ambitions and dreams, in the cliché of “reaching for the stars”. But Charles felt that the night sky, full of stars, was like a light; amongst the blinding darkness, there will always be a star to guide the way. But his star had gone out, for it had only been 3 months since his mother had died of a terminal illness. The sky reminded him of better times, filled with passion for the piano and the love for his mother. Now he didn't play the piano quiet as often. But his love still remained. Love is a powerful thing, the Talent thought you himself. Maybe his mother isn’t really dead. Maybe if he were to believe hard enough, he could use his love to overcome death.

 

Mother, aren't you going to tuck me in?”

Of course, dear. Soon, though, I think you might be too old to have your mother tuck you in.”

No. I'll never be too old.”

You say that now,” she said, locking a kiss on his forehead, “but you won't always be saying that. Someday, you'll be out in the world. You'll be going on your own little adventure, Charles. Then I won't be able to tuck you in.”

Charles scrunched up his face. “But Mother, I don't want to leave you!”

Oh Charles, I didn't mean that. I meant that I can't always be there for you physically. I can't always make you breakfast, or take you to school, or even tuck you in at night.”

But what then, Mother?”

I will always be with you in your heart. I will always be there, somehow, to guide you along the crazy twists and turns of life. Even if I'm not in front of you.”

I think that makes sense.”

It doesn't have to Charles; that's the point of life.” she said as she got up from the bed.

She flicked of his light, “I love you.”

“I love you Mother.”

 

The proceeding morning was nothing of importance. He got up, went downstairs for breakfast, and made his way to school. Like every morning, he met downstairs with his father. But of late, he and his father have been drifting apart. Their bond was never very strong to start with. But now it was a chasm to navigate. Charles was secluded to his thoughts, and his father was secluded to his books. Ever since his mother's death, Charles' father had been not only distant but irritable. The piano in the house was off limits now. His mother's room had been left to the way it is, only to gather dust. No longer did his father smile. He wore a blank expression, day in and day out. Before, his father lacked any passion to start with.

But now he was as dull as a brick. But Charles did not falter, for he knew his father just needed someone to draw him out from his books. But Charles lacked the ability to do so. His father was too difficult to draw out.

 

“Hello Charles. I've made breakfast.” his father remarked as Charles walked down from his room.

“Thanks father. Smells good.” Charles lied.

“Does it? I don't think it smells good.” he came back with, looking up from the book he had been so frivolously reading.

“What you reading there?”

“Me? It's a book about some new discoveries in Ancient Ranwickian culture. I find it fascinating. They are such a unique eastern culture.”

“Oh, of course.” Charles added in. He didn't really know a whole lot about Ranwick, besides that it was pretty far east of Roogmore.

“Well, I best be off father.”

 

After breakfast, Charles made his way to school. Here he learned things that provided little interest for him. He would much rather be exploring music that math or science. Music was something that took passion, rather than the ability to take in information. A good musician could learn easily, but the better musician would feel the music for what it is. Music weren't just notes to Charles, it was some sort of creature; living and breathing in all of us. This aside, he did well in school. He didn't make many friends, but he got along with everyone. Each morning, outside the school doors, he would be greeted with a bombardment of friendly faces and people. Though he did not know them all, he saw them and understood them. Behind their smiles he saw warm feeling, and he saw the music. It was like some sort of aura, that you can just feel people give off.

He entered the building, ready for class, just like every morning. But something caught his eye. It was something that had not been there before; something that threatened to defy his life and it's worth.

Students crowded around a stand were two men in dashing suits stood, onlooking the hoard of children.

Above them, in big letters, was a sign that read out “Adamsula Academy of the Musically Adapt”. Well, wasn't this new? Nobody came to the humble town of Vargo, especially not somebody from an academy in an entirely different country. Pushing through the crowd, Charles got a better view of the situation. The men weren't really doing anything, actually, but rather just a lot of kids grabbing pass-outs and signing names on things. Charles grabbed a paper for himself, seeing what all the commotion was about.

“Welcome to Adamsula's Academy of the Musically Adapt, the world leader in musical instruction and ensemble. At this pristine academy, you will be immersed in an academic environment that strives to better the natural talent of musicians from all spans of the globe. Through this program advanced studies in music are taught, as well as courses on the cultural significance of music. Housing is made available for students on campus, along with accommodations for day to day life such markets, libraries for study, a 24-hour music hall, and much more. Interested? Apply for the academy today!”

It all sounded quite lovely. Everything about it was lovely. This is exactly what Charles had been looking for! He would be able to practice his skills every day, to become better than he could ever be living here in Vargo. Excitement swelled through his body, as a smile crept across his face. This is what his mother would have wanted him to do; to move out of the country, to learn more about the art of music.

There was no denying that he was destined to attend this academy. It was the work of fate, tying the string together. Why else would these men come to such a remote town such as Vargo? With that, Charles walked on over to class with these new ideas skipping about his mind.

After school, Charles skipped home in happy glee. The first thing he wanted to do was tell his father about it. But then he thought about it; his father? Bringing up the subject in his mind immediately presented the conflict. His father, to start, wasn't one to jump to things like this. He was much more practicable, and that was all understandable. The other fact was that his father didn't have a very deep appreciation for music. It's not that he didn't understand it for what it was. He didn't understand the deeper meaning of it. He was like an atheist who reads a spiritual script. He understood the stories, but he did not understand the greater meaning of them. When Charles saw him, he saw an aura of untapped musical ambition. It was all stowed away under massive tomes of history. His father was a thinker and searched through history to find his meaning. His father would be difficult to open up to.

Entering the house, Charles made his way to his father's study. This is where his father spent the majority of his time. On entering the room, Charles was greeted by a man head first in his book.

“Yes, Charles?” his father asked with slight irritation. Nobody likes to be interrupted from their book.

“Father, I was wondering if I could talk to you for a minute. I found out about something exciting

today.” he said, making sure to emphasize his excitement with the who ordeal.

“Exciting? That's a bit unusual for Vargo, now, isn't it? What is this exciting thing then?” his father asked with genuine curiosity.

“There were some men who came to school today, and they were handing out notices for an academy...” he said, grabbing his dad's attention, “... an academy for the musically adapt. It's apparently a big deal and is recognized as an internationally successful school. I thought this would be a great academic opportunity for me since I'm so good at the piano, and the musical theory, and...” Charles cut short, seeing a look of disapproval across his father's face. He knew what was coming for him.

“I'm glad to hear your excitement. Your happiness is important to me, and we could certainly use it around the house lately. I can certainly work on being able to drive you there, it's just a matter of planning...”

“Father, it is not quite that simple. The school is off in Adamsula.”

“Adamsula? Don't you know how far that is? I thought you were talking about a local school, not something a ludicrous as a music school located in an entirely different country.”

“But imagine the things that we could do father. You would be able to bring your history to the big city. I would be able to become better than I ever will be staying out here in Vargo.”

“That isn't how it works, Charles. There is an awful lot more to it than that. We haven't any reason to leave when our life is here. I'm happy with what we have. Did you ever think that you would be leaving everything behind? This is where your mother...” he choked up a bit, then moved on, “where your mother was born, and her mother before that. We are the only ones left to keep this house. Leaving would mean leaving the house, Charles. We can't do that to go chasing something you just decided you want to do.”

“I didn't only decide it now. Piano playing is...”

“No, not that. I mean this school of yours. What do you even know about it? Have you even though any of it over? You can't expect me to turn my head for every big idea that floats into your head.”

“But...”

“There isn't any use in debating on it, now is there Charles? Go do your chores and your homework. I have books to read.”

His father glared at him, then returned to his book. It was all so infuriating! But Charles wasn't about to give up hope. He just had to ease it into his father's mind, and make him see the idea. He just had to. His father was clinging on to nothing here in Vargo. The true future of the family’s bloodline was out there, amongst the wilds and the civilizations of the world.

Someday, you'll be out in the world. You'll be going on your own little adventure, Charles. Then I won't be able to tuck you in.”

Soon, very soon, he would uncover that.

 

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