Chapter 1: Dreams
"April! Come down for dinner!" My mother called from the kitchen. Setting down my electric guitar, I half ran down the windy, hardwood staircase.
"I'm here! Food!" I panted. Mom only chuckled warmly, as she always did.
"You never change, do you? Anyway, today we have the gourmet meal of Kraft Dinner!" She shook the pot of noodles as if she were a master chef, and took a bow. I gave her a sarcastic golf clap, a wide grin spread across my face.
"Well done, let's dig into this fine meal, Miss chef." We shared a laugh, and dished out our separate plates.
"Guess what I figured out how to play?" I said between mouthfuls.
"You should be as good as Jimi Hendrix by now, you hardly let go of that poor instrument," She joked.
"Er- not quite. But I figured out House of the Rising Sun, it's slightly fluent,"
"Slightly, eh?" I smiled, shrugging my shoulders. True, I hardly went five minutes without my fingers craving to graze the guitar strings. I couldn't help it! From just about as far back as I can remember, I've wanted to be a musician. More specifically, a guitarist. Not one of those okay guitarists, no, I strive to be the greatest guitarist of all time! Exceeding all the others, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Joe Satriani, even when you added their skills together it wouldn't even come to half the skill I have! Or, would have.
That is, once I learned to play. It's only been a week since my birthday, the twenty seventh of May, and I've been playing the guitar every chance I got. Sure my fingers also decided to cramp up and hurt, but those were the only times I ever stopped playing.
"I was thinking once I figure out the guitar, I could maybe... Join a band?" My eyes drifted to my now empty plate of food. Wow, where did that go? Mom studied me with curiosity, stroking her chin as she did when she pondered a thought.
"Depends how good you are," I stared her in the eyes, not believing what I just heard.
"S-so I could play on stage and everything?!" She nodded.
"Isn't that the point?"
"Oh, thank you thank you thank you!" I hopped right out of my seat and engulfed her in a tight hug.
"I only said if you can actually play you could join a band." I rolled my eyes, waving it away.
"Just wait, I won't just play the guitar, I'll rock it!" I mimed a solo on an air guitar, fingers flying off the neck. Mom laughed and mimed a drum solo to join me. I felt elated, soon the world will know the name 'April Viali'!
It's been a few weeks since then, and I've only improved at my instrument. With all the constant practice I can play chords and melodies with ease. I played a couple songs for Mom, and she said I should start looking for a band to join! Or, she said I was 'getting better' and was 'a good entertainment'. I took it as that way though, close enough really. It's not hard to interpret that anyway, and besides I needed to start looking if I ever wanted to be in a band in the first place.
I scanned newspapers, online blogs, and the school board for any trace of musical talent. Nothing showed up however, and it was starting to really bug me. Why didn't anyone want to blast music?! I sighed, turning away, once again, from the news board. Smack dab right inside the main entrance of my high school was a simple board covered in any, and every bit of news that went on inside these walls.
"No luck, huh?" My friend, Aiden, spoke from behind me. I sighed, nodding in defeat.
"Something will come up eventually, I know it." He patted my back.
"That's likely." I scoffed.
"I'm only speaking the truth. I guess I might have to fly solo on this one." Aiden rolled his eyes.
"Right, and I'm the Queen of England." I smiled at this, Aiden was in fact British, as far as he knew, anyway. At times like this, his accent really stood out, and it felt like a didn't know him for a fraction of a second.
"You know, I heard that in the main square there's a bulletin board with all sorts of advertisements and stuff."
"What about-" Aiden stammered, scanning his brain for a remedy.
"Just forget it, okay? I'll go check later, but don't expect me to find anything worth noting." I shook my head. I only complied because Aiden looked so downhearted, it was worth a try anyway.
My eyes darted between several different pamphlets and advertisements. Nothing music related whatsoever.
"Tch." I scoffed, starting to turn away.
"Giving up so quickly?" A vaguely familiar voice spoke in wonderment. A girl whom I knew only by the name Cassidy- or as her popular nickname stated- Crazy Cassidy, drifted beside me. Cassidy was... Well... Let's just call her the 'weird' girl. And by weird, I really mean weird. She's been known to suddenly burst into a fit of laughter at quiet periods in class, or say some of the oddest things.
"You know, only someone who plays with water would give up. Playing with fire shows you the courage to take the next step."
"Uh..." My mind ran a complete blank on any sort of response. Cassidy curled a wad of her black hair on her finger. I only now noticed how her eyes were an entrancing crystal, sticking out from the rest of her face, which was daunt and hollow looking. There were rumors that she was an anorexic, but one look at her- and at how much she eats- quickly diminishes that theory. She was fairly pretty, if she tried to blend in Cassidy might not get picked on anymore. She locked eyes with me, and I felt a sense of... What? The shorter girl looked up to me, and spoke coolly:
"There's no need to pity me, April. It's more fun to be different than follow the rut."
"The normal. The usual people. Blending in like coffee beans together, unable to tell which is which." She stared at me for a second, then added: "I hate coffee. It's bitter."
"I don't find it that great either." I pitched in, as to at least make it seem she didn't freak me out.
"Then we agree on something. How about another? My favourite colour is lilac."
"Interesting. Look between the lines, April. Find your missing piece." Cassidy smiled, chuckled to herself as if she heard a funny comment, and walked away.
I stood there for a moment. What just happened? Find my missing piece? The only thing I'm missing is my ticket to a band. I wonder if Cassidy always spoke in riddles, her poor parents. Unless, they were alike. I shivered, and turned my attention on the billiard once more. It must have been 5 more minutes I stared at it. Was there some sort of message that was going to appear dripping in blood? Then, a green paper fluttered in the wind, barely visible by the other wide advertisements. I plucked the tiny paper, and in scrawny handwriting a note was scribbled on messily.
Seeking musicians, anything welcome, for more info contact Barry Wiles at...
The paper listed a number and an e-mail address. Barry Wiles? The name rang a bell, but I ignored the door, I found something! Well, not exactly a band but musicians, and that's close enough. Once I get home I'll punch in the numbers. A grin spread to my face, and I felt an overwhelming excitement flutter inside my stomach. It felt warm, as if I were in front of a fireplace. I practically ran home, eager to tell my mom the good news.