[Fan Fiction] Staccato

The Ghost of Ember 06-07-2007 12:22 AM
Short bit of frippery. Based on the idea discussed in this thread.


By the Ghost Of Ember


The grandfather clock gonged portentously, an ominous deep, and profound rumble. It was the type of noise one would expect at the arrival of dawn, the signaling of a new day, a significant sound not to be ignored by any.

It was the fifth time the Clock had gone off. Noon was fast approaching, and breakfast, which had been so painstakingly prepared with such care and consideration for the peculiarities of the pallet of it’s intended recipient, sat stale and cold.

The butler moved dutifully to the clock, sliding the key into it’s slot and turning it over, resetting the ancient machine to turn back in on itself still one more time. Like an hourglass flipped over one too many times. The Nightingale watched in placid disinterest as the butler went about his work, twitching slightly with each wrenching sound as Norman turned the key. It stirred the Memories within her, unreadable Memories about her father. She didn’t want to remember, but with the morning chores done, and the Negotiator still in bed, there was little more to do but wait and watch.

Dorothy glanced at the piano.

As if reading her thoughts, Norman gave the final wrenching turn and pulled the key from the socket. Turning to regard her, for a moment he seemed as if he were going to speak.

“Norman,” Dorothy said, enunciating his name with clear and deliberate, almost musical precision.

The butler once again prepared to say something, than seemed to think better of it. Instead he smiled politely and patted her shoulder as he moved on. The gesture of kinship was lost on the android, and she once more returned her gaze to the piano.

It had become something of a tradition, a routine in the Smith household. The Negotiator would sleep in, and she would wake him. Such dalliances as staying up in sleeping in were not only inefficient and rude, but unhealthy as well. Humans were designed to rest on set, defined schedules, and deviations from the norm wreaked havoc on their internal clock. It was her job to help Norman look after him.

Gliding over to the Piano with her unnaturally graceful bearing, she sat on the stool and paused in reflection. A moment later she lifted the lid and prepared to play, waiting to hear some stirring sound from the bedroom, and give him a reprieve. Not a sound was heard, and so she brought her hands to the keys and played.

The strings resonated, and the sharp staccato sound of discord emerged from the piano. She played the song for several minutes, repeating it once or twice to be certain that he would have heard the notes. It was at this time that he would usually emerge from his den, shouting and growling like a feral animal. The tradition had been broken, and he did not come out.

Standing and moving over to the doorway to his room, Dorothy looked down at him. He was curled in up bed, the covers completely enveloping his body, making it look as if the bed had some enormous bulge in it’s center, like a pimple ready to burst. She observed his disposition in the sound of his breathing, in the rate of his heartbeat, in a ways that no human could.

Returning to the piano, she knew which song to play, but avoided it. Choosing instead to play the blues, knowing full well that he was ignoring it. After that had finished she switched to another, and yet another, carefully avoiding the one expected. Finally, after her patience faltered, and she began playing the song which Instro had taught her. The raindrop sonata, a beautiful, if somewhat tepid song.

Halfway through the song he began to rouse, stretching and yawning. He waited until the music was finished to emerge, his hair mussed and his robes loosely tied around his pajamas, a pillow clutched in one of his hands.

“You see Dorothy,” He said, smirking slightly. “This is the best way to get me up.”

“Roger.” The Android responded, once again playing the name as if a note.

“Hmmmn?” He asked, moving over to the glass windows that bordered the balcony.

“You're terrible at faking sleep,” She said, and slammed the lid of the piano.

“Dorothy.” He moaned, but it was too late, when he turned she was already gone.
Delirious 06-10-2007 12:18 PM
lol! Good try, Roger.

Great story. Smile
R. Daniel Olk 01 06-11-2007 12:11 AM
Cute to the max. And apart from some minor typos, pleasurable to read. Nice similes/metaphors, too.
paul1290 06-11-2007 08:03 AM
Yet another session of messing with Roger. Laughing