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posted Jun 10, 2016, 11:50 PM by James Wu   [ updated Jun 10, 2016, 11:53 PM ]
James Wu



a PIANO sits in the corner.

a CELLIST, male, post-teen, practices on their CELLO as the titles are displayed. There is exasperation in his face and exhaustion in his fingers, but he presses on.

As the titles conclude, the CELLIST encounters a difficult shift. He repeats it over and over, slowly, then quickly, trying to analyze and perfect it with every method he can think of...

But he has become too exhausted and can no longer focus; he can no longer hear: as his mind pirouettes along the line between conscious and subconscious, nothing sounds in tune anymore; he can't hear what's wrong and what's right; it all sounds wrong to him.

The CELLIST's sweat-covered face grimaces. In uncontrollable exasperation, he lifts his right hand, clenched in a fist around his bow, to punch at something... at anything... because... there are no words.

As his fist comes downward, a hand catches it from below and holds firmly.

The hand belongs to the PIANIST, female, of similar age to the CELLIST. She looks at him, with a mixture of concern and compassion in her otherwise bright face. She stares into his eyes. A beat.

The CELLIST finally breaks away from her gaze, drops his hand onto his knee in despair and sighs heavily.

The PIANIST sighs too, but out of worry rather than exasperation. With a momentary look of knowing, she heads to the piano, pulls the bench out, and hammers repeatedly on the C below middle C. She gestures for him to play.

The CELLIST looks at her, quite annoyed. As she keeps gesturing, the annoyance in his face turns into incredulousness, and then eventually into reluctant agreement. He turns back to his instrument. A beat.

The CELLIST begins to play the C an octave above the lowest string. The sound is vibratoless, toneless, as if dead on the inside.

The PIANIST begins to play.

As the music continues, the CELLIST begins to play with more tone, with more heart.

And finally, he hears the calling, and resolves downward to B.

Then, closing his eyes, he begins to sing (on his cello)...

The mysterious harmony seems to bring him back from despair..

He finally understands, and begins to smile.

The CELLIST opens his eyes and looks toward the PIANIST, who then turns to look at him. They look into each other's eyes with a new connection that was not there before, smiling warmly.

James Wu,
Jun 10, 2016, 11:50 PM