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Pet Name: Ava_MSDoll
My name’s Ava, but I’m not the star of this show: my music is.
I’ve been playing the trumpet since I was little; in fact, some neopians joke that I was made with a trumpet right in my very hand! But that’s all a joke. Music is serious to me.
When I play, all my emotions come right out, blown out from the trumpet and into the ears of anyone who’ll listen. If you’re a good musician, your audience will feel it in their gut – grief when you play slow, joy when you play fast – and I think that’s what music is all about. Music is a conversation between your feelings and whoever’s listening to them.
Too bad my orchestra conductor didn’t think so.
“Do you know what the point of an orchestra is?” He asked.
“To… inspire people with song and merriment?” I guessed.
“No!” The Kyrii conductor had turned a bright shade of red. “Well, actually, yes, but that’s besides the point. Ava, you don’t stick to the score, you play faster than the rest of us, you play too loudly-.”
“But I can’t help it-! The fifth concerto is when Hannah the Brave beats her nemesis after years of training, on a burning ship, in hand-to-hand combat! It’s just so… so… uplifting!” I added with a grin. “Besides, loud is good… isn’t it?”
The Elephante bassoonist shrugged, his eyes still on the score, a takeaway cup of borovan in hand. “Frankly, most of us just play really quietly and hope the acoustics don’t pick up the fact that we’re kind of terrible,”
The rest of the orchestra rumbled with a chorus of “mmm, yeah,” “he’s right,” “this is the reason we didn’t make it to Nationals??”
The conductor looked back at me squarely, red faced as ever. He was painted blue.
“Ava,” He said. “I’m doing this for your own good; you have two weeks to pack up your trumpet. The Neopia Central Philharmonic just… isn’t the place for you.”
I was more puzzled than upset. If the orchestra wasn’t a place for my music, where would that place be?
My friends and family had gathered some suggestions. None were very helpful.
I crossed out “late 90’s style boy-band backup” with a pencil, the same way I had crossed out “fancy restaurant musician” and “homeless street performer”. They’d seemed like great ideas for a musician at first… until I remembered my instrument was the trumpet. If I had to fit my peg into a hole, I supposed, I wanted a trumpet-shaped hole to be there beside me. My trumpet was my instrument, my way to turning feelings into sound, and I wouldn’t be heard without it.
The rest of my little red notebook was full of equally bad ideas, and I threw it over my shoulder so I wouldn’t have to look at it more. It didn’t make a sound when it landed.
Maybe because it didn’t land.
It took me a moment, and a lot of dread, before I realised that I’d tossed it out the window behind me… and it was still falling from the fourth storey and out into the street.
I darted down the stairs of my neohome as fast as my tiny feet could carry me, half-tripping on my tail as I lunged out the front door – and into the backside of a pastel-coloured Eyrie.
“Are you okay?” He asked, a pair of his gossamer wings fluttered in front of my face as I righted myself. There was a crowd now, two neat rows of faeries and faerie neopets fluttering in place on either side of the main road, down into the square. I’d never seen so many people in my life.
Confetti was raining down from everywhere, landing on my brow and my nose, and onto the collar of fluff around my neck. It felt like a rain of happiness. Bright coloured banners and flags had started to wave, and I found myself grinning. I could get used to this!
“Queen Fyora of Faerieland has come on a state visit,” explained the Eyrie. “We’re all very excited.”
The Queen herself? Down my very street?
“B-but,” I stammered, “how will you know when she’ll come??”
“That’s easy!” Laughed the Eyrie. “Listen to the band!”
And there they came: a dozen or so faerie neopets in bright gold uniforms and gold filigree wings. In each of their hands was a trumpet: long, brassy and bearing the flag emblem of the Faerie Queen.
The lead fanfare trumpeter halted his flight: a Tonu covered in gold dust and glitter until he shone just like his clarion. I’d never seen anything more beautiful in my life. He inhaled, put his mouthpiece to his lips, and began to play.
The sound was deafening, loud as the hills, the song old as the day. It lilted, it crooned, it blended into a harmony that rattled your ribs and tapped your feet. Neopians everywhere were clapping with it, the percussion and rhythm rumbled deep in my body. I felt the song in my gut. I felt it move me.
I touched my cheek and noticed my own tears streaking my fur. I’d been crying.
“Dry your eyes, Neopian,” said a voice. It was a whisper, ethereal and gentle, but somehow louder than the song. I knew who it was.
“F-Fyora!” I looked up at her in awe as I instinctively bowed. She seemed to glow with mirth.
“I believe this is yours,” Said the Faerie Queen, reaching out to me. In her hand was a little red notebook.
“M-my notebook!” I gasped. “I’m sorry I must’ve dropped it-”
Fyora chuckled, and I found myself relaxing. She seemed like a chill person.
“How loud can you play?” Asked the Faerie Queen.
“I was just thinking,” Fyora explained, “that someone with your talent would be wasted as a restaurant musician-”
I blushed deeply.
“-or a homeless street performer.” Fyora added.
“I’ve been told I play too loudly,” I admitted.
“A fine quality for a trumpeter,” Fyora laughed, “at least in the Royal Trumpet Regiment of Faerieland, it is.”
Wait. Was she offering me a JOB?
“Do you mean you want ME to play in your trumpet band?”
Fyora looked at me, mirth and sincerity in her eyes:
“I wouldn’t say if it I didn’t mean it,” She said.
Being painted Faerie is a strange and delightful experience, but not as delightful as being part of a trumpet band. People here in Faerieland are different: they’re friendlier, they’re emotional, they’re great to be with.
But most importantly, they’re loud.
I feel I fit in now. When I put on my gold uniform and put my trumpet to my lips, I remember to put everything I have into the song: the most powerful triumph, the greatest joy.
It comes out from the trumpet into the crowd, it’s an outpouring of the happiness I feel inside my very core. It’s a song that’s emotional; it’s honest and true.
And I think it’s what makes music special.
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