Day 3: Shy

Shy
by
Matt Zurbo

Cielo was painfully shy, she hid every chance she got.

(Girl with long hair looking down. Girl hiding at school bus stop. Girl head under her desk at school.)

At home, she dealt with this by singing softly, so no-one might hear (in the dark corner of her bedroom)

Cielo had the most beautiful voice, it ran through the walls, soothing the mice,

it curled along drain pipes. Moths circled its flight.

Then, one night, from somewhere outside, (through the dark), a voice sang back.

Oh, it was beautiful, oh it was melancholy!

It had no words, just rose, and hurt and fell and filled Cielo with joy.

She sang back to it, until her heart swelled.

The next day, like every day, Cielo ran home to be safe from the world. After dinner, when she shut her bedroom door, she felt something else in the room.

(Maybe many tentacled creature, up to artist, but barely visible due to shadows of the far corner, near the ceiling. Not remotely humanoid, (1 or 3 eyes, etc). No obvious face, maybe some of its tentacles hollow, like pipes, a jellyfish without its dome look, dunno, again, up to artist)

She could hear it breath.

And breath more…

Then,

before she could say anything, it sang. It sang.

It sang so loud and pure it chilled Cielo to her soul. This was heaven, this was magic,

this was the one time she didn’t feel scared, or alone.

She sang back, about love and heartache and lostfulness.

And the voice sang more.

“Who are you?” Cielo whispered, which was brave for her.

“Who…?” the voice sang.

“What are you?” Cielo asked.

The voice couldn’t talk, the words of its song were alien to Cielo, yet, if she listened to their tone, somehow, she could understand through the feelings they gave.

“I’m not from here. No-one sings where I am from.”

Cielo made to ask another question, but when she stopped singing the creature was somehow gone.

The next night, Cielo heard the beautiful voice, winding its way in from the street,
weaving down gutters, and lanes.

And she went to it (through drizzle and rain). Outside, where the world might eat a shy girl alive.

“Am I the only one,
the one and only voice,
you have shared your song with,
as if neither of us had any choice?” she sang.

“No,” its voice crooned and soothed. “There was one other…”

(image of creature mostly hidden by the dark of the ocean, opposite a blue whale, half lit by streaks of light from above)

“Its voice billowed with power, and exquisite, soft emotion. It released a wider range of words, more flowing than you or I,” the creature sang.

“Its song carried forever. Forever…”

“Passion…”

“We shared sound as if time and love might not end.”

The next day and night, the creature never came. Cielo lolled about in the old cemetery tree, because it was quiet there, and she could see the stars.

She thought about the creature. Did it sing for loneliness? Was that its only voice?
(Stars seen through tree leaves)

Was it ugly where it came from, or a thing of beauty without a home?

The creature didn’t appear for many nights. Cielo found, though, now she was less shy. She still let her classmates pass by, but would sing free from shadows, to the hummingbirds, while sitting in the long-grass.

Then, one night, between cloud and moon, the creature came back again. And once again, one last time, oh, oh, it sang…

“I have been with the (howling) white wolves, of the Transylvanian mountains,” it sang.

“Will you stay?” Cielo returned.

The creature’s tone shifted into deeper, sadder shades… “No,” the shades implied.

“There are rules that cannot be broken, but that is what I’ve done. We must be quiet, we must be quiet, your home is not ready yet,

for such song, such honesty,

but I will not forget…”

Then it sang higher, louder, deeper, softer, quieter. It sang, it sang, sounds that Cielo could not understand, other than their yearning. To the sky its noises ran…

It sang to the moon, the Milky Way and more, until Cielo heard a sound above her sight. The smallest opening of something large, accepting something lost, then found. A door.

The creature rose into the clouds, singing until there were only echoes.

The silence that followed, though, it thundered, oh it stayed.

Cielo went back inside, and sang to the whole night, to every neighbour’s dream, every restless sleep, filling them with hidden might.

Cielo knew they would not believe the story of how she learned this song, but didn’t care. She sang, she sang, tainting the night with her voice,

free and unafraid,

of secrets she must keep.
The End.

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