Natalie Sterling
    Squabby Bobby

    Posts : 65
    Age : 16
    Location : Redfern


    Post by Natalie Sterling on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:12 pm

    “You’re gonna love this place, Nat Rat,” her dad was saying as they walked down the streets of Dahlin together. “Let’s see, Webb Street should be not too far up ahead, we’ll take a left there…”

    Sure enough, a green sign for Webb Street was visible about thirty or so feet up ahead. “How do you remember all these streets?” Nat asked in wonder. While her dad had no trouble at all getting around the towns in Earalas, he usually needed more help if they traveled anywhere else.

    “I used to come to Dahlin a lot,” he said. Before she could ask a follow up question, he added, “Keys is one of my favorite places in the city. Jack introduced me to it. He invited me to come and then he slaughtered me in a piano duel.”

    Nat laughed. “I wanna go with Jack sometime!”

    “We’ll invite him next time,” Dad promised, as they turned down Webb Street. “It should be coming up on the right, here.”

    Nat looked a few building up ahead until she found a sign that read Keys, written along a stave in a font reminiscent of a treble clef. Nat liked it already. “Here it is!”

    When they went inside, a woman stopped them. “Um…excuse me, I’m sorry sir, but we don’t allow children here after 8,” she told them, looking uncertainly between Nat and her dad, as if she wasn’t sure which clio she should be addressing. Clio did that a lot when talking to her dad.

    Nat looked up at her dad, who just smiled. “You can’t make an exception for an overloridian’s kid?” he asked.

    The woman blinked. “Oh! Oh, I didn’t recognize—well, of course, Overloridian. You and your son are more than welcome.”

    Nat immediately scowled, and her dad cleared his throat. “Thanks. My daughter and I appreciate it.” He gave Nat’s arm a little tug, and she walked away before the woman—whose face had started to turn a little pink—could respond.

    The inside of Keys looked just like a restaurant, with wooden tables and chairs and a bar in the back. The main difference was the stage up front, upon which were two pianos facing one another. Nat started to feel a little excited as her and her dad took a seat at a table near the stage.

    “You’re not bothered by what that woman said, are you?” he asked suddenly.

    “No,” Nat said, looking down at the table. She was used to clio making that mistake about her. Unlike her beautiful sister and mother, Nat was awkward and gangly, all knees and elbows. She liked her hair short and almost exclusively wore jeans and graphic tees. And she didn’t care what clio thought about her.

    “Good,” her dad said simply, leaning back in his seat.

    They sat and chatted for a bit, and a server came by and got them drinks. Nat got a Shirley Temple (whoever that was named after), and her dad got a glass of wine. He even let her take a sip of it, and laughed when she loudly voiced her disgust.

    “Good evening, ladies and gentleman!”

    Nat looked up. A man with a beard and long hair in a bun had walked up on stage and was addressing the audience. “Welcome to Keys, Dahlin’s favorite piano bar, home of the dueling pianos! Now, do I have any volunteers to come up on stage and start off the night with our first piano duel?”

    “Wanna go up there?” Dad whispered to Nat.

    “What?” she asked in surprise. She frantically shook her head, not that he could see it. “No!”

    He shrugged. “Suit yourself, Nat Rat,” he said, standing up. “I’ll do it.”

    Announcer Man looked over and smiled. “Ah, I recognize this guy!” he said cheerfully as Nat’s dad carefully made his way up onto the stage using his cane. “You’re in for a real treat tonight, ladies and gents and everyone else. Alright, now who’s brave enough to challenge Mr. Overloridian here to a little piano duel?”

    “I will!” a woman called out. Nat looked over at her dad’s challenger. She was younger than Dad, and had the sides of her head shaved, several piercings, and a full sleeve of tattoos. Nat immediately decided that this woman was the coolest clio she’d ever seen.

    “And do we have a song choice?” Announcer Man asked the audience. “Perhaps the little lady up front has a request?”

    Nat eyes widened at the sudden attention. Clio all around the bar were now looking her way. She shook her head silently and sank further down into her chair.

    Announcer Man laughed. “Okay, guess not. Anyone else?”

    Clio in the audience called out different songs, until they settled on a famous rock song called Bright City. Nat watched, mesmerized, as her dad and Cool Lady “piano dueled,” trading off verses, each adding their own unique spin to the music. Nat loved every second of it.

    When the song ended, Nat clapped excitedly. The rest of the audience clapped as well, and Announcer Man walked back out onto the stage. “What a duel, amirte? Alright everyone, cheer if you think Mr. Overloridian here was the superior pianist!”

    A respectable cheer rang out through the bar. Nat clapped too, even though she’d liked both players’ music equally.

    “And our challenger?”

    More cheers. Louder than Dad’s. He took the loss gracefully, laughing and holding out his hand in Cool Lady’s general direction. She took it and shook it, and the two left the stage.

    “Well that was fun,” he said, finding his chair and sitting back down next to Nat.

    “But you lost!” Nat said.

    Her dad gave an amused sort of smile. “So?” They sat for a minute as Announcer Guy was bringing two new clio up onto the stage. “You sure you don’t wanna give it a try?”

    “No way! I’m not good enough.”

    “Don’t short sell yourself Nat.” He shook his head. “You’re as good as I am. Probably better.”

    She looked down at the table, embarrassed by the compliment. “I am not.”

    “It’s okay, you don’t have to if you don’t want to,” he said. “Though I would love to hear you up there one day.”

    Nat looked up at the stage, just as the two new players were getting ready to piano duel.

    One day.

      Current date/time is Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:15 am