This is a short story belonging to my original characters on SchoolRP. Perhaps you can metagame Hisakawa Aruto's existence. . . _______________________________________ This wasn’t a place for legends. The hall was only for those on their way to becoming a legend, a place comparably smaller to the places in London and United States, which could hold seating in the thousands. However, Suntory Hall would do him for now. He can become a legend later. A squeaking sound filled the stadium as his pointed shiny shoes reached the center of the circle in which over four-hundred people would watch him. Of course, thousands more awaited him from behind a television screen. Any performance in this place is worth praise internationally; a man like him knew what to do. Hisakawa Aruto was his stage name. It was merely a persona to be perceived by a crowd that only knew his face and his sound. Widely across Japan, he was renowned for learning the most challenging violin pieces within days, a music theory student who had graduated from Karakura Community College in 1997. It was only two years later, where many people were awaiting make-believe phenomenons such as the “Millennium Bug” to hit within just a few days. That being said, it was a Christmas performance. The number of spectators would rise substantially, a factor which only increases his nervousness. However, he looked posh and prepared, his suit lacking a single wrinkle and his shaggy hair neatly laid across his head. Although he could have stood to shave, the stubble growing around his chin and mouth was almost charming. A young man, fresh out of college, who in normal cases would have no set path with comprehensible roads, was reaching for his rosin-coated bow to play for many on a Christmas night. Upon his setlist was indeed Silent Night. This wasn’t the song that enticed him most, and it was one that he knew perfectly well. A prodigy like him learned that within days, just like the rumors of “Hisakawa Aruto” spoke. It wasn’t the first song on his list, either. A standard introduction was given for him. While his mind spoke in anxious words, phrases that ridiculed himself for his inability to calm down, his posture was elegant and impressive. The older crowd used to worldwide sensations entering Suntory’s lobby were in awe at his disposition, not once taking their reproachful glares away from him. Aruto himself treated it. . .as them waiting for him to mess up. The pessimist passed over his mental woes in an instant as he drew his expensive violin toward his chin, resting it snug without a moment of fidgeting or fumbling. He moved like he was waiting for this his entire life. The metronome in his head was ticking quietly. Tick, tick, tick, tick. A four-four count. Let’s do this. His first song was an upbeat, flowery piece with a woman he did not know accompanying his violin strings with piano keys. It wasn’t a terribly challenging piece with the high-pitch chords; but, the quick pacing and length of each note was the challenge. Its speed and meeting it with such a calm instrument like a violin was the true challenge. As he began, the tension wearing at his mind swung away. He dragged the bow across the strings diligently, the fingers at each fret moving like a spider weaving its web. The movements were quick enough for the song but mesmerizing by the audience, watching as the effortless performer did his handiwork. Some of the gestures he made were odd, though. The onlookers weren’t exactly displeased; moreso, shocked. He turned himself around on the circle he stood, pivoting with the gentle chords filling the air, like he were the singer of a rock band. He addressed every member of the crowd with his relaxed stare, turning his charm to every corner of the room. While moving and playing such a delicate instrument at the same time isn’t ideal, Aruto did it flawlessly like it was the back of his hand. It was too good. But, like many performers state their experiences were, Aruto was not in the right headspace. His mind was nothing near “going with the flow;” rather, he was working to figure out every next chord, like he had never performed the song before. The concentration never showed at his face, but he was nowhere near calm. He was beyond biological, easing his way through the song without worry despite the ticking metronome in his mind sounding more like a bomb by the second. Themes and variations. Chords and notes. Bars and lines. The treble clef, the bass clef. The acronyms he came up with for memorizing each line. The length of each kind of note. The shape of each kind of note. The form of each kind of note. It all occupied his mind — but he never once paused to calm himself. The first half of the song, only after having been fifty seconds into Variation d’Aurore, he paused his swift movements for the accompaniment to reach him. It was a lovely song used in the ballet rendition of Sleeping Beauty, a story about a woman cursed to sleep for a century due to an unforgiving witch’s wishes. Before she is sent for slumber, though, she dances along and charms every man at a ball, unaware of the impending doom that hides beneath her. Not to mention, there were many different types of Sleeping Beauty. Some end in a ruthless prince inflicting pain on the girl meanwhile some end in happiness, as the woman wakes up from the kiss to a man who loves her dearly. The kinder version was more touching — a man who chose to love a girl even after seeing her at her lowest point. Suddenly, the song sped up. The clicking in Aruto’s mind followed his faster strokes of the wand, casting his magic across every person watching. He walked across the stage further, treating it as his own playground for his talent. After all, that’s what it was. Once reaching the more repetitive part, he retreats to the center of the floor once again and remains still, playing soulfully as his shoulders almost dance along with the music. To everyone, he looked to be as prepared as ever. He looked as if he were a shining star, bright in the sky and overpowering all. Though, his eyes were shut as he thought as deeply as ever, the words moving at the exact same tempo as the song. When his verse got louder, so did the piano. They were all thumping in his mind, awaiting for his brain to split open and splatter on the ground. If he was such a great star, shining in the sky and burning the most of them all, why was he feeling so downcast and prepared for defeat? While his hand cavorted down the fretboard for the final moments of the song, he had figured out his answer, and silently cursed himself for it all. Not a moment was spent riveting on his downfall before he transitioned into the next song. His setlist thanked him for the amount of kindness poured into his melodies, the crowd applauding and roaring with every conclusion. A few original pieces, Liebestraum, music that his few friends of college had composed, Swan Lake, Silent Night, and even Bohemian Rhapsody was among the sound he casted. Sometimes he wore a smile, sometimes he was softly frowning. He thought while he played, engrossed in things separate from his performance. This place. . .was not for legends. His final song of the setlist, all while performing in silence and shallow breaths, was a song that he was most enthralled by. The first that he had performed for her and the one that led to this very moment now. A song that was going to kill him. Air. A song that was exclusively played on the G-string of the violin that changed the game for composers when made in the 1730s. It was a song that remained most special to him, a song that he was born to play. For the first time, Aruto had taken a longer breath that could be heard from all watchers. His microphone had picked up his effort of preparing, only before he hovered the bow across the G-string. The ring finger, donned in a golden circle, stretched across the board to reach the sound he planned to create. Then, it began. A long C note. Being that Air was in four-four, he could easily count the four beats necessary for the first motion. His unique way of transitioning to the next long C, though, was to swerve his finger down the fretboard and then back up. Applause sounded at the movement, despite interrupting mid-song being a sin amongst enjoyers of classical music. The praise made him smile, though; his first true one since the entire gig had begun. Aruto’s third bar of the song had called for him to move his bow more, which he did in a timely fashion. This is my song. Having to stretch your arm far upward in order for the bow to reach the G-string is a challenge indeed. Many who attempted the song before could hardly keep up the strain for the entire five minutes, but it was an easy task for Aruto. While soreness panged through the hand which guided the bow, he persevered and did so beautifully. Only a few times during the entire forty-five-minute-long performance did Aruto have to reapply the rosin to his bow, something which he considered an achievement. His sound was still as great as ever — in fact, probably the best it had ever been. Maybe the 600,000 yen violin was worth all of the slaving away at street performing. . . . . .the crowd now watched more cautiously than ever. Because it was such a demanding song, the wide eyes observing him became more and more expectant. While prodigies have been a thing before in the past, they had never seen someone with the same poise as Aruto, who walked along the stage like it were his own rock concert. The sounds he played were most beautiful, though. For once, his expression had tensed. Indeed, Air was one of the most challenging songs to play with its demanding, low string. He couldn’t even give up, though. He was only eight fucking lines in! The whole F note on the treble clef began. It was nothing like the first and deafeningly long note that continued for two bars only to be repeated again shortly after the first variation. It was nothing like the first, but it sucked him into a trap that his arm couldn’t muster any strength to pursue. When he swung his fingers back to reach the A note, Aruto collapsed to the ground like a ragdoll with a wooden clatter. The violin that he loved so dearly before was now shattered on the ground, just like him. “Aaahhh. . .aaahhhh. . .” He could hardly breathe. There was an unbearable tightness in his chest that stung like a thousand bees whenever he tried to suck air in. It was almost ironic, given the title of the song. MAKE IT STOP. Sweat dribbled down his face. Vomit that he wanted to suppress was now bubbling up his throat. Truly, he thought he was going to die. All while giving out on the stage floor, the piano beyond him continued. Everyone watched. Everyone watched him crumble. Thump. Thump. Louder than ever before, his heart beat like the metronome in his head. It pounded his brain in the way that he had hoped for it all along, expectant that this was to come. He had put off his symptoms for too long and now it was coming to get him. It was coming to kill him. “Aahhh. . .haaahhhh. . .haagghh————!!” His spit coated the floor beneath him. He tried to heave his shoulders as to give into the forming vomit, but it didn’t work. A fish. A fish. That’s all he was. A fish, flopping around and waiting for someone to cook him up. Burnt over a fire, served with seasoning. MAKE IT STOP. The piano continued while the Suntory Hall staff rushed down to serve him. Air was just a nightmare. He felt like his ribs were going to pop out of his chest as he became a bloody mess. He felt as if he would choke on his own puke. He felt like he wasn’t human. A worm. DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO BEING A WORM CRUSHED UNDERFOOT? While clutching his stomach, Aruto continued to writhe, attempting to reach his hands forward for something. His violin’s bow. Like the violin itself, it had clattered away; although, it was a lot less fragile than the instrument itself. “Agghh. . .ahh. . .” He crawled like his organs weren’t burning and charring the inside of his body. He tried, so desperately, to reach the one thing that gave him some sort of meaning. Some sort of use. Although he didn’t stumble or try to catch his balance upon falling, the bow felt like it was miles away from his reach. It was just him in the room. Him, the broken violin, and the piano accompaniment from far. Say. . .why was that woman still playing the goddamn piano if he was nearly dying?! Just shut up already! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! MAKE IT STOP! His hands were dry, the grip he tried to move forward with was useless. His mouth was dry, despite the saliva from beneath his weak body attempting to salve it. Even if he tried to push his legs back up, there was no use trying again with a broken violin. There was no use trying again with a broken body. MAKE IT STOP! OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. Only one of the people in the four-hundred and thirty-two seats yelled out in horror, beckoning him as if his given name would get him to move. While he thought that was the only voice, it wasn’t soon until other screams and exclamations chimed in. MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aruto resigned himself to giving up. His tense body that he clung so desperately into saving relaxed into a useless clump of person. He was nothing. He will never be anything. This wasn’t a place for legends.