Inferno: Part One
I loved that little room on the second floor of my Neohome.
I loved that one hour every day that I got to sit down and enjoy some of life's
simplest pleasures. I loved that guitar.
I stopped playing for a moment and stared out
the window at the ocean, reflecting back on the day when I first got it. It
was the 27th day of the month of Celebrating. The guitar was nothing special.
It's the limited edition guitar, which was given out at the advent calendar.
When we first got it, I asked my pets if any of them were interested. They looked
at the guitar dubiously. None of them stepped forward as wanting it; they probably
thought it would be too complicated and gave up before trying. And so, I came
to own a guitar.
I continued to watch the calming waves as I
resumed playing, fingering the riffs of my favorite Moehawk song. Ever since
I had gotten the guitar, I would spend hours locked in the room, learning how
to play. Now that I knew how, and, I believe, I was pretty decent, I only spent
an hour a day. It was certainly one of the highlights of an average day. The
room looked out to sea, displaying a silent movie in which boats sailed into
the harbor and Flotsams jovially flew out of the water, diving back in with
a splash that scattered many sparkling drops of water. I don't think any of
my pets knew what I was doing, and I was sure they stopped thinking about it
after the first week. I was wrong.
I stopped playing again, listening carefully.
I heard heavy breathing on the other side of the door, and then an apprehensive
knock. I put the guitar down gently on a chair and strode over to the door.
I unlocked it and turned the handle, opening it to find my ghost Lupe looking
up at me through his red eyes. More often than not, this would have startled
most, but Nagru was looking with such wonderment and awe that I couldn't help
"Yes, Nagru?" I asked kindly. "Is there something
I expected him to ask what I was always doing
in this little room. Wrong again. It took a minute before he answered. "W-was….was
that you? Playing the guitar just now?"
I nodded, letting a smile hover lightly on my
lips. He stared for a moment, something he usually didn't do. Normally, Nagru
was down to earth, straight to the point, and not quite as shy or nervous as
he seemed to be at the moment. He managed to speak after a short period of awkward
silence. "Could, could you teach me? Well, if you don't mind that is…I know
you don't usually like to be disturbed while you're up here."
The smile that had been hovering expectantly
flew into near full blast. My response was immediate. "Of course I'll teach
you, Nagru! I'd love to, and I'm really honored you think I'm good enough to
teach you…when would you like to start?"
Nagru's face brightened, his frightening ghost
features being hidden by his good naturedness. "Well, right now, if we can."
I nodded and accepted him into the room I had
called mine all this time, hoping that Nagru could also call it his own. I left
the door slightly ajar to admit any of my other pets that might want to come
I taught Nagru the basics-the parts of the guitar,
the names of each string, and how to read music. He was an eager student and
learned quickly. The time must have passed by faster than I had thought because
I looked up at the clock and noticed dinnertime was in roughly five minutes.
"Well Nagru, I believe this will conclude our
first lesson." He seemed a little crestfallen that he hadn't had the opportunity
to play a song yet, but I knew he understood that things such as this must be
I flew down both flights of stairs as quickly
as I could to the ground floor. I opened the fridge and rummaged around, not
finding much more than a few omelettes. I threw them in the oven and turned
on the timer. I walked over the back door and looked out at the garden where
my other three pets were playing a game of tag. Ledra, my shadow Gelert, was
easily outrunning Kyriio, my desert Kyrii, who seemed to be 'it' at the time.
Puzzled, I looked around for Zarath, my blue Zafara, and found him doing his
best to blend in with some garden gnomes. I laughed at his expression as he
stared intently at the butterfly perched on the nose of another gnome. He was
standing as still as he could manage. He seemed to be doing a good job of hiding
because Kyriio continued to run past him in hot pursuit of Ledra.
I opened the sliding door and called out, "Dinner
time!" Everyone froze and looked at me. The three pets ambled on toward the
door, the two girls out of breath. Kyriio watched as Zarath stretched and walked
away from his hiding place.
"No fair!" She called, "You have to actually
Zarath smiled at her. "Well, that was a lot
easier. Besides, I've been hiding in the same place all week. I figured you
would have gotten me by now."
Kyriio scowled at him, but it was obvious she
really wasn't angry. Everyone took their place at the kitchen table, eager for
the delicious omelettes. I placed the steaming meal in the center of the table
where everyone could reach what they wanted. After everyone had finished their
main assaults on the meal, Nagru spoke up.
"I'm learning how to play guitar. Arula's teaching
me." Everyone looked up at him, and then to me.
"So is that what you always do up there? Play
guitar? That's cool," Ledra said calmly.
"Would anyone else like me to teach them?" I
offered, hoping more of my pets would be interested. No one took up the offer,
but they all encouraged Nagru in learning.
Nagru continued his lessons, improving greatly
each time. I knew that pretty soon I would have nothing left to teach him. He
was playing songs well after just two weeks, and he was enjoying it so much
that he went out and bought himself a guitar with his allowance.
"Nagru, would you like to play a duet with me
for your siblings?" I asked after the seventeenth lesson. He didn't stop playing,
but he smiled and nodded. That night, just before bedtime, we played a Moehawk
song for everyone. Nagru took the less advanced part, though I knew he could
easily handle the harder one. He said he was just taking it easy so he wouldn't
Ledra, Zarath, and Kyriio clapped heartily at
the end of the song. It was a personal favorite of the household-it was amazing
how all of us seemed to like the same music. We would often go into the media
room and all of us would choose the same cd to listen to that evening.
As I was brushing my teeth that night I saw
a figure reflected over my shoulder in the mirror. I spit out the toothpaste
and rinsed the toothbrush before returning it to the cup I kept it in. I turned
around to see Kyriio staring up at me hopefully. She stared unblinkingly for
around twenty seconds.
"Yes?" I finally asked, prepared to hear whatever
wild idea Kyriio had at the moment. I never could forget the day that she asked
me if she could glue my plastic butter knife collection together to create wings
and fly to Jelly World.
She gulped. "I…I want to save up my allowance
for a drum kit."
"Go for it."
"Well, I kinda wanted to know, if, well….if
you could teach me once I got it…" Her hopeful eyes grew even wider.
My eyes widened along with her, but out of surprise.
"Well, I don't know how to play the drums," I saw her face begin to fall, and
I really didn't want to let her down, so I said whatever I could to make her
happy, "but I could help you try to figure it out. I've been to enough concerts
to at least know what they look like when they play."
Kyriio brightened right back up. "Oh goody!
I can't wait! Thankyouthankyou thankyou!" And then she ran off to bed. I crawled
under my covers, shaking my head, laughing to myself.
The next morning I woke up to the sound of an
explosion. Alert, I bolted out of bed and towards the source of the noise. This
was a routine procedure, seeing as Zarath would often wake up early to design
and test fireworks in his experiment room. Looking out the window, I saw Zarath
and Kyriio running out the experiment room, which was leaking out smoke. Confused,
I walked outside to see what they were doing.
To be continued...