Re: Communication (PG-13)
In the weeks that followed, Solonn underwent a far more stringent regimen of training and rehearsing than had preceded his prior contest appearance, and he did so at his request. On occasion, he had spent an entire night rehearsing his routine alone in the backyard.
“You don’t really have to work so hard,” Morgan told him more than once, but each time, Solonn insisted on continuing to rehearse to this extent.
This was partly because he was, of course, intent on making it as likely as possible that he would perform better than he had last time, but there was another motive behind his desire to devote so much time to perfecting his routine. Following that first interpretive ice display in the backyard, he and Morgan had decided to work one into his routine, even opting to replace the song to which he had performed last time with the one that had played during his first ice display. Nothing else in his prior experience compared to the sensation of oneness with his element—a sensation that he now attained every time he practiced his routine. It became a high priority of his to achieve that feeling as often as he could.
Soon, those two months of preparation were behind him, and he once again found himself onstage with his coordinator and all the other contestants in the Lilycove contest hall. The vast audience before him was in the process of voting, deciding who would and who would not make it past this first round. Solonn quickly found that he could not help but wonder what they all thought of him. Consideration of this subject had come unbidden, but he made a conscious effort to avoid being overly concerned with it.
If you can just get past this part, he told himself within his mind, then in just a short while, you can get away from all of them…
The announcement that came a minute or so later, declaring that Solonn had received a sufficiently high rating from the audience to advance to the second round, brought him a sense of relief and something else, as well: a mild but nonetheless present sort of eagerness. He was soon to be alone on that stage, performing before that huge audience… but at the same time it would also still be a chance to experience that incomparable unity with his element.
And they won’t be a part of that, he reminded himself as he departed to the backstage area with Morgan.
The television backstage showed each of the performances preceding his own, which was slated for last this time. Solonn made a point of not watching any of them, remembering well how watching the other performers in action had only intimidated him the time before.
They don’t matter, he thought resolutely. This is about something far beyond them.
Finally, the time had come. Solonn emerged onto the stage, trying as he took his place there to view it as merely a stop en route to the far better place to which he was about to go.
The lights went out completely. Nothing was visible to the crowd gathered within the auditorium except for two large, blue eyes glowing brightly from the center of the stage through the darkness. Those eyes could still see the individual human faces in the crowd quite well, more clearly than he had the time before…
They will not be part of this.
The music came alive. Very slowly, lights mounted in the stage began to emit pale blue rays. Glistening within this glow, ice began to rise in thin, vinelike shapes from the stage. They branched out and twisted as they grew slowly but steadily upward, swaying and flicking at the air in time with the music.
The many branches of the seemingly living ice curled downward and inward toward their maker and joined together beneath his hovering body, forming a cradle of sorts underneath him. The ice began to rise upward, lifting Solonn toward the ceiling.
Meanwhile, more of the thin, branchlike structures extended outward from the cradle to dance around him. They then transformed into seven long, thin needles. Atop each of them, ice was formed into the shape of a diamond.
Solonn rose slowly along with the song’s building crescendo, ascending from the ice below him as high as he could manage. He brought a protect aura around himself as he lifted himself ever higher, surrounding himself with a deep blue glow. At the apex of his ascent, his eyes suddenly blazed with a surge of white light—and so did the diamonds of ice, which then exploded one by one in time with the music in sparkling bursts of frozen mist.
As the glow of the protect aura faded, Solonn descended to the stage once more, while the level of the ice beneath him lowered as it was gradually dissipated. The music worked itself into a frenzy soon after, and accordingly Solonn summoned a miniature storm. Blizzard, icy wind and powder snow rushed in a maddened spiral around him while the blue stage lights strobed.
Then the song abruptly ended, and Solonn’s performance did likewise. The lights cut out; when they came back on a second later, there was not a trace of ice or of snow to be found anywhere. Nothing remained of the wintry spectacle save for the glalie who had made it happen.
Solonn looked out upon a silent audience as he hovered at the center of the stage, his body trembling as he breathed hard in his exhaustion. Closing his eyes, he bowed deeply, inclining his face toward the floor. Then the audience erupted into applause—Solonn was grateful for their enthusiasm, but this was one moment in which he rather wished that his evolution had not enhanced his hearing. The judges approved of his routine, as well; his score was in the top two, meaning that he would proceed to the third and final round along with just one other finalist.
Last edited by Sike Saner; 04-11-2011 at 04:13 AM.