Dion the Skwir
The Blacklight Montre
Age: 10 years, 5 months, 1 week
Born: August 9th, 2009
Adopted: 4 years, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Adopted: November 2nd, 2015
This pet has been nominated for the Pet Spotlight!
- Level: 118
- Strength: 183
- Defense: 25
- Speed: 26
- Health: 25
- HP: 25/25
- Intelligence: 679
- Books Read: 667
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Couture Designer
A Musical Prodigy
Indigo's parents had her sitting on the piano bench as soon as she was tall enough for her pudgy fingers to reach the keys. They'd heard all kinds of stories about child prodigies and how early exposure to music boosts brain activity in toddlers.
They never dreamed that their daughter would have a talent for music that could break hearts and make the eyes tear.
She had to plunk through a few sour notes but when her young mind connected the keys to the sounds they produced, she began to play snippets from a waltz she'd heard from the cradle. In just two weeks she was banging out lyrics to rock songs heard from passing cars and softly stroking keys in the melody of the soaps her babysitter always watched. She only needed to hear a song once to perfect its notes. By four, she was composing her own short pieces and charming her mother's dinner guests with a voice they deemed angelic. She took just as readily to strings and brass, learning flute, violin, and clarinet in less than a year.
Dion was a present for her fifth birthday, a sort of bribe to get her not to make a fuss about auditioning for the Centropolis Academy of Performing Arts. Indigo was delighted when the Skwir proved talented at whistling the exact melody played.
Indigo's parents circled the audition date on the calendar with a thick red marker, pointing it out every time she sat in the kitchen to eat her Hikei Halos cereal. As other children were nervously walking to Subeta Elementary for their first day of school, Indigo was being fitted for a red velvet dress that would not pinch her wings.
She was frightened by the massive marble pillars that stood at the entrance to CAPA. She began to cry despite Mother's reassurances and Father's warm grip on her hand. The mind of a young montre does not focus on the promise of glory and fame. She was much more concerned with how the decorative blocks of marble over the door looked like giant teeth ready to come down and eat her.
The quartet of judges did not smile as Indigo's father helped her onto the stand. Their job was to search out talent at the youngest possible age, not coddle children who would assuredly end up in average, boring lives. Her parents moved back into the shadows, leaving her alone in a pool of light.
Fear disappeared as she took up the violin and began to play.
It would take a lot to touch the stony hearts of four old musicians who had been in the industry long enough to remember the days when no Music Shop existed and instruments had to be carved by hand. Dame Hikeya was actually in tears by the time the child ended her song with a flourish. There were other tests, of course. CAPA cannot admit a student on the quality of one performance. Indigo excelled at piano, delighted with her singing, and took her first drum session as if she'd been born with drumsticks in her paw. Her ability to dance was somewhat lacking, but CAPA is a school after all. She received a score of 99 out of 100, the second Subetan to ever come so close to perfection on her entrance exam.
There was not one class Indigo did not enjoy in her twelve years as a student at CAPA. Whether she was practicing in a Practical Music performance hall, learning the theories of music behind a desk, or sitting for private lessons, her ability to feel music and play it with passion made her a favorite among the instructors of CAPA.
It did not take her long to realize she was not like other children. She would stand in the red velvet room, trying to distract herself from the ache in her fingers as she perfected the complexities of Subetan Sonnet No. 12 on her clarinet. The regular elementary school was only two blocks away. She would watch young Subetans hurrying home with book bags on their shoulders, laughing and chasing each other through rain puddles as they tried to catch one another in games of tag and capture the chai.
The tap of a baton would cure her of the distraction but her instructors could not stand over her at night and control her dreams. She longed for friends of her own. Students of CAPA were encouraged to throw their empty time into studies, not laze about the grounds.
She graduated from four full programs at the age of sixteen, receiving an offer from the Centropolis Premiere Orchestra a full week before walking down the glimmering stage and blowing her parents a kiss.
She could not believe the lack of quality exhibited by her co-workers. Even those who had been honored with bouquets in the past could not live up to the prodigy that was Indigo Flame. Her glorious performances did not go unnoticed by the competition and it was not long before the severely understaffed Society of Subetan Harmonics called on her to serve as a substitute on those nights when CPO was taking a rest.
She requested perfectionism of those around her. She demanded it of herself.
Those who could not live up to her expectations forced her to take on their lack in order to ensure each performance was marvelous. She never registered their dirty looks nor the hands they raised to whisper about her. She no longer longed for friends, seeing how far she was above the average crowd.
She played until the skin around her claws began to crack and bleed, singing so often that she could not speak above a hoarse whisper by the end of a performance night. She ignored the weight dropping from her body as she lost interest in food, too concerned about being cut from either lineup to admit she had a problem.
Her managers came and went. Some made an honest effort to work with her in the beginning, believing themselves to be perfectionists of a like kind. She sent one home crying the first day for daring to instruct him on his job. Others learned rapidly that their usual bullying tactics were wasted on a young lady who could give complaints as impressive as those she received.
Julio lasted the longest, coming to hand in his resignation after nearly a year of trying to assist Indigo. He was the one who found her hunched over in her dressing room, struggling to breathe.
She was beyond the help of a simple music manager. He had watched another young lady he cared about go through the same thing, destroying her health and dying before her twentieth birthday as a result. He could not go through that again. He left a note of farewell and the card of a psychologist friend on her bedside table in the hospital.
Indigo's doctors warned her of the ulcers brought on by stress. If she did not find a less demanding lifestyle, they could make no promises for her future.
In the days that followed, her numbness had nothing to do with pain medicine. She had no choice now. She could give up the one thing that gave her life meaning or give up on life itself. She could see no third option.
She despised the taste of beer but found the subtle tang of wine a good way to dull the painful memories of exhilarating swells of music that she helped create for adoring crowds. She was told she must drink no more than one glass a day. Some long winter nights almost convinced her to disregard her doctor's orders but the memory of extreme pain was one that no amount of alcohol could drown. She remained responsible and miserable for many months.
She picked up the card accidentally when she was going through some old papers. She couldn't say why she'd kept it. Perhaps, in a way, her final manager had cared about her. There was certainly no one else left to care. Both her parents had died shortly after graduation day, flying back home from a visit to see her first performance as a pro.
She picked up the phone and put it down a full dozen times. What use would a shrink be to her, really? Still, talking to some neela with a pointy gray beard would be better than sitting alone in the dark, right?
It was Dion who took the decision out of her hands, batting the phone to the floor and dialing the number with a claw.
Doctor Tigran was not what Indigo had expected. The dawn tigrean filled her office with lavender flowers and kept soft, soothing melodies playing in the background as she invited Indigo to have a seat in a plump white chair with a knitted pink chair cover.
"What is it you would like to accomplish with these sessions, Indigo?"
She stared at the floor, feeling very awkward. "I don't know. I just...I need to feel purpose again. Music was everything to me. Now my doctors tell me that if I want to stay healthy, I can never participate in another concert because I take my work too seriously. It's not like you can give me some magic pill to keep my body from betraying me so I guess I'm just wasting your time and mine. I'm sorry."
She stood, ready to race for the door. Tigran held up a paw, the concern on her face giving Indigo reason to pause.
"I think there is much we could accomplish together, if you're willing to give therapy a chance. You certainly won't have to give up music, though I agree with your doctors that trying to keep pace with two orchestras is pushing your limits too far. What do you say to three sessions, including this one?"
To keep music in her life, she would be willing to sit in that ugly chair for twelve straight hours.
Tigran made relations to others their focus, giving Indigo activities to do in the course of a week. She had a very hard time with walking up to random strangers but gradually came to realize that other Subetans weren't so bad. Some even recognized her from the concert hall and it was not so painful to talk about the past when the old sheeta beside her could relate to the pain of losing one's glory days.
Indigo quite enjoyed her assignment of attending a meetup of CAPA graduates. These were people who could talk about the finer points of music without getting lost. She found herself invited to a dinner party and actually enjoyed shopping for a cute dress.
It was through her group of new friends that she learned about the teaching position opening at CAPA. The little girl in the red dress who forgot all fears to the joy of music was on her mind going into the interview. She knew by the smile on the Director's face that she had the job.
She still requires perfection, but with the help of therapy, she has learned to channel that need through her students. Wrong notes hurt her ears like velosotor claws dragged down a chalkboard but nothing makes her happier than to see the joy on a young one's face when they get their first perfect audition score.
Extra Code by:
Bug Tashamon Celestial
Edited by: Chrysariel
Story by: Pureflower
Overlay Resize by: Paula
Background by: aljanh.net
Box Background by: society6
Name Art by: Chrysariel
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