This Wednesday's words:
1. Mythology 2. Contemporary 3. Instinct
4. Overture 5. Banter 6. Groundbreaking
7. Barrier 8. Captivate 9. Companion
10. Unique 11. Affair 12. Interior
were given to us by Lee at Kitchen Connection. I am back to writing filler material for Unicorn Farm, which might or might not find its way into the book.
At the station the man at the barrier would not accept her ticket. Susan was late, as usual, and she could see the train standing ready at the platform. Finally she was let through and ran to the train, only to hear the whistle blow and the train put on speed as it left the station. "Oh bother," she said loudly, She had bought a ticket for Die Zauberflöte
for her birthday money, and today was to be the day. She had pestered her mum and dad until she was allowed to go to Copenhagen alone by train to see the opera at the Royal Theatre. And now that stupid man ... Suddenly the loudspeakers announced an extra train for Copenhagen Central station leaving in five minutes due to many passengers from Sweden. Susan ran to the announced platform, the one furthest away of course, but this time she made it on board the train just before the whistle blew.
The overture had already begun as Susan entered the theatre. Of course her seat was at the interior of a row; with a lot of whispered sorry's and excuse me, please's, she finally found her seat and sat down.
From the first minute Susan was captivated by the happenings on the stage. It was not a modern staging. Susan was happy, she loved the oldfashioned, long skirts of Pamina and her companions, and Papageno in lederhosen and Papagena in dirndl were just as she had imagined them.
During one of the didactic, and therefore boring interludes, Susan's thoughts returned to the first time she heard those wonderful songs. As so often before she was at the library, the big, new one near the park, where one of the attractions were a long row of listening stations. You found a record, told the nice man or lady which listening station you sat at, and then you could enjoy the music by holding the two handsets pressed to your ears. In desperation over the choice of music by her contemporaries, she had found Die Zauberflöte
in the back of one of the rows, and listened to it. She was forced to hand over the listening station before she was through. She brought the records, four in all, home and listened to them when she was alone in the attic. She had seen the opera on TV as well, but she always had dreamt of seeing it in the theatre.
In the break Susan walked quietly around the foyer, studying all the photos and paintings of the famous singers, conductors and ballet dancers who had ever guested the Royal Theatre. The bell rang and called them back to the magic of the stage.
The mythology of the play, with masons, trials and wows went over her head, but the big arias, sung in German, by a basso - a giant of a man, able to reach notes resounding deep down in Susan's stomach, and the almost ear piercing soprano notes of the Queen of the night - were just as exquisite as she had imagined. And Papageno was just as charming, toe-curlingly naive and clumsy as he should be. His light banter with an old, decrepit wife, his beloved Papagena in disguise, was the kind of love affair, Susan liked. The haughty, almost cool play between Tamino and Pamina did not fascinate her half as much.
The ending, with Papageno and Papagenas comical duet producing more and more small Papagenos and Papagenas made her laugh, not loud, but loud enough to make some near sitting stuffy persons look askance at her.
It was late, but Susan was used to being out and about all alone, the night was not cold, and not a wind moved. All the way home in the train she sat still, looking out of the window at the moon, imagining the cruel Queen descending or softly humming Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja ..
An instinct made her turn as she reached the short cut leading from the station to the main street. Somebody was following her, she was sure. It was neither groundbreaking nor unique, she looked young and naive, and it was not the first time someone had tried stealing either her money or her virginity. She regretted the fact that her wand lay at home in the hidey hole beneath the lose floorboard. She had to handle this in another fashion. Let it not be some witch or wizard, Susan prayed, just an ordinary idiot.
to be continued ... I hope