After a long day of school and work, I collapsed onto my bed. I tilted my head on my pillow and faced my desk on my left side. I saw a little black book of poetry. “Ugh,” I grunted and turned the other way. I was not a big fan of poetry and I was supposed to read a poem by Lord Byron for homework. I drifted off to sleep and thought I would just read it in the morning.
I fell asleep only to find myself in a dream, which was quite unusual for me. Due to the exhaustion I collected throughout the day, I usually collapsed into an everlasting darkness until the sun rose into the sky the next day.
I found myself on a white porch of an old house. I stood up, dusted off my clothes, and noticed a lake at a distance. I walked off the porch and into a field of grass, where I heard a noise. The sound of music drifted from the fields. The music was so natural among the sounds of nature. Crickets chirped and jumped; frogs sat on lily pads and croaked. The song called out to me and drew me in like a siren’s song. I pushed through the grass until I was finally at the lake, where a woman played a violin.
She stopped immediately after she heard my footsteps. The violin cried out as the bow quickly slid off the string and to her side.
“Hello?” I called out.
Silence from her. The crickets and frogs continued their music, but she did not.
“Were you the one playing?” I looked at her white dress and noticed she had been barefoot in the mud.
“Yes,” she turned around, “I was.” Her eyes were like burning coals underneath the moonlight of my dream. Her hair was colored brown like the color of the dirt she had firmly planted her feet in. Her hair was short; it had white bows and leaves mixed in it.
“That was beautiful.”
“Can you continue?” I stepped closer to her.
“Do you know who I am?” She squeezed the bow in her hand.
“No,” I told her truthfully. “Are you one of my characters?”
“My name is Diana,” she stepped into the water of the lake. She washed her feet covered in mud and dirt just by stepping forward. The particles floated away and danced in the lake around the reflection of the full moon.
“Diana,” I repeated underneath my breath.
“But I’m not a normal character to you. I’m here to tell you something that the others did not. I’m here to tell you to stop limiting yourself.”
“Limiting myself? The others?”
She stepped out of the water. Some of her dress now dragged behind her; it had gotten wet when she washed her feet. “The other characters think you are limiting yourself by always writing stories. Your stories are always written in prose, aren’t they?”
I shook my head in agreement.
“Well, some of us, we don’t work in prose. We work in poetry or in plays. We’re not all the same, you know?”
“I guess I can understand that.”
“So, I’m here to tell you to write ask your characters how they want their stories to be told. It can’t always be your way, Vatche.” She stepped forward and stared at me. I noticed she was a bit taller than I was. “You must escape your boundaries.”
“Escape,” I repeated.
She pointed the bow of her violin at me, “Escape.”
“Well, how do you want to be written?”
She looked at her violin and then back at me, “A poem.”
“I suck at poetry,” I pleaded, “and I’m not that big of a fan of it either.”
“Didn’t you always say to other people, who are learning to write, that they should always practice? Why don’t you practice poetry a little bit? Maybe you might actually enjoy it. If you want to hear my song,” she poked me with her bow, “if you want to hear my story, you have to write it in a poem.” She went back to the lake and looked out to the other end, which was clouded with shadows.
“I’ll listen. I’ll write. Please, Diana, tell me your story.”
She turned around and gave me a smile, “Thank you.” She closed her eyes and brought the bow and the violin together. The music drifted onto the lake and caused ripples of silence among the animals. Everyone and everything listened. I took my seat on the dirt floor and joined the audience.
I listened as she hummed the tune of her violin.
I listened as the stars gleamed and the moon radiated white.
I listened to her music as it floated into my ears.
I listened until the dream ended with me writing the poem for her.
She steps onto her white porch,
The stars stare back at her,
“Tonight will be the night,” she whispers.
She sings with her crying violin.