The Piano Player – The Process

The Piano Player is story number twenty-one in the #52ShortStories challenge.

**SPOILERS BELOW. If you have not read the story and want to be (hopefully) surprised, come back to this when you’re done.**

“There are days where you just feel on…And man, was this one of those.”

That’s from Monday’s journal. The Piano Player, for the most part, wrote itself. It was a nearly complete sequence from beginning to end. I simply dictated what the muses showed me, struggling with only a small part or two (worked through with a few minutes of freewriting — see the general scratch file for details).

Wouldn’t it be nice if they were all like that?

To start, I had this ultra-clear mental image of the mall food court which existed in my hometown. The opening of that mall was a big deal for our somewhat rural area, and so like most other youths in the late 80s/early 90s, I spent copious amounts of time there. In the middle of said food court was a slightly-elevated seating area with a piano dead-smack in the middle. The mall paid someone to play nondescript, relaxing music while shoppers scarfed down their food, weary from shopping.  Within the story, I did a lot of play-on-name work with real food court staples like Panda Express, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Sbarro. Then there were the usual retail stores: Zales Jewelry, Sam Goody (“Goody got it!”), and Hot Topic.

I had fun with the ending on this one too…I wanted people to feel for Kevin but then wonder by the end if he hadn’t taken a turn to the dark side with his powers.

Overall, this went so well and I was so far ahead of the game, I slept into the late hour of 6:30 AM on Sunday. Doesn’t get much better than that, right folks?!


Hope you enjoyed it!

Here’s the general scratch file:

And the daily journal entries:


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