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 A Square in Stockholm

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Moonbeam



Posts : 46
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:24 am

I was sitting on the steps of the Nobel Prize museum in a square in Stockholm two summers ago, waiting for my brother Ryan to come back out. Eileen and I were sitting there together, occasionally peering up at the sky to see if it would rain. Every once in a while, the sky would leak a little, just enough that Eileen would get out her umbrella and try to shield us from the wet. Sitting on the concrete steps was fine, though- it was light enough rain, and warm enough out, that our seats were basically dry. It was a little square, the kind of surprising cobbled open areas you only find in Europe, with a couple of benches and a statue. Just behind the statue, someone was playing a cello. I pulled out my juggling balls and began to juggle, still sitting under the umbrella. Every once in a while, the balls would bounce against the umbrella, and I would have to shift to pick it up again. In my peripheral vision, I saw a group of four or five people enter the square, wearing swords and full Rennaisance costumes. I couldn't hear them, but it looked like they were rehearsing swordplay from Romeo and Juliet. One of the group was dressed as a friar. The group drew little attention from the general populace, but different people in costume would occasionally dash in from side streets, or others who had been rehearsing would leave. The rain continued to come and go. A little girl entered the square with a woman who was presumably her mother, and toddled close to me, transfixed by my juggling. Her mother, distracted with her shopping bags, let go of her hand, and the little girl walked right up and put her hand on mine as I threw and caught.

------------------------------<Assignment>------------------------------------------------

Stockholm’s port was in constant motion, as sailboats wended between the little islands and under bridges. The water shone, sun reflected off of wind-ripples. The streets were clean, like the people who occupied them, but a little less efficient. For example, the Players group from the International School knew exactly what they were about. They knew when to meet, and where, and, from careful practice, how to hold up the edges of their velveteen costumes so they wouldn’t drag on the cobbled streets. This was fortunate, because they were only a week away from their modified performance of Romeo and Juliet.
Olle wasn’t pleased with his part in the play. As the prince, he was absent for most of the play, and when he did appear, it was primarily to break up fights- which, of course, was always a disappointment for the audience. It was all right, though, because the play was almost over, and Hanna, the girl playing Lady Capulet, had a lot of time backstage as well. At the moment, the two of them were in alleys across from each other, making faces across the square and trying not to crack up. It would have been okay to laugh, except for Tam’s strictness as a stage director, because the square they were looking across was a public one, with people drifting across it, going about their lives. There was even a cellist playing behind the little statue of a king. As Olle watched, the cellist put down his bow and stooped over. Then he looked up to the sky.

Erik hoped it wouldn’t rain again. Last week, he had snapped two strings on the cello as they expanded and contracted, and it had cost him a month’s worth of the spare change he got from playing. At least he had that part-time job at the bakery, but he wasn’t sure he could cover rent if he kept breaking cello strings. He picked up the bow where he’d put it on the ground, unscrewed the end a little to loosen the horsehair, and slid it into the case. Holding his cello, he looked down into the nearly empty change jar he had set out and sighed. He was only nineteen, and pretty bright, he thought. Things just hadn’t worked out as he had hoped. On the back of his neck, Erik felt a raindrop fall, then slowly seep down the back of his shirt. Then another drop of water fell on his hand. He could see droplets of water starting to hit the wood of his cello, and he realized he didn’t care. It was probably too late to care for the instrument properly anyway. He pulled out his bow, tightened it, and began to play again as the rain fell. It was a weird melody, very like the one he had played for his audition to the conservatory. It hadn’t gotten him anything then, either. However, he reminded himself, he didn’t care what it got him, because it was about the music. It had always been about the music. He realized that he had absentmindedly begun to play to a weird tap-tap-tap beat, and looked up to locate the source of the sound. Several meters away, on the steps of the Nobel Prize museum, a girl was juggling. The balls flew up in patterns and arcs from her hands, matching the sound on his cello, though she never looked over at him. The tapping was the impact of the balls on an umbrella which the woman next to her was holding up. The two of them sat together. They looked like mother and daughter, sitting in the rain. Erik looked away, blinking suddenly. His song stopped abruptly.

Kelsey dropped a ball. It rolled down the step into a puddle at the bottom of the stairs. She had to stand up to pick it up again, then held it in her hand until it stopped dripping. She then went back to sit next to her mother under the umbrella and resumed juggling. It wasn’t, altogether, a bad place to wait. She didn’t mind the rain, and there were a lot of interesting things going on around her. She practiced catching with just her peripheral vision, watching the now-wet actors at one end of the square practice swordplay. Every once in a while, the one in the Friar’s robe would stop the scene, take one of the swords, and demonstrate a move. Kelsey smiled slightly and considered taking a photograph of the friar with a sword. She then remembered that her camera’s card was full from pictures of Italy and France. Trying a complex maneuver, she missed a juggling ball. It rolled down the steps again, the same ball as before. She sighed, put out to have to move, and began to rise. A small hand reached down instead and picked up the ball, and a little girl, no older than three, toddled over to place the ball back in her hand. Kelsey smiled and began to juggle again, now putting on a show for the kid.

Ilena was transfixed. Open-mouthed, she watched as the colored balls rose in the air. They seemed to bounce off of the hands of the juggler and fly of their own accord. She toddled forward, was distracted momentarily by the difficulty of stairs, but soon arrived close to the juggling girl. She put out a hand to steady herself and touched the bright red fabric of the girl’s skirt. The other hand, she placed in the hand of the juggling girl and felt it go up and down in a controlled circle, throwing and catching.


Last edited by Moonbeam on Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Foundry H The



Posts : 52
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:25 am

What if you were top 5 in the country for renaissance acting?
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Aaron J. Greenberg



Posts : 28
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:26 am

What if the girl was a Sicilian thief, and stole the juggling balls and ran away with them?
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Mike240



Posts : 38
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:30 am

What if the mother was abusing the little girl, and she came over and silently pleaded for help?
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Alis grave nil, pax



Posts : 25
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:34 am

What if the little girl remembered you from somewhere?
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Wolfking



Posts : 25
Join date : 2009-09-23
Age : 27

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:34 am

It starts to rain.

What if you juggled to the cellist's beat (if that's possible).

You, the cellist, the girls, and the shakespearians form a traveling circus.
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AHSE Capstone

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Posts : 58
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:36 am

What if shadows were considered embarassing in our culture?
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MANN



Posts : 22
Join date : 2009-09-25

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:36 am

What if you tried to talk to her and the words that came out of your mouth were suddenly in Swedish not English?
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AHSE Capstone

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Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:47 am

What if you accidentally the whole Bible?
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Foundry H The



Posts : 52
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:49 am

What if tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Moonbeam's life? Her breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.
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AHSE Capstone

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Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:49 am

What if his name is Robert Paulson?
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Mike240



Posts : 38
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:50 am

What if the mother actually had more juggling balls in her shopping bag, and the duo was actually traveling the world, stealing juggling balls from moonbeams?
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Aaron J. Greenberg



Posts : 28
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:51 am

WHAT IF IT ISN'T?!?!?!?!??!???!??!?!!?!!
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Foundry H The



Posts : 52
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:08 pm

what if there was something really scary in the top 5, not just you?
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Aaron J. Greenberg



Posts : 28
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm   Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:14 pm

What if there was something scary in the William, not just cud?
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