Sunday, December 18, 2011

Story Time

Dear Readers,

It has been too long since I have posted an original story on any of my blogs.
This story will be about film music. It will be entitled “The First Listen”. It is, like most of the other stories I put on blogs, a stream of consciousness, first draft. Enjoy...
The windowless media room was darkened in silent anticipation for the ceremony of the first listen. Every time Paul purchased a CD, he would retreat to his man-cave, a specially designed audio chamber which cost the equivalent of a small mansion in France. He would carefully release the disc from its shrink wrap, scalpel away the security label (if present) and with gloved hands remove the CD from the jewel case. The next part of the ritual is most critical, when the disc is at its most vulnerable. Any slight jostling could end up marring the disc and terminating the whole ceremony in an agonizing instant.
He removed the Logitech universal remote control from its place of honor and switched on the audio mecca. “One remote to rule them all”, as Paul was fond of saying. He had thrown out all the remotes for his many devices, for he hated clutter as much as he hated scratching his discs.
Portly Paul gingerly placed the disc into the high end stereo system. He removed the gloves and placed them back into their dust-free, anti-static container. His throne awaited. It was custom made for a neutral acoustic qualities. Food and drink were strictly prohibited from the score cave, with the notable exception of Paul's favorite snack food, Milk Duds.
With the Duds and universal remote control in hand, Paul eased into his leathery throne. The ceremonial first listen was mere seconds away.
Paul collected film scores for nearly the entirety of his four decades on earth. The collection contained mostly compact discs, but also had room for records, cassette tapes, eight tracks, reel-to-reels and even some optical prints. The current purchase and focus of the ceremonial first listen could find a place among the greatest film scores ever written, or end up in “the pile”, a purgatory of a plastic bin for film music not worthy of the shelves. Thus far, only three scores had ever ended up in the black bin, along with the extra remote controls.
Paul cracked open the Milk Duds and sampled some before pressing the play button on the remote control. Nothing happened. He set the snack aside and trudged on over to the receiver. He turned up the volume and heard nothing from the large speakers or the woofers. Paul checked the speaker selection switch. He realized he had accidentally switched the “A” set of speakers to off; a simple fix and short delay to the ceremony.
He pressed the button to turn on the set of “A” speakers. The speakers' diaphragms convulsed at the bursts of hideous sound. The surrounds shredded away from the frames. The voice coils exploded, shooting shrapnel throughout the room. Poor Paul had forgotten to turn the volume down on his receiver before pressing the “A” button.
Paul stopped the disc, took it out of his ruined player, and tossed the score into the dreaded black bin.
Paul cursed under his breath, “Yet another damned Remote Control.”

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