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“N-o-o-o-o!”

He screamed at me, his goggly eyes opened like a frog’s. His voice was funny, it made me want to laugh - but he also looked scary, so I didn't. I stopped singing and stared at him. I wasn't sure if I had to close my mouth or not so I left it half open.

“No! No! No! That was not a mi sharp!”

I thought it would be good to close my mouth now. The man looked at Papa and pointed his tiny finger at me. He was all tiny, only his head was huge, with a funny mustache and the goggly eyes.

“Why did you bring this to me? Are you trying to mock me? You’re wasting my time!”

Papa was all red by now and not looking at me. I didn't know what was going on but I think Papa wanted to be away from the huge room with the piano.

“He was in the church choir” Papa stuttered. “The choir master told us he was very good – he has a very high voice – good technique -”

“Good technique? Good technique?”

He snorted loudly then started laughing in the same squeaky way as my choir master. Only my choir master is much taller and doesn't have a mustache.

“Your choir master” he said (he sounded really funny because he was trying to speak through his nose) “is an imbecile. I don’t know who he is, or what he thinks he knows about music, but this boy – oh, this boy cannot sing!”

I wanted to say that I could sing, because I was angry he said I couldn't sing, which was not true, since I was in the choir that sang every Sunday at the church. But he wasn't looking at me and he scared me so I didn't say anything - but I was mad.

“But I've heard him” Papa protested. “I've heard him many times, and I think he’s really good, too!”

“Oh! You think he’s very good? You do? Really? Well, don’t you mind my opinion, then!” the funny little man said, pointing at a wall covered with papers with things written on them.

Papa looked at them and then at me. I wasn't sure what those papers were and I wanted to ask, but when I opened my mouth, Papa also made the goggly eyes at me and stuck a finger on his lips.

The little man took the letter Papa had brought from the choir master about me, I think, and read it once more with another snort. Then he put it very close to his tiny black eyes.

“Wait a minute. I know who he is!” he suddenly said. “Yes, yes, we had the same teacher, I remember now - hah! He thought he was going to be the best opera singer to ever walk on Earth just because he was a eunuch!”

He pushed his chest up just like a peacock – I saw a peacock at a funfair once – and started walking in front of the wall covered with papers, waving the letter from my choir master.

“Papa” I asked “what’s a yooneck?”

I thought it was a really funny word but they all did the goggly eyes at me. They looked really angry and I understood it was my fault so I started crying, but they became even angrier and Papa sent me off to a corner next to the piano. I sat on the piano stool and tried to wipe my nose without making any noise, and Papa and the man with the mustache kept on shouting.

I hate it when people shout around me and the thing is that since I've started singing, there’s been a lot of shouting with the choir master, and at home, and Mama and Papa fighting all the time about me but I still don’t really understand why and I don’t know why it’s so important I should sing. I mean, I like singing like all the other boys in the choir do, but we don’t have a piano because we’re poor and I don't get to go to all the teachers the other boys go, because we're poor.

So I don’t know why today he brought me to the little man, at first I thought we were going to the doctor because some time ago I got hurt really bad and there was a lot of bleeding but I don’t really remember because before I got hurt Papa gave me a glass of water and it tasted funny then I started sleeping and when I woke up there was all this blood and I was sitting in a basin with water and the water was red so I started crying and Papa told me it was alright.

Then I couldn't walk very well because I got hurt between my legs and Papa said I fell of a horse which is funny because we don’t have a horse but that’s alright, because I don’t really remember anything and maybe I was riding a horse at a funfair. I really like funfairs, they have all those animals and tents and inside the tents they put funny people, or scary people, and you have to give coins to get in. Papa never lets me get in those because he says they are too scary for me. Once there was this tent and on the panel there was a man dressed like a lady and I asked Papa what it was and he said it was man who talked and singed funny like a lady. So I wanted to go and see because my choir master also talks and sings funny like a lady so I thought maybe it was him but Papa didn't want me to.

“Come on, Ezzio.”

I looked at Papa. He was all red and his eyes weren't goggly anymore but they were shining in a funny way. He looked very sad. There was a stain on my Sunday breeches and I thought he had seen it so I pulled on my jacket to hide it. But it was a big stain and it was between my legs and it was getting bigger so I didn't know what to do and started crying again. It really hurt now and I just wanted to go home.

“Papa!” I screamed.

He started and looked really frightened when he saw the stain.

“It hurts!” I cried while he was running to me.

He took me into his arms and he looked at my breeches, then at the little man who suddenly had a face like Mama the day I got hurt.

“You didn't…!” the little man said.

“His choir master told us to…! So his high voice wouldn't break at puberty - he said he had the making of an excellent musico – he said it was his chance to get famous and rich...”

Papa was holding me very close to his chest and it hurt between my legs really bad so I put my arms around his neck and I just cried even more even though I was happy because I knew Papa wasn't angry at me anymore, and neither was the tiny man.

“My poor fellow” I heard the tiny man say (and this time he sounded really nice and sad too) “from what I've heard, this boy has never sung one right note in his life.”

“I don’t understand” Papa said, holding me even closer. “How could the choir master be that wrong…?”

“Why do you think he is a mere choir master after being taught by a teacher as excellent as mine? He has no musical ear. He doesn't understand anything about music. But he wanted to show me he could do a good job, and send me his protégé, and expect me to be grateful for finding him a little virtuoso. ”

I really wanted them to just stop talking because I wanted Papa to take me home and put me in my bed, I felt really tired and it really hurt between my legs and the stain was just huge now and I understood it was blood again and that scared me.

I couldn't see the man anymore and I couldn't see Papa’s face anymore or anything else anymore because I had just shut my eyes really tight and put my forehead against Papa’s chest and my ears were buzzing like that time we went to the forest and there were a lot of flies around our food and Mama got angry.  But they kept talking.

“You have to make him sing” Papa was saying “I’ll pay you anything you want, I’ll find the money, but you have to make him sing, please, what will he do like this?”

“You should have thought of that before mutilating your son” the man’s voice said. “I only train the best, and only the best of the best get a career at all. He has no chance. Not one in a million.”

Then Papa started crying too and that scared me so much I just stopped crying and I wiped my eyes and I tried to make Papa stop crying.

“Papa, I can walk, Papa” I said so he would see it didn't hurt me any longer and maybe he wouldn't be sad anymore, even though it really hurt.

“Are you sure, Ezzio?”

He was speaking funny and his voice was all quaky like the choir master’s when he wants me to do the vibrato. I nodded really hard so he wouldn't be sad anymore so he took my arms off his shoulders  and put me down on the floor.

It hurt so much when I tried to stand that I screamed really loud. Then the tiny man turned around, raised a tiny finger in the air and said:

Mi sharp! Now, see? That was your very first right note. Good luck!”

Then he closed the door behind us.
Latest prompt for :iconscreamprompts: ( screamprompts.deviantart.com/).

So the prompt was : Someone is right for the first time of their life - main c. is between 6 and 10 - first person POV.

I came up with this, I have no clue if that respects the prompt or not. It was also specified that there should be no abuse involved, but I couldn't see what Ezzio went through as abuse. Mostly his father trying to give him a chance in life by believing a charlatan.

So to clarify the situation (hopefully it doesn't need it): up until the late 18th century, very young boys considered to have a great future in music were castrated so their voices would remain high even after puberty. Sometimes it was done by parents without much thinking because they hoped their child would get rich and famous. Unfortunately, most of those castrati (musico (sg.) is an euphemism used to describe them) couldn't get a career and ended up having a very miserable life.

Here I think Ezzio must be around 7-8, since the training of the castrati started when they were very young. It's difficult to say, however, because some children are more mature than others earlier. So... make him the age you think between 6 and 10 :D

I apologize for any mistakes concerning the history of the castrati, I made some research but I don't know many things about music.

Giusto is an italian musical term meaning "exact, precise" I thought it would be a fitting title.

I decided to go with little punctuation in Ezzio's little "speeches" because from what I know of children, when they start talking about something and try to explain they just put word after word after word and not pause to think much. Or maybe it's just the children I worked with who do that !


Feedback would be very welcome!

ps: also, hurrah for stereotypical overreacting Italian music teachers.

Ps2: Thank you all so much for the DD, the faves, and the amazing comments. I'm just horrified I still have to fix some typing mistakes in there *hits head against wall*
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-09-26
The child narrator makes Giusto by ~DeniseCroy powerful, even without the finish. ( Featured by neurotype )
:iconoralle08:
Oralle08 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is a beautiful piece! Sad, but still good. :D Poor little Ezzio, though. He doesn't understand what's going on. He's so innocent and everything. 
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you ! Yes, he's rather lost, poor darling. 
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:iconchala101:
Chala101 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
this is wonderfully sad. i love the touch of the run on sentences; you can almost hear little Ezzio's voice.
congratulations on the DD. you deserved it. :)
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much ! This made me happy :) 
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:iconchala101:
Chala101 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013
you're welcome :)
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:iconspellspeaker:
Spellspeaker Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
A quick note- "But he wanted to show me he could do a good job, and send me his protégé..."
Also, just a grim addition to the many tortures of the castrati, many operations were performed under the use of opium as an anesthetic which did not guarantee sleep nor a complete dulling of senses... Ugh.

Have you heard the recording of Moreschi's singing from the 1850s? The haunting melancholy in his voice and in little Ezzio's story hand in hand.
Congrats on the DD and thank you for sharing this lovely piece of writing :)
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, I saw that one yesterday, thank you for reminding me ! Well, guess what Ezzio's dad bought from the local drugstore. I tried very hard to find if they gave it under powder or liquid form at the time but found nothing, so I just assumed he bought it as a powder and diluted it in water. 

Yes, I've heard it, it's striking... and I'm glad you think so, because I felt the same :) 
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:iconchimetals:
Chimetals Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013
ah, the sting of Ezzio's fate as the story unfolds~ a wonderful job~

though out of curiosity: what's a "mi" sharp? is that tied to do-rei-mi-fa-so-etc, or something else? I've just never come across it before, is all.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! thank you so much :) 

Yes, a 'mi' is an E in the non-anglophone system. I did a quick research to see what system was used in  Italy at the time, although I already knew it was  the non-anglophone one, but you know, as a historian, I wanted to be 100% sure XD. 
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:icondragonstormstudios:
DragonstormStudios Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're right: do re mi fa so la ti do is basically c d e f g a b c on a musical scale. So Mi sharp would be E sharp.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I want to hate the teacher at least, but he's got his own life and reputation to uphold, and he didn't tell the father to do that... really well done with the characters.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! Also, thank you very, very much for suggesting this :) 
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:iconvaliantshadow:
ValiantShadow Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Student General Artist
I can't find the right words to express how......everything that was.  How incredible, and heartwrenching, and painful, and angering, and....enter adjective here.  It was just incredible.

And the history lesson at the end was, if a gruesome bit of life, a great touch.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much ! The most amazing of all is to see that people like it. I never thought i'd be that successful :) 

It is actually a historical fact that I've encountered many times during my researches, so it popped in my mind quite fast, and I thought it'd be really interesting to use. I'm really glad to see it indeed worked out ! 
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:iconvaliantshadow:
ValiantShadow Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Ah, the modest writer is most often the best.

It definitely made for an interesting piece.  But if you'll excuse me, I have to go stitch my heartstrings back together.  I think somebody stepped on them while I was reading it.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Aaaaaw ._. thank you for those lovely comments... although i feel guilty for all the pain now. 
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:iconvaliantshadow:
ValiantShadow Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Don't; good literature should be able to touch many different emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. ^^
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And I'm really glad you did :D 
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:iconxiii-c:
XIII-C Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013
That was awfully good...
I want to ask you a question:
Why the boy's name is Ezzio and not Ezio?
Giusto is not a musical term :)

Very well done.

P.S.: Sorry if I'm rude or something like that but I only want to know some more details.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I wrote it "Ezzio" because I've seen it spelled that way several times; I know Ezio is the correct Italian spelling but I didn't think Ezzio was wrong. Maybe it's just the English way of spelling. 

As for giusto, it indeed means 'correct' in Italian, but it is used for music in the formula 'tempo giusto' - not very often, though, so it's not known. I think we mostly use 'tempo primo'.

Thank you! And you were not rude, it's good you pointed those elements out so I could double-check them.  
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:iconxiii-c:
XIII-C Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013
You're welcome and thank you for the reply :D
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:D
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:iconkittykruger:
kittykruger Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Good job on the DD! The writing seemed realistic to me- I could easily imagine the scene in my head, and your writing flowed enough for me to be able to keep a running image going. Keep on writing, you show a lot of skill in it!
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you ! It's usually what I'm trying to go for so I'm very glad it worked that way :) 
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:iconkittykruger:
kittykruger Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problemo~ :la: 
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:iconsolidmars:
SolidMars Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
congrats on the DD man :D :clap: let's party! 
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, thanks, wow,I did not see that coming. I am still in shock. 
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
    Have a nice day! :heart:
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much - have a nice day too !
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    My pleasure, thank you :happybounce:
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:iconachico-xion:
Achico-Xion Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love how you wrote this, but the story is so horrible...! It shocked me.
(Congrats on the DD- and please change your mind about that horrible sterotypical X'D )
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I know. I have a thing about horrible stories. SOmetimes I hate myself for it. 

I know the stereotype is bad - I'm part Greek, so I know how it feels. But I don't believe in it. 

And thank you :) 
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:iconneitoribasgirl:
NeitoRibasGirl Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Student General Artist
This is wonderful!! And congratulations on the Daily Deviation! =D
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you ! 
Reply
:iconneitoribasgirl:
NeitoRibasGirl Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Student General Artist
You're welcome! :heart:
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:iconshibabu:
Shibabu Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congratulations on the DD!
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
thanks a lot, i still can't believe it to be honest 
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013   Digital Artist
This one was really intriguing all the way through. It's interesting because I'm half-pissed off at the dad, but he was really just trying to give his son a chance of success and escaping from poverty. I think the kid's voice was really good, how he didn't really understand everything. One thing I thought of that could be improved is maybe using some funny metaphors of the kind that kids might use. I liked how he described the choir master as a frog, you could have carried that one one forward a bit more and instead of a 'funny moustache' you could give it a bit more of a colourful description.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! 

I had put more metaphors in the original draft, but then I thought children usually repeat their thoughts in patterns. Then again, I might be wrong, and apparently I should have left them there ! 

In any case, I really appreciate your comment and critiques :) 
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:iconchildney:
childney Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Student Interface Designer
I want to say something about this but I can't find the suitable words..! :c So I'll just state that this is as mindblowing as your Coffee with the Devil and I adore the way you build up the story.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Once again, thank you! I've never been really good at short stories, I'm more of a 1000-pages novel person, but I'm glad to see they're doing okay ! :hug: 
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:ohnoes:  The horror!
But so well told.  :nod:  I think you've done a great job conveying the situation from the Ezzio's POV, and in his voice, without 'dumbing' it down.
Reply
:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! I was actually worried about "dumbing it down", since it's something we tend to do with children a lot.. very glad you found it was okay! 

And yes, poor baby. 
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I will say he comes across to me as a bit younger than 8-10.  But there's no real standard I can measure against.  ;p
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No, you're right. I thought about it myself. I think he's more towards 7-8. But thanks for reminding me, I'll change it ! 
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Don't fret over it.  ;) 
It works as is.  And kids develop at all different rates.
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:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
True, true ! :D Thanks ! 
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sure thing!
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