As the thoughts run dry, and the blank widens. As the eyes get wet, and the cheeks redden. As the tears start flowing, as the hands start shaking. As the blurry view mixes the gibberish lines in a hurricane of black and white. As the heart aches, as the sobs trouble, as ideas fade even more while I cry, I look at that paper, white as snow, refusing to see her majestic coat spotted by ink. Queen paper hated ink, and whatever drop that may have had the audacity to step a foot on her territory, received the eternal punishment: nonsense. I did try. Try. Try again. Nothing to be made. Words are written, ink is flowing, I write, write, write again. Then I stop, read again. Nothing to be made. Nothing makes sense. No complete idea, no full picture, no story, no background, no atmosphere, no characters besides Queen Paper. She wanted it all, the whole story, the whole book. Furthermore, her coat covered it all. No being nor word could break the seal.
– Turn down the volume! I shouted.
The sudden scream of a violin pulled me out of my focus. In a historical startle, I was out the White Kingdom, back in the dim colors of my room. The sentence I said had gone out of my mouth without even giving me the time to think about it. Why, after all, was my sister playing music during such a critical moment? She knew I needed silence to focus. She knew I wanted to write that chapter. She knew how important this was to me. So was she doing such a thing?
More importantly, why would she play a violin track while she hated the sound that this instrument made?
A mix of anger and curiosity moving me, I stood up, heavily stamping on the ground. The last normal thing that happened afterward was that I opened the door…
There she was, majestically frightening, standing in the dawn of the living room. Wrapped in a snowy dress whose edges vividly echoed in a mysterious gray, she was holding a white violin. Her playing was a renowned piece, yet it sounded like a brand new symphony: it was stronger, but strangely strangled, like old notes coming out of a deep ocean. It wasn’t dark, it wasn’t malicious, it was just… empty. Too perfect. A minor without imperfections. So perfect it was killing all the flaws in you, swallowing parts of your being.
In a sudden rotation, making her silver hair float like fine silken threads, she was facing me. Her eyes, of amber gems’ gold, pierced me in less than a second. I could not move, could not even breathe. My pen left my hand, power left my body. This was not my sister, this was some kind of legendary creature. She was too imposing, too radiant be human. And above all, no human could paralyze you by a single stair. As she carried on playing her bewitching melody, my eyes – the only part I could still move, caught sight of the gradual disappearance of the carpet’s scarlet red. Slowly, its paint turned into a fair pink, then became white as a blank piece of paper. The disease soon spread to what surrounded, and everything, from the walls to the vases, saw their colors washed away.
There was Queen Paper. As ridiculous as it may seem, as trivial the name may sound, the person I had just imagined was right in front of me, cursing colors with a white malediction. In the blink of an eye, everything had faded away. The living room was gone, the tables and the walls, too. I was alone in a world of pale white. Far away in the distance, the engulfed sound do the violin was still audible. Gradually, the melody diminished, to completely vanish after a few instants.
Little by little, I felt blood flooding in my veins again. Paralysis slowly left my body and mind, and this was when I could examine at the place I was standing in. But was this even a place?
There was absolutely nothing. I was even wondering how I could be standing. There wasn’t a single thing that resembled a ground, nor was there some form of sky. Everything was pure white, an infinite sea of nothingness.
It looked like I was trapped in a blank paper.
Fearing that a move would lead to a fall, I cautiously moved a leg forward, and didn’t move the second one until I was sure there was something holding the other. I then started to walk. I walked, walked, walked again. Nothing to be made. Nothing was here, no living, no dead. I was in an infinite dimension of white.
As despair started to overwhelm me, a tear rolled down my cheek. Anger immediately followed. I couldn’t start crying now. I couldn’t let my emotions stop me from trying to figure out a solution to get out of here. I couldn’t let a being who was born from my own imagination trap me in her world. My hands clenched into fists, a unconscious move that made my eyes open wide.
I should have noticed before. I have a pen in my hand.
The object I had dropped a short time before was back in my hand. How? I’m afraid I’m not able to provide any answer, the same way I’m not able to provide one to how the Queen had sent me here – if she had sent me anywhere first of all.
This is a paper, right? I have a pen. What followed was obvious. I raised my hand, holding the only thing that existed here tight, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and, in a sort of trance, imagining every single aspect of a bird, I wrote the four letters that made up the name of the animal in English. As the last curve of the “d” was being traced, I opened my eyes again, slowly pulled back my hand, and… waited.
The magic didn’t take long. The letters soon merged together to form the exact image I was imagining in my mind as I was writing them. The tiny blue bird shook its wings, and then took off. Its joyful singing as he was celebrating his birth put a smile on my mouth. This was the most beautiful thing I had seen all day…
A dissonant violin’s note, and the bird falls flat on the white earth, just like and arrow had just pierced its heart. I ran towards it, picked it up from the ground. But, as I was doing so, the bird melted, became raw ink. The substance, falling down my hands, traced the four letters “i”, “b”, “d” and “r” in an irregular shape, and steadily faded away in the distance.
The nonsense curse.
“Door”, “lion”, “sun”, “tree”, “brush”, “water”. All these words came to a concrete form before transforming into a pool of deep black, and then tracing random letters that would never meet any meaning. Every single attempt was met with a violin response that erased it. Queen Paper wanted it all white. It seemed like she hated colors… Even though her very eyes were colored.
Let’s face it: I must get out of here, right? In desperate tries, I started writing all kinds of “tunnels” to my room. From doors to inter-dimensional passages, I wrote them all. Once again, they all vanished in a swirl of gibberish… I was completely powerless.
Only there was something I didn’t try… As I looked at the two “o”s, the “r” and the “d” that had given birth to the wooden door which looked like that of my room, I noticed that the witch I was having a war against used music to destroy my creations. Music was not empty… yet it existed in this blank dimension. Was her violin magical? There weren’t a thousand ways to find out.
Seizing my pen, I wrote down the five letters that gave birth to the instrument. Grabbing the bow, I played the dissonant notes that had shattered everything I thought about. Right in front of me, all the “o”s broke, giving birth to two “c”s each. I finally began to understand. She was only playing dissonant notes from the beginning…
But as the sparkle of this sudden discovery began to shine in my mind, an even more vociferous note shook the dimension, and the violin exploded like a water tank in my hands. A brief instant of silence followed… and I knew. I knew it was the calm before the storm. Once I get caught in it, there will be no issue.
What followed was so quick that narrating it in the shortest possible form would still be too long to keep track with it. Before I could even say it, I was holding another violin, playing the most harmonic song I knew. It was everything that the white queen’s symphony wasn’t: rapid, lively, vivid. Right in front of me, the “c”s that had broken merged together, recreating the “o” that they used to be. The letters that had crawled towards the unknown came back, rearranging to form the words they were. The first thing that came back to life was the little blue bird I first imagined… I was following the right path. I must keep on playing. Trees are born again, flowers come back to life, vases appear. Keep on playing. Be faster. She’s attacking in no time.
How I wish I were wrong.
A dissonant whirlwind soon came to destroy what dared to live. The way she played said it all. She was very, very angry. But right now, she could be as angry as she wanted to be. I wasn’t going to let her win. I wasn’t going to let her trap me here.
As I pressed the violin chords even more, our melodies began to merge. As strange as it may seem, we were playing the same track, only mine was happy, played on a major scale, hers was a desperate minor. I played with all my might, with all my strength, with all my heart, and even though a lot of things vanished, the door was still there, striving to keep on existing.
As sweat was flooding my face, it finally happened: the door started to open. The colors of my room, that all of a sudden looked like a sparkling rainbow, steadily began to appear in the distance. Trying not to break my focus, I slowly moved forward as the object was fighting against the blur. She then appeared, right in front of me, even greater than what she looked like in the living room. I couldn’t let her trap me again. I couldn’t let her eyes deprive me of my moves again.
It was one of the riskiest thing I’ve done in my life, but I still did it. I threw away the violin, and, running with the greatest speed my feet allowed me to have, jumped right into the colorful hole. As I felt the hardness of the floor under me, I looked back as the door was closing on a lonely tear going down a white face…
My sister’s voice woke me up in a jolt. Blinking, trying to get rid of the mist in front of my eyes, I looked at her.
– Why are you crying? Are you struggling with your chapter?
I had fallen asleep in front of my work. All I had imagined was pure fantasy. The violin, the words, the witch who cried. It was all in my mind.
– Don’t worry. I just had a weird “writer’s dream”.
She pouted, not so convinced, but didn’t say anything else. She then quietly left the room as she carried the guitar she had forgotten in it, closing the door for once. I was left alone with my paper again… In a deep inhalation, I wrote the next chapter’s title: “Queen Paper”, and started to write the first lines. Right in front of me, they merged, before painting the silken hair, the golden eyes, the white dress, and the tears of a forgotten Queen. I shook my head, looked back at my paper. Everything was in order, from the title to the lines I had written, there was no face, nor was there a queen. Being a writer will maybe lead me to hysteria. After all, we spend more time with our worlds, the ones that come out of our very mind, than with the real one. At some point, they can start to mix… Only this was the first time I see, or think of this Queen. She was a unique being, mysterious, silent, hating colors. At the beginning, I felt like she couldn’t stand anything related non-white things, that she wanted it all in one tune…
But if this was the case, then why was she crying as the colors were fading away?