A Dance Away

The fingers skipped, hoped, and danced all over the grim, black keyboard as it clanked through yet another ritual.

It envied the mouse, well-rested at its side.

The keyboard, KB, had grown accustomed to its executioner’s month-old-routine. At about the same time every evening, he would pull the chair to the desk, hold KB by the neck and drop his fingers on it. His entrance was always noisy, the keyboard thought. His arrival would always pull KB out of slumber.

On some days, he would sit at the desk facing the screen for ages. He would shift in his chair in discomfort as the chair screeched for mercy. His fingers would rest on KB’s keys as he faced the blank screen. They were always a bad tease.

It felt as if the slave master had laid his whip on the slave’s back without a word, without an action. Only laying it there. The poor soul could feel the inevitable was drawing nigh and had to wade through the torture of waiting.

The keyboard, albeit silently, hoped the master was stuck, wished he had a writer’s block.

On awful days, he would sit with a wide grin on his face and start the clanking right away. It was these days that the keyboard dreaded. Days when he seemed to be in a good mood. When he appeared to have a lot on his mind and poured it all out on the screen.

It was on these days that his fingers stomped all over their stage — a stage the keyboard’s keys unwillingly were chosen to become. A mad dance.

At times, these dances, although performed with the passion and grace of a wrestler, ended with a loud exhale from the orchestra master followed by a hard squeeze on the backspace. He would then collapse in the seat, distraught sculptured on his face.

The keyboard often wondered what it must be like for the chair. Maybe being a keyboard wasn’t too bad after all, KB thought.

Then came the days when it was too difficult to hold up to the battering and thumping. The keyboard would experience occasional feats of dizziness and loss of consciousness. These always seemed to worry this orchestra master. The dance of his fingers, although to routine and instruction, was useless to him. No words filled the screen.

He would hold a frustrated face. But yet, there lay a hint of worry. Although hidden deep in the creases on his face, there it lay — a hint of hope for KB.

But then the keyboard’s hope that the orchestra master cared for it enough to stop would die from a slap to its back. A first-aid slap or ancient remedy that the master believed would heal the keyboard of its ailments.

And at the slightest hint of the keyboard’s recovery, the fingers would be stretching and warming up on its keys, ready to dance away.

And dance away they did.

First published on Medium @mbatiawrites

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