Music School

Practice Room 3B

Nothing ever sounded right these days. He ran his fingers up and down the neck of his guitar; his Les Paul with the battered red finish and ebony fretboard. It’d been with him since his seventh birthday. A gift from a wealthy uncle.

His buddy Dan once said that you start by ripping other players off until you can’t anymore. You get to that one lick you can’t learn, that one tiny latitude of skill you can’t pinpoint, that one insurmountable wall you can’t climb or demolish. You’ll say “fuck it” and you’ll come up with something new. You invent your own voice from your own limits.

Dan had called it “finding the truth within your lies”, or some bullshit.

Someone – a girl, strummed soupy chords and crooned in the room next door. He could hear her faintly through the walls, a voice like thick smoke. She didn’t sound quite like anyone else. The young man scowled.

How did it happen? Those notes, the arrangement, that sound?

Were they buried inside her all the time?

He put his guitar down and let her playing seep through the walls around him.

What lies did she have to tell before she found her own truth?


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