Is Spying Dangerous? Oh, yeah. Am I good at it? Not at all.

DING- DONG! The doorbell rings, and my older sister, Rachel climbs down from her bunk bed.She jumps off the last rung of the ladder and makes her way towards the door.
“Where are you going, Rach?”, I ask quizzically. We’re supposed to be asleep,and my 1st grade brain is telling me this is not a good idea.
“To spy on them, of course!”, she replies. But that’s Rachel for you. I get out of bed cautiously, like my parents might come upstairs, when I knew they wouldn’t.
Should I follow her?, I think. Maybe, but I’ll get in trouble if I do, the innocent part of my mind contradicts. Eh, they might never find out, my mind finalizes. I walk out of my ultra-hot pink room into the medium-sized hallway.
I hear voices, and over exaggerated laughter drifting up from the living room.I start to doubt myself, but don’t get very far. “Shhh,” Rachel warns. I nod, and then crouch down beside her. I think some newfound energy sprouted up from somewhere deep inside me, and I decide to stay here for as long as possible. I am crouching on my toes, and then I lean even further down to see our guests.
There is slight crack above the railing that is visible because the floor of the media room upstairs also serves as the ceiling for the living room downstairs. If I lean really far down, I can see a lot more through the beams supporting the railing. I lean so far, my body is almost horizontal with the stairs. If I lean any more, I will start rolling, and the stairs will give as much mercy to me as the desert does to a tumbleweed. And I am sure if I fall down the stairs, that’s what it will feel like: like I am a tumbleweed. I listen to the conversation going on downstairs, and then my sister taps my shoulder.
I lose my balance, since I am crouching on my toes, and leaning so far out isn’t helping me as I start rolling down the stairs. With each step I hit, my back feels like it just got slammed into a brick wall. The once comfy and soft carpet on our stairs have become, well, not that comfy after about 7 years of living here. And the smell, UGH! It was disgusting! I could smell all the dust and the stinky smell of feet accumulated after a long time. I release a yelp, and then bite down hard on my tongue, too hard I know, after I taste the bitter, metallic taste of my blood. I hear the wind whooshing in my ears, and my once halfway view of the living room turns into a blurry whirl as I see the world spin in fast circles as I finally roll to a stop at the first landing, but not a peaceful stop. I slam into the railing, and then stop.
My mom and dad rush over, along with our guest. My mom is the first to speak, and even she can only muster the simple question, “Are you okay?” Rachel is still at the top of the stairs, staring at me, open-mouthed. My parents apply Bengay to my back after interrogating me with questions. After about 5 minutes, Rachel gets over her shock, pushes herself up from the ground, and sprints downstairs, apologizing so fast I think she might have drank an entire liter of Sprite. Trust me, it’s happened before.
Well, after my parents tuck me in again, for the final time today, I can’t help thinking that, Hey! At least I didn’t get in trouble!

My Favorite Mistake

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” 57 playing, 58 to the waiting chair please.” The girl hurries past my seat, going all the way to the front of the room, to finally collapse on the stiff black chair. At All Region Orchestra Auditions, you need to be prepared. Unfortunately, prepared was the exact opposite of what I was.

I had been given the 3 pieces to practice over the summer. But I, of course,did not even lay a finger on my violin, not wanting to disturb my “summer chillaxation.” Yeah, and we all saw how well that worked out… Of course, while many other violin geniuses practiced every day, I wouldn’t even think about anything other than relax. I think we all know the worst thing is when you spend a little too much time relaxing and not enough time on the real important stuff. You might know it as procrastination. Well, procrastination has been my best friend for a while, we’ve always been pretty close, best buds. But yeah, no. On that chilly October weekend, my best friend Mr. Procrastination decided to battle me. A terrible thing, really, but hey, we all know Mr. Procrastination’s a pretty sneaky guy. I should have been expecting it.

The clock is ticking so loudly I think it’s broken. Chairs all around me squeak as 20 students squirm in the hard black chairs. There were many different actions going on with the hands of students. Some people were practicing silently, their fingers flying across the fingerboard. Others were biting their nails, or shaking their hands, wanting to go and get their audition over with. I was rubbing my own hands against my leggings, anxiously awaiting my turn; for the assistant lady to call me, Number 106.

Finally I hear the magic words: ” Number 105 playing, 106 in the waiting chair please.” My friends squeezes my hand as I get up, another girl gives me an encouraging smile as if saying, Good luck, try not to die or melt or mess up or any of that other great stuff. I took it to heart as I took my place perched on the very edge of the rigid chair. My leg was bouncing up and down and my hands were sweating like there was no tomorrow. My entire body was shaking and my eyes we’re darting back and forth. Player 105 finishes her piece — which she played perfectly, of course — with a flourish and walks back to her seat, head held high. I hesitantly get up, walk towards the music stand and get ready. I hoist my violin on my shoulder,and everything seems fine. Of course, that’s when everything goes wrong. I start, and my fingers deftly move across the fingerboard, my bow moving at record speed. I’m going good, only a few more measures left. But those last measures feel like eternity as my finger slips off the fingerboard, and my bow makes a dying animal sound. Not pleasant, I think to myself as I try to finish of the piece with a flourish of my bow, as the girl before had done. It didn’t work out so well, my bow banged an unknown object and at the end if it all, I legitimately wanted to move to Siberia, Tibet — or better yet, Antarctica.

Honestly, I knew I wouldn’t make it. I hadn’t prepared well enough, and more than half of the students were better than me. All because I didn’t practice as much as I could. And that was my terrible mistake. Looking back at it, it was a tragedy, really. So as endearing and charismatic as Mr. Procrastination is, don’t let him in too close. You actually need to work to reach your goals, and I will be surely be giving Mr. Procrastination the silent treatment as I do anything, ever in my life, from today and onwards. Don’t trust that guy.