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Keys and webs

[Writing prompt based on "Birth of a Hero" from]


“Marvel meets Gladiator meets Batman.”

Ben reread the client ask and laughed. Ok so you want Zimmer with a splash of Silvestri. This is way above my paygrade but ok.

He sat at the keyboard. Alright so we need a lot of two of fives, sixes, what else.


He opened Sibelius and wrote a driving percussion. Choirs. Well, I don’t have the LA Master Chorale at my disposal but this’ll do.

He thought of his friends who actually sang on these soundtracks and wrote a line they’d be proud of.

Ben felt his sneaky imposter syndrome begin its commentary.

Nope. Not today Satan. And he tapped the post-it that his piano student had inspired.

“I just don’t get it. It hurts my head,” sat Neal, slumped at the piano, a few weeks earlier. His feet didn’t touch the floor yet at the bench, and he folded his hands in his lap.

“Hey, we all feel this way. Learning the piano is hard,” Ben said, remembering his own struggles. “Especially when we put both hands together.”

“I got it. Shake it off,” Ben said and started shaking his hands in the air. Neal timidly followed suit.

“Come on, really shake it off,” he encouraged and the shaking went through Ben's arms to torso to whole body silliness. Neal imitated and started to giggle.

“Ok, that's what I want you to do, yeah? This week when it hurts, shake it off.”

Neal looked at him and smiled, a little light returning to his eyes.

The following week a whole new Neal showed up. The same struggles but tackled with confidence.

At the end of the lesson, Neal turned to Ben as he was packing up his books.

“I did what you said!” He beamed.

“I see, little dude, way to go.”

“And I thought, you know, Spiderman didn't think he wasn't Spiderman. He just had to believe in himself? He had to jump.” Neal thought for a second. “So I'm going to believe in myself. I'm a piano player. I'm a good one. And I'll do what I need to, even if it hurts… Because that's who I am.”

“You're taking the jump, little hero.”

Neal stood tall. He put his music bag on his shoulder and skipped out of the practice room, shooting imaginary webs from his wrists at the walls.

Neal looked at the post-it, back in his apartment. “You are the person you believe you are. Take the jump.”

He spent the next few hours putting together an ode to Neal.

The next morning Ben sent off his composition to the indie gaming studio. “Birth of a Hero”. He nodded in approval and clicked send, then began work on the easy piano solo version for Neal.

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