Alice always wore a mask when she played. Pure white porcelain, unadorned, and perfectly sculpted to her face. She loved that mask. The coolness against her skin. The way her fingers danced. She was not Alice in those moments. There was no Alice.
There was only the music.
The mask gave her that. It freed her from her tyranny of being and gave her a world of notes to hide behind. The technique she had learned herself–bleeding her fingers white eight hours a day, seven days a week, for years on end.
Her parents had worried in a distant, bemused sort of way. She was making something of herself, after all, and not descending into idleness like her brother. Her passion was, perhaps, over-zealous and almost violent in its execution, but her sister had once strangled a rabbit out of love, so violence in their family was all-together relative.
Besides, Alice’s mother had dreamed once of being a concert pianist and in her daughter she saw her hopes reborn and burning.
And so, Alice was left to her music and her mask.
No one could remember buying or receiving the mask, however. One day it had simply appeared in her chambers, as if it had always been there. It was her shield, her conduit, and her muse of porcelain, blood and music .
And there was never, ever, a moment of silence.