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Story [Multi-Fandom] Findswoman's Extras—latest: [Disney, Snow White] "A Dwarf and His Cipher" (2/15)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Findswoman , Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, everyone, this constitutes my debut in non-Star Wars fan fic. If I ever happen to get bunnies in other fandoms outside the GFFA (and once in a blue moon it happens), the results of those bunnies will go here. Enjoy!

    Index:
    A Dwarf and His Cipher
     
  2. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: A Dwarf and His Cipher
    Fandom: Disney, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
    Characters: Grumpy, OC, brief appearances by Snow White and a few other dwarves
    Genre: humor, crack!fic
    Summary: A technician comes in to fix the colorful organ Grumpy plays in the dance scene.
    In organists’ and organ repair lingo, a cipher is a note that sounds when it’s not being played. In the dance scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a cipher does in fact take place during Grumpy’s organ solo, causing him to reach up and close several of the pipes by hand. See 0:51 in this video (which, indeed, is the moment that inspired this story):

    Many thanks to Admiral Volshe for looking this over pre-post. @};-



    A Dwarf and His Cipher

    Dave Munson, of MunTone Piano and Organ Service LLC, always hated service calls to that little cottage in the middle of the woods. For one thing, it was darn near impossible to find the place; his phone’s GPS always got a little iffy out there. For another thing, the dwarf who owned the instrument was always so . . . grumpy.

    At least the instrument itself was rather interesting. Although it bore no builder’s name, it seemed to be a custom model from the teens or twenties, and it featured some truly unique woodcarving. It was certainly unlike anything Dave had seen in his decades-long experience in the business.

    So it was that, one summer afternoon, sweaty from a multi-mile schlep through the forest with his heavy toolkit, Dave approached the front door and knocked.

    “Hmmm? Come in.”

    Dave did so, his head impacting brutally with the doorframe in the process. That was another reason he didn’t relish coming out here; the general proportions of the place were just not suitable for anyone over about four feet tall. Once the initial shock had worn off, he found himself face-to-face with his dwarf client, who stood there scowling with his arms crossed.

    “You’re late.”

    “Sorry.” Dave massaged his smarting forehead. “There was really bad traffic on County Road Q.”

    “Now you listen here. Take a tip from me.” The dwarf wiggled a gnarled finger. “Next time, don’t take County Road Q. Take Forest Pointe Parkway all the way east and then go out Route 93.”

    “Thanks. I’ll try to remember that.” Dave went with his client over to the instrument, whose intricate and colorful carvings of woodland animals dominated almost an entire wall of the cottage’s main room. “Now, what seems to be the problem? You mentioned a cipher on the Owlophone?”

    “Wasn’t just the Owlophone. Last night I was playing on the Owlophone and all of a sudden all the tenor Es sounded at once. It was dangone annoying to have to reach up and close them all right in the middle of my solo.”

    “All right, let’s have a look.” Dave opened his toolkit, took out a few tools, and began to unscrew the front panel of organ—always a delicate operation, as he didn’t want to scratch the rather attractive rabbit design. Carefully he examined the levers, trackers, and air hoses for breakages or leaks, particularly those connected to the troublesome E below middle C.

    “OK, it looks like there’s an air leak. I’m going to see if I can patch it up.”

    Dave seated himself at the bench, which wheezed upward and all but catapulted him face-first into the open front panel. He always forgot that the bench on this bizarre specimen of organ building doubled as the pumping mechanism.

    “Here, you better do this,” he said to his client, standing up again. “If you could please hold down the tenor E . . .”

    “Fine, if you say so,” grumbled the dwarf, who sat on the bench and held down the offending note. One of the owl pipes opened, emitting a low, growl-like tone. “You’re the technician here. I don’t know why you can’t do this stuff yourself.”

    Dave ignored him—this client was always saying things like that during service calls—and got down to the intricate business of repairing the air leak. He had just about gotten it resealed when . . .

    “Ah-ah-ah-ah-aaaaah-CHOOOO!”

    The blast sent both Dave and the dwarf tumbling backward over each other. The dwarf brandished a fist as he yelled in the direction of the next room. “FOR CHRISSAKES, SNEEZY, YOU FORGOT TO TAKE YOUR ZYRTEC AGAIN, DIDN’T YOU?!”

    “I’b really sorry!” came a sniffly voice. “I ca’d helb id! Id’s thad arobatherapy caddle Sdow pud in the kidched!”

    “All right, FINE!” The dwarf sat down again and began to pump the bellows. “But we’re engaged in precision work in here, d’ya mind?”

    “All righd, all righd!”

    Again the dwarf held down the note. Dave picked up his tools again and returned to his minute negotiations with the air hose. This was the first time he recalled hearing about anyone named “Sdow” living at this house, though he never had been exactly clear on the names of all seven resident dwarves.

    “There, that should do it for now,” Dave said at last, replacing the front panel. “If it gives you any more problems, just let me know. It may mean the wind chest needs to be re-leathered.”

    The dwarf, who clearly didn’t believe him, proceeded to play a series of hooty, chiffy chords. Only after several modulations around the circle of fifths was he finally convinced that no cipher was going to happen, and got up.

    “All right, Dave, looks like you did it again,” he said, padding over to a nearby roll-top desk to fetch his checkbook. “What’s the damage?”

    Dave named his figure. As the dwarf wrote out the check, muttering something about “exorbitant fees,” the front door opened, admitting two more dwarves and a woman.

    Dave had to blink a few times to make sure he was correctly processing the sight before him. Yes, it was a woman—a normal-sized one, a brunette in a sort of old-school yellow and blue dress, and not half bad looking. She and the two dwarves accompanying her all carried bags of groceries in their arms, and as soon as she saw Dave she placed her bag on a nearby table and shook his hand with a great deal of friendly fervor.

    “Why, you must be the nice repairman Grumpy was telling me about! How do you do! It’s so nice to meet you! I know Grumpy really, really appreciates all the hard work you do to keep his organ in such fantastic shape . . . he plays so beautifully, you know . . .”

    “Pleased to meet you, I’m sure, ma’am,” was all Dave found himself capable of saying.

    The woman picked up her bag and proceeded into the kitchen, the other two dwarves following. Dave watched as they busied themselves in the kitchen putting the groceries away in the cupboards, laughing and chatting gaily. His glance went from the woman, who was unpacking her bag onto the counter, to her two companions, who were putting things in the icebox, to Grumpy (okay, perhaps his name wouldn’t be hard to remember), who was signing his check, and back to the woman again. Perhaps she was the maid, or one of those personal meal planning consultant people, or perhaps . . .

    Dave figured he had best not speculate. He took the check from Grumpy and shook his hand.

    “Thank you, sir. Take care, and feel free to call again if you have any further problems.”

    With that, Dave collected his toolkit and tramped back through the woods. Tomorrow, at least, would be a somewhat more normal day; there was nothing lined up but a routine voicing on the four-manual Möller at the royal palace chapel. People were always talking about how “wicked” and “evil” the current queen was, but at least she didn’t complain about how much to pay her piano and organ technicians. And she never gave any of them any nonsense about Forest Pointe Parkway and County Road Q. ¶

    The pitch that Grumpy’s organ plays when it ciphers (at 0:51 in the above-linked video) really is an E, or at least an approximate one. “Tenor” refers to the octave below middle C (C3 through B3).

    The Owlophone is supposed to be the name of one of the stops on Grumpy’s organ. The odd (and perhaps ironic) thing is, the instrument has no obvious means of changing stops—no knobs, levers, pedals, etc. (And the bench does double as the pumping mechanism, which is something that to my knowledge isn’t true of any real-life parlor organ.)

    M. P. Möller is the name of a real-life organ building firm that ceased operations in 2014. “Manuals” means the organ keyboards that are played with the hands (excluding the pedal keyboard).

    Some miscellaneous terms:
    circle of fifths
    modulation
    tracker
    voicing
    Zyrtec

     
  3. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Delightful story about the scene - I really enjoyed watching the seamless animation and sense of lightheartedness in the clip - and wow, the research speaks for itself. On his next call, Dave might not have to put up with inaccurate road directions,[face_cow] but he'd better keep his head down and just work at the task, or he might lose it.[face_nail_biting]
     
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  4. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    I love this!! I was so excited to read your debut piece in NSWFF, and it didn't disappoint. It was awesome to see the dwarves from another perspective, and Dave was hilarious, if sometimes unintentionally.

    I can't wait to read more NSWFF fics from you!
     
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  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh my goodness, but how creative this story is! I actually remember the guffaw from the scene that inspired you, and it was quite the interesting treat to see the poor instrument tended to here. I loved seeing your musical knowledge put to good use here, I feel like I learned a few things. All of your dwarves seemed spot on to me - Sneezy I especially got a kick out of reading. The candles, Zyrtec - I loved it!

    And this:

    Tomorrow, at least, would be a somewhat more normal day; there was nothing lined up but a routine voicing on the four-manual Möller at the royal palace chapel. People were always talking about how “wicked” and “evil” the current queen was, but at least she didn’t complain about how much to pay her piano and organ technicians. And she never gave any of them any nonsense about Forest Pointe Parkway and County Road Q.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] Well, those evil villains - and villainesses - have to have their mood music just so for their machinations. This ending was perfect. :p

    This was a fantastic NSWFF debut, and I can't wait to see what your muse offers us next! =D=
     
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  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Findswoman - welcome!!!!!!!! [:D] [:D] [face_dancing] And what a rippin' fun debut! [face_laugh] =D= A gorgeous organ that I know sounds wonderful and a long-suffering technician ;) [face_laugh] Loved the exchange about Zyrtec and the County versus Forest parkways. [face_tee_hee]
     
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  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    This was as enjoyable and entertaining as all your semi-serious fics, and I'll even say that there's something very special about those musical fics of yours. In this one I learned a whole lot about organs, both from the story itself and from your notes, but what is really great is that I didn't need to go and look at the notes in order to understand the story. And what had me howling with laughter was the contrast between the Snow White universe and the world Dave Munson lives in. I can imagine that a phone GPS would have some issues in the woods out there -- probably also to find the queen's palace, but as Dave says himself the itinerary to get there must be much easier :p And Zyrtec [face_laugh]
    Meal consultant???? Called Sdow of course. No wonder the poor man is puzzled.

    I watched the thread and I'll be waiting for whatever zany and not-so-zany ideas the muse sends your way!
     
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  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Love it! The technical issue made sense only when I watched the video and noticed the exact moment Grumpy has a problem. I can totally see how that moment would stick out to a musician, while what stuck out to me was Dopey's antics throughout. Should've watched the video immediately instead of trying to grasp it by all other possible means. :)

    Anyway...

    Poor Dave Munson! Not only that he flew into the zone where normal things don't happen, very often; but he also appears to be otherwise living in the world with no such things as animated classics present.

    “Wasn’t just the Owlophone. Last night I was playing on the Owlophone and all of a sudden all the tenor Es sounded at once. It was dangone annoying to have to reach up and close them all right in the middle of my solo.”

    I can see that Grumpy is referring to the very moment in the video. Ha! This makes the story even more exciting, together with the idea of being able to call the modern world from...well, whenever. :D

    Dave named his figure. As the dwarf wrote out the check, muttering something about “exorbitant fees,” the front door opened, admitting two more dwarves and a woman.

    Of course - today's prices may look quite frightening to whenever Grumpy is from!

    “Why, you must be the nice repairman Grumpy was telling me about! How do you do! It’s so nice to meet you! I know Grumpy really, really appreciates all the hard work you do to keep his organ in such fantastic shape . . . he plays so beautifully, you know . . .”

    It appears that Snow White can speak Grumpy-language. :D

    With that, Dave collected his toolkit and tramped back through the woods. Tomorrow, at least, would be a somewhat more normal day; there was nothing lined up but a routine voicing on the four-manual Möller at the royal palace chapel. People were always talking about how “wicked” and “evil” the current queen was, but at least she didn’t complain about how much to pay her piano and organ technicians.

    Whatever happens in this combined universe is...pretty interesting!
     
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