The Songs We Scribbled Amongst The Stars: Episode 1: A Whispering Wind Chime


The rustling of grass can be heard alongside ASTRID’s footsteps. A fence creaks as she leans against it. The croaking of crickets can be heard. Other than that, it is quiet. The background noise softens as “Soren” by Beabadoobee plays for a while before stopping. An uncomfortable pause.

Astrid: February 13th, 2023. That’s the day (her voice breaks) you…

She sniffs, trying to hold back from crying.  

Astrid: (quietly) I miss you, Cass.  

She is met with silence. ASTRID laughs awkwardly. Beat. The rustling of grass can be heard. Crickets croak quietly in the background. Silence, while she tries to think of something to say. She sighs.

Astrid: You know, it was so easy to listen to you just talk for hours… I’ll miss that. I’ll miss you talking about dumb astrology, or looking at my birth chart, or saying that we were meant to be friends forever just because ‘’ told you so. And I’ll miss you getting upset when I tried to prove you wrong with physics. 

She lets out another small laugh. There is a short sound of wind chimes. 

Astrid: What is that sound… Cass? Is that you? 

Beat. ASTRID sighs.

Astrid: (mutters) Must be my imagination… 

A moment of silence.

Astrid: (fast-paced) Oh god, I suck at talking to myself. Uh… Um… (beat) Our proposal for the band CCA went through! It’s not what I pictured, without you, but It’s fun… I guess. (lighter) You remember Li Kai? That guy you befriended in Sec 1? The guy I never really knew how to talk to? Oh my god, I can’t believe we fought cause I thought he would replace me… He plays the bass now. And he’s quite good too… I still don’t know how to talk to him now… especially since–

She pauses.

Astrid: (coughs, her tone lowers) Sorry. Um. Anyways, yeah. The school wants us to perform for Racial Harmony Day in July. We need to come up with a name for the band before that. I don’t know where we are gonna get the music from, though. I can’t write. We both know I suck at that…

She lets out a small laugh. Another short wind chime plays. It starts slow and quiet, but gradually becomes louder and faster over the next few lines, as if it is trying to signal something to her.

ASTRID starts humming “Soren”. The grass rustles again. She takes out her phone. The clicking of buttons is heard as she types in her password and plays a recording. 

Astrid: (happily) Sing it! Sing it, Cass!

In the recording, CASS starts humming the melody of the same song. She pauses.

Cass: Uhh… I forgot the lyrics.

Cheerful laughter is heard.

Cass: Okay wait, wait, wait… let me find the paper… 

In the recording, ASTRID continues to laugh in the background as paper unfolds. Suddenly, CASS starts coughing loudly.

Click. She pauses the recording and the grass rustles again as she lies down. At this point, the wind chime is the only audible sound. This chime continues readily, like a broken record. This continues for a few moments. Silence.

Astrid: I should have noticed you getting sicker. Actually, no, I did notice. But I should have said something. Should have tried to help. You never talked about it, and I just… I didn’t know how to bring it up.


Astrid: I was too focused on us. The music. The friendship. The fun. I didn’t want to accept that one day you’d leave, you know? 

A long silence. The rhythmic beeping of a heart monitor is heard. The sound of footsteps increases as bedsheets rustle. 

Doctor: November 8nd, 2022. Name of patient on chart: Cassandra Arora. (pause) Mr. and Mrs. Arora, we have the results. Cass’s leukaemia… it’s…

Doctor and Cass: Back.

The sound of the chime plays.

Cass: (fast-paced) It’s back? But how could it be back? But, but… but I thought I beat it? Like last time. Like the time before that? How could it be back again? I thought it was over, it was gone! That’s what they said last time! 

CASS pauses and collects her thoughts. Heavy breathing is heard. Pause. She takes a deep breath. Woosh.

Cass: I’m so tired of this stupid cancer just coming back, over and over and over again. It’ll be okay, I’ll fight it off again… then I’ll be fine, right? (beat) Well, until the next wave comes, at least.

Overwhelmed, CASS starts to cry. Her crying fades into the sound of ASTRID sniffling. There are multiple short, sporadic chimes. These catch ASTRID’s attention. She stops sniffling.

Cass: Astrid. Don’t cry. 

Astrid: Cass? Cass? Is that you? Cass? Oh my god. Where are you?

ASTRID stands up. She starts running through the grass and the sound of moving grass under her feet can be heard getting faster. She runs for an extended period. A constant low chime is heard.

Astrid: Cass? 

ASTRID slows to a stop and tries to catch her breath.

Cass: Stop running! I forgot how hard it was to keep up with you. 

Astrid: (happily) Cass! (confused) Cass? How did you? What? Where are you? 

Cass: Wherever I am, you won’t be able to find me, Astrid.

Astrid: What? What are you saying, Cass?

Cass: I’m saying, don’t look for me. Looking for me isn’t going to help.

Astrid: But– what do you mean? You are right here, aren’t you–?

A short chime plays.

Astrid: Cass?

When she receives no response, she shouts again.

Astrid: Cass? Are you there?

Silence. Astrid sighs. The wind chime plays. 

Astrid: Don’t look for me…? What do you mean…?

“Soren” by Beabadoobee plays for a few moments, indicating the end of the scene. Ambient noise of aircon and fans humming quietly in the background. The sound of guitars being tuned is heard.

Astrid: Good job today, guys! Go home, get some rest. Remember to try and come up with some ideas for songs we can perform for Racial Harmony Day, okay? 

A mixture of voices is heard, greeting ASTRID goodbye. LI KAI’s stands out in particular.

Li Kai: Astrid! Wait up.

Astrid: Yeah?

Li Kai: You can sing super well.

Astrid: Nah… it’s not (emphasis) that great. Your bass is super smooth too. One thing, though, is that you could probably play softer, ‘cause I think it’s kinda overpowering.

Li Kai: Oh, okay. I’ll take note of that… sorry.

Astrid: No, no, don’t apologise! What’s up?

Li Kai: Oh…

He lets out an awkward laugh, trying to think of something to say. ASTRID picks up her bag. The jingling of keychains can be heard. However, as she picks up her bag, some of the items fall out onto the floor. Crash.

Astrid: Oh my god.

The rustling of papers as she tries to pick them up. It stops.

Li Kai: Oh my god. Is this…

Li Kai and Astrid: Spacetime magazine.

Astrid: You read The Spacetime?

Li Kai: Not if it wasn’t one of the best magazines ever! Wait… is this the new one?

Astrid: Yeah, it is! 

Astrid giggles. Her smile can be heard as she speaks.

Astrid: Hm. Do you want to get some bubble tea? Maybe I can show you it.

Li Kai: Sure. That sounds great. 

More rustling as they finish picking up items from the floor.  

Li Kai: Let’s go.

Click. The sound of switches. The ambient noises stop. Beat. The whirring sound of machines plays. There is soft chatter in the background. The sound of buttons being clicked on a cash register. The occasional bell as the door opens and closes in the background.

Li Kai: Let’s grab a seat.

Footsteps are heard. The sound of both of them placing their drinks on the table. As LI KAI starts talking, the sound of them taking out the paper covers of their straws plays.

Li Kai: So what got you into astrophysics? 

Pop. ASTRID pushes the straw through her drink. Subsequently, LI KAI does the same.

Astrid: Hmm… IDK. At first, I didn’t really think about space. Like yeah, I thought it was pretty and stuff but I didn’t think it was interesting. (she pauses and sighs) Cass. She brought me to this hill, once. One that she found on some astrology venture… or something. It’s kinda far, ‘cause it’s out of the city but it has the prettiest night skies. I go there a lot now.

There is a small chime in the background. ASTRID clears her throat. 

Astrid: It was so enchanting. I wanted to learn more. She would tell me about astrology and honestly, I don’t really believe in stuff like that. So I started looking into the science behind space instead. 

The sound of Astrid shuffling through her bag plays. The keychains on her bag jingle again. 

Astrid: That was when I found Spacetime magazine. 

She slams the magazine on the table.

Astrid: I thought their views on astrophysical discoveries were super interesting.

Li Kai: Oh wow. (he exhales) Also, I heard about Cass… I know it’s hard right now, but I’m always here for you.

Astrid: (quietly) Oh, uh… 

ASTRID pauses. She takes a deep breath. After another second of silence, a soft chime plays in the background.

Cass: (whispering) It’s okay, Astrid. You can talk to him.

LI KAI coughs.

Li Kai: Sorry um–

Astrid: No no, it’s okay. I’m not sure if I’m ready yet. I… Uh… How about you? How was your relationship with her?

Li Kai: Well… um, she sat next to me in Secondary 1. We became friends because I saw her listening to a song I really like. I asked her about it and that’s how we started talking.

Astrid: What song?

Li Kai: Oh uh… It’s called Soren by

Astrid and Li Kai: Beabadoobee.

Li Kai: OMG! You know it too?

Astrid: (laughing) Who else introduced it to her? I’m surprised you didn’t know. Did she never talk about me?

Li Kai: Trust me, she would never shut up about you.

Astrid: Hey, she wouldn’t shut up about you either! She kept telling me about how since you could never see in class, she had to take notes for you.

Li Kai: Hey! Now I have glasses at least. I can take my own notes.

A short giggle from both of them.

Li Kai: I can’t believe we never became friends sooner. 

Astrid: Me neither. Can’t believe I was ever scared of you.

Li Kai: Scared of me? I was scared of you!

They laugh as an electronic buzzing sound is heard followed by a ding. 

Astrid: Oh my god, how is it already 6? I’m so sorry but I have to go. Let’s do this again.

Li Kai: Of course.

She stands up and picks up her bag, indicted by the jingling of keychains. The sound of footsteps increases followed by a bell as she leaves the shop. Silence. 

“Soren” by Beabadoobee returns for a few moments as the ambient noise fades out. She returns to the hill. The croaking of crickets plays in the background while the sound of footsteps rustling through grass plays. She sits down.

Astrid: Li Kai is cool. You were right about him. He texted me last night, just to check up on me and even though I didn’t tell him much about how I was doing, we had a nice conversation. I ended up telling him all about the new Spacetime Magazine.

ASTRID sighs. Grass rustles.

Astrid: He seems to be in a better state than I am. I can tell that he could be doing better, though. I wonder how he is… Maybe I should check up on him too. Then we can like… support each other, I guess. I think that would be nice, I could use that right now. I don’t know if I’m crazy but I can hear you, you know? Like, I can hear your voice in my head from time to time. it‘s either that or our wind chime. 

Crickets croak in the background. A moment of silence. The sound of a long, constant windchime. The sound of fans, and the squeaking of a bed. 

Cass: You know how CNY is coming up?

Astrid: Yeah?

Cass: You wanna make wind chimes? There’s been DIY tutorials ALL OVER my Instagram.

Astrid: What’s even the point? I’m kinda lazzzzyyyy…

Cass: Something to do with improving Feng Shui? An instrument for good luck and stuff. 

Astrid: Ooh. Cass, that sounds lame. 

Cass: I think our parents will like it during reunion dinner on Friday though… and maybe it will help–

CASS starts coughing.

ASTRID sighs.

Astrid: Fine, only for you, though. Let me get you some water.

Cass: Yayyyy, thank youuu. Do you have any string? Could you get some of that too?

Astrid: You, ah…

ASTRID gets up, the bed squeaks. A long pause. ASTRID sighs and the sound of crickets returns. Grass crunching. 

Astrid: I hated when you roped me into doing DIYs with you. You believed (dragged out) everything you saw online. Like that time you saw that ‘ancient crochet tool’ that let you cut your crochet piece without the seams ripping. I tried to warn you about it too but you never listened to me anyways. (giggles) Yeah, you got so upset afterwards when you had to restart though. 


Astrid: I don’t know, something about the wind chime was different though. It was the last thing we got to make together. It was significant. 

A chime. 

Astrid: You remember how we used to come to this hill, every day and talk for hours? 

Grass crunches loudly as she lies down.

Astrid: It’s so cool. Maybe I’ll bring Li Kai here too, one day. I think he would like it. 

An exhale.

Astrid: It’s getting late. I should probably go home. Goodnight, Cass. See you tomorrow.

The sound of crunching grass plays while “Soren” by Beabadoobee fades in. It fades out. The crunching grass is heard again, but this time with two steps of footsteps.

Li Kai: Wow… this place is beautiful. There are so many stars? We can get skies like this in Singapore?

Astrid: I know, right? Blame light pollution.

Li Kai: This was worth the trip… I can see why Cass liked it a lot.

Astrid: (softer) Oh um… yeah. 

A long moment of silence as grass rustles. Crickets croak in the background.

Li Kai: Look. I may not have known her for as long as you have, but Cass made an impression on me. She was so full of life, so passionate about everything she did, you know? 

Astrid: That was Cass. She was always the life of the party, always the one with the crazy ideas. She was the one crazy enough to send in our proposal for creating a whole new CCA in the first place. 

Li Kai: (lighter) Yeah, she definitely had an ambitious side. But she was also really kind and friendly. Like, she had this way of making everyone feel welcome.

Astrid: Yeah, definitely. She loved helping others. Making sure everyone felt seen. But she and I were different. We had a special bond. Apparently, I was the only person she could truly relax around. We’d known each other since we were kids. She was my best friend, you know?

Li Kai: I’m sorry for your loss, Astrid. Losing a friend like that must be really tough.

Astrid: It is. But being up here, talking about her… it helps, you know? It’s like she’s still with me, in a way. Whenever I’m here I feel connected to her. It’s like I can hear her voice in my head, saying what she normally would. I know it sounds crazy…

Li Kai: Hey, it’s not crazy.

A pause.

Astrid: It’s like. When I walk down the street, every single thing reminds me of her. Her favourite flowers are pink bougainvillaeas. So whenever I see them, I feel empty. She used to make me stop just so she could take photos of them. (camera shuttering) Now, I take them for her.

ASTRID sighs.

Astrid: Last week I saw someone with the same bag as her and I got super excited for a moment. I find myself looking for her in every single crowd. And even though deep down, I know she isn’t there but I don’t want to let go. I didn’t want to accept that she was gone. 

Li Kai: That must be terrible. And if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here for you. Okay?

Astrid: That means a lot to me.

There is another moment of silence. LI KAI starts singing “Soren” by Beabadoobee.

 Li Kai: Miss your hair / I like the way you stare into my eyes / Most of the time

Li Kai and Astrid: The way you touch me’s like the curse that can’t be broken / But it hurts / Most of the time

An exhale. 

Astrid: Thank you, Li. 

Li Kai: You’re welcome, Asterisk.

Astrid: (lighter) Asterisk? Really? You couldn’t come up with something better?

Li Kai: I mean… if you think about it… an asterisk kinda looks like a star…

Astrid: I can see that.

Li Kai: I just thought of this, you know what we should do?

Astrid: What?

Li Kai: We should perform Soren, for Racial Harmony Day. Dedicate it as a song to Cass, you know?

Astrid: That’s actually a great idea… I think it would be perfect.

Li Kai: Then it’s settled.

Astrid: I love this. We should probably get going soon. It’s 9 already, and I still need to do geography homework. 

Li Kai: OMG, same! Have you gotten your geography test back? What did you put for…

Their conversation becomes more muffled and footsteps are heard alongside the crunching grass. They fade away as “Soren” by Beabadoobee fades in. The song plays for a few moments before fading out.

​​dia bansal [class of 2025] is a young aspiring writer whose work often focuses on interpersonal relationships. through her work, she creates imagery that hopes to inspire readers and find beauty in the little things.