What could music awake in the dark?
| An echo of music resonated in the dark. Waking up, she turned her head looking for any sign of light, but there was only black. Each musical note sounded with a clink like hitting bone, and hung on the air so that she imagined she could see them racing over her head like a swarm of insects.
“Emily? That’s my name” she said. The sound was swallowed up in the darkness. “Where am I?”
No answer came, but the music continued, She put her hands out in front of her—trying not to think about dark abysses opening up before her. First she took a small step, then another, and then she was slowly walking until her hands touched something solid. Her hands traced the rough sagging wood of a doorway, and was that the faint glimmer of a light? She walked faster; the dust on the floor rose up in anger at being disturbed. It smelled musty like potatoes left to dry on a cement floor.
The glimmer expanded until she knew that it was a light. And she was running now, and the music was getting louder. And suddenly, in front of her, she saw a grand piano, white as bone, leaning precariously to one side. But from this piano, came the most beautiful music—sad as a breakup, happy as the first day of vacation, and reflective as a mirror. And standing in front of and playing it was a man.
He wore dark pants with a white shirt, and she imagined his eyebrows were bushy and furrowed as he played, but she couldn’t see his face. He stooped over the broken piano bench; his hands moving with a life of their own.
And she started to sing to the music. But there were no words in her singing. It was like she sang in pure notes that rose upon her breath and joined the others in the air.
Abruptly the piano stopped, and the man jerked his head around.
“Who’s there?” He asked. His eyebrows were thin, and his face had the look of someone hunted. But there was nothing in the dark behind him. And when he turned back, he heard the muffled laughter of a child running through the depths of the cavernous house. The old abandoned house on the hill.