by Bob'n Around
A super human talent is conquered by the power of human love.
|Harmon E. Toone took off his government security badge and threw it on his boss’s desk. “You want it, take it.” The creep was a sneaky micro manager taking credit for everything anyone under him did.
“Good luck figuring out my computer password. Get the wrong one and all my research data is toast. I am out of here.” The secret project Harmon had been working on wasn’t the best funded or worst wanted as far as results went. He had been left pretty much on his own until one of his few aides got excited and started things moving across the grapevine.
“You’ll never get another job in the industry, pal.”
Harmon shrugged. His boss didn’t even remember his name. A tight smile spread across his thin lips as he grinned. “That’s no secret, is it?”
The project was worthless other than to the defense combine. Harmon had been assigned to figure out what the Soviets had been doing with subharmonics to ruin the lives of the diplomats working the U.S. consulate. Their efforts seemed to have been a test and a one time thing. The men interviewed and medically tested could no longer maintain concentration, lost their jobs and were unable to put their lives back together. Worse crises shifted military and political interests.
“No-one following me,” Harmon quit taking random streets back to his bachelor pad and sighed. “Free, near broke and no prospects.” The note taped to his front door told him his girlfriend had dumped him. He’d almost forgotten he had one. He’d lost contact with the outer world that much.
It took him a few lazy long days idlying around his small apartment to get his nerve up. “How bad do I want to be my own human guinea-pig?” Harmon hadn’t been able to let the last results of his research go.
“MIght as well clean this dump up a little while I think about it.” Finding the audio and video micro spy devices embedded in his walls made his skin crawl. He tore each one out, giving it the finger before doing so, telling the last one, “Come and get them if you want them, otherwise they’re going in the trash.”
The sound of sirens and flash of lights coming from nearby made him realize he’d stirred up a hornets nest. “They want my home records. They couldn’t get into my computer and trashed it.”
The sound of pounding on his doors and threats of homeland security coming in made his decision for him. Harmon began humming a harmony of near subsonic sounds. The tune made the air shimmer. Harmon closed his eyes, giving himself up to the tune.
When the government agents crashed through the front door, Harmon was a thin vaporous shadow pulsing in turgid air and was gone. His body harmonized with the atomic structure of the nearest wall. He became one with it, willing himself through it, changing like a chameleon with the features in his front yard.
“It works,” he thought, hanging on to his sense of reality. "I’m one with the universal harmonics vibrating with pure energy, dark matter and space itself.” The breakthrough in his research had paid off. Rather than a securing a weapon of war, he'd turned science on its head. The possibilities seemed limitless to what he could do, where he could go unseen. If the likes of his x-boss got hold of this discovery, well, that could not be allowed to happen.
It was a matter of simple heightened awareness that kept him phased in to what was going on around him. “I’m the invisible man,” he floated in the moment, watching with interest as the agents found nothing but the charred remains of Harmon’s home records. Frustrated, they began tearing his home apart.
There was nothing worth staying for. Harmon let himself go, wanting to feel the full effects of being in harmony with universal constants, allowing his curiosity full sway. “I’m a superhuman with a talent no-one else understands or even knows what to look for.” He thought to himself.
The world as he knew it winked out. Harmon jerked, trying to get it back. He tried to take a breath, instinctively feeling he was strangling when that didn’t work. Desperate beyond belief, his mind struggled for anything solid to hang onto.
A melody vibrated, jarring his remaining sense of self. It felt like a rope flung out to a dying man. He grasped it, hummed it, followed it, steadied by it, back into himself. He looked around him, transported into a woman’s darkened bedroom. Embarrassed, sure he would seen as an intruder, he hovered back into a semi translucent version of the familiar man he was. It was a dream-like state filled with and connecting with the woman who had saved his life.
“How? Why? Who is she?” Harmon found himself unable to leave. It became a strangely garbled existence, near ghost-like. Growing in confidence as the woman slept, Harmon began searching her things to find out more about her. He could feel, see without moving, touch and examine anything without disturbing it. With practice he continued his quest.
“Melody. Her very name is Melody.” When he moved near her, he could feel the essence vibrate, shift color reach out towards him.
“I have to know.” Harmon, dream-like, came to her, touching her awareness, becoming part of her dreams, careful to stay focused, unable to find out the curious nature that attracted him to her.
“This will take some time.”
“Creep.” Melody’s current paramour was double timing her. Harmon knew it for a fact. With the Covid19 pandemic in full swing people were homing it. He himself found an uninhabited rental, moved in and was left unnoticed, using his invisibility to get around.
“Creep is stealing from his boss, too.” Poking around in Melody’s life had embroiled him in her every aspect of her days and nights. Harmon knew himself to well to think he could introduce himself now, without giving himself away as some kind of stalker. He knew too much and too little.
Money had been no problem. He’d turned himself into a modern day Robin Hood, stealing from those who stole, giving back anonymously to victims while keeping enough to make a living for himself.
It was easy enough to get the creep exposed, fired, and a part of the news. Easier still to have the neighbor's paper land on Melody's porch with the page of the creep's picture and notoriety in plain sight when she tripped over it letting her cat in the house.
The cat seemed to sense his presence, coming up to rub on Harmon's invisible leg. It was a good thing Melody was transfixed by the news about her creep. Harmon reached down, scratched the little fur ball and led it inside, heart in his hands at Melody stormed in colliding a moment before pushing through his essence.
“Sure makes bad decisions with her love life.” Harmon was beginning to find himself attracted to Melody, wanting to protect her, share and help her take advantage of her possibilities.
“Is that what this universal attraction I have to her basically is? Is this true love?” True, he’d never felt this way about a woman, accepted her vulnerabilities as well as her interests and strengths. Their commonality wasn’t just a love for music. It seemed to lap over into who they both were, how they connected with themselves and their involvement with the world around them.
The dreams, when he felt closest to her, grew more bold.
“Lovely, isn’t it?” Melody Toone’s date pointed his nose at the symphony playing Bach’s Concerto in D Minor.
There was no response. Melody, transported into the world unlocked by the music, floated there alone in the harmonic overtones of the string instruments. She didn’t come back to earth until the sound of applause and “Bravo’s” turned the air into everyday chaos.
“Arthur?” She asked the empty seat next to her. The hastily impromptu note scrawled and left on her lap tickled her hand. “Sorry. Emergency. Will explain later,” the message read.
But Arthur never did. Like so many men before him, he’d felt rebuffed at not being made the center of Melody Toone’s lavished attention just as their relationship had gotten interesting. “Sex. That is all they are interested in.”
Melody allowed her emotions to flow along with her thoughts to Petrolif’s recording of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto Number Two. “That, and being mothered to no end.
This was in reference to her first husband, Jeffery Thomas. Their divorce had granted her independent means and a search for a more understanding companionship. “Lying bastard,” Melody mused, this time at marriage number two, a con job to get both her and her money in the man’s greedy clutches.
“Served the two-timer right.” Melody’s left foot made metronome motions to the turged rhythm of the classical music piece. Number two had conveniently done himself in racing her Porsche 911 into the brick wall of his mistress. “A bit too much of a hurry to get into her pants. Why do men have to be that way?”
Next, she’d tried a musician, loved the sound of him playing his cello. “So much dedication,” but he’d played around with women as well. She was not a groupie no matter how tempting the man was, how he aroused her inner being.
It was time to rethink. Melody did this best floating along to the strains of compatible music fitting her current mood. The Apasionado, by Stan Getz, jazz great, nudged her mind into flowing free. His saxophone spoke to her.
She spoke back. “Why can’t I find a harmonious relationship, like I feel here and now?”
The jazz paused as if listening. Soothing strains began, massaging her longing into a warmth of feeling, sensual and teasing in its caress. It popped open Melody’s eyes. She rubbed the tingling in her skin and sat up. “Boy, did I get carried away. That was no Stan Getz I ever heard. Must have dropped off and caught myself dreaming.”
“I’ve gotten too immersed in music.” She shook her head, thought about calling up one of her current pack of admirers and frowned in disgust. “Old habits die hard. Intimate relationships are comfort food that help in the moment but have such bad lasting side effects.”
She struggled up out of her chair, turned off the music, yawned, and prepared for an early night alone in bed. “Maybe a soak in the tub, instead.”
The book on the edge of her whirlpool bathtub threatened to tip into the bubbling water as she stepped in. “String theory.” Melody mused, caressing the covers open while settling into the misty heat. “Who gave me that? Oh, yeah.”
It brought a deep throated chuckle bubbling out of her mouth. “A Don Juan, who thought it was about music. Turned out to be a physics thing about atoms being strings and vibrations, instead.”
The foam clouding and floating on the waves of water around her had long gone when she realized how cold she’d become reading the text. “I’m losing it. What time is it, anyway?” She shivered, teeth chattering, she wrapped a towel around herself.
The book fell open to the last page at her feet as she climbed out. “Everything is a vibration at its inner core,” she read. Her skin had goosebumps that needed settling down. “Brr, I could use some good warm vibrations in my bed.”
The downy feather filled comforter she slid under did just that. Nakedly cuddled in her private cocoon, Melody cracked a yawn, hummed a bit of nameless longing and settled into sleep.
She was not alone. In the background, the Beach Boys sang ‘Good Vibrations’ fading into a richer blend of jazz by some unknown composer. “You’re good,” Melody’s body danced, wove back and forth slowly with the rhythm of the luxurious theme.
Lyrics began whispering, growing in strength, a close coming cadence of understanding indulging her interest just beyond reach. “I can’t hear you,” Melody’s lips urged, tongue tip teasing the words.
“You are the first one to listen to my harmony,” a baritone male voice said. There was a deep burr of echoing wonder left behind, filling the sudden exposure of void.
“Who are you?” Melody hung on, unwilling to let go of this shared form of intimacy. She felt a searching presence’s sharp focus examine her deeper than she had ever experienced such a thing from anyone before.
“Such a Melody. Shall we make music together?” The words teased and plucked at the strings of her heart.
“Sure. Why not. If I can’t have you any other way, a dream is a good start,” Melody felt her body respond, arching in her bed, legs moving apart in silent welcome.
There was a roll of slow building manly laughter caressing her ears. “The crescendo is too soon, my eager Melody. Let’s play, tease, build up to it. We have all night long.”
In the morning, Melody felt herself worn out like she’d wrestled a nightmare, unremembered, tossed back into her unconscious mind. Her body was sticky with sweat and the scent of other mixed fluids she could not have made all by herself. They were foreign yet sweet as a lovers kiss. “All right. Where’s the note?”
There had to be one, left by a midnight guest. There had always been one before. She needed to change her locks. “I feel so lethargic, cat-like, purring. Whoever it was left me a not so silent gift.”
Melody felt like humming and did. Her morning shower further invigorated her sense of well being. She wore a smile the rest of the day, somewhat self conscious and wondering. There had been no note. Men usually didn’t do that. They wanted to leave their imprint on your life. Wanted you to know exactly who they were and how they had owned you. She felt too good to let that lingering doubt trouble her.
“I wrote the book.” The words came into her head out of nowhere during her dinner. She’d been relaxing over a salad of crisp greens, cheeses, raisins and pieces of tuna. The music of Tom Hobin’s ‘Wave’ album accompanied her in the background.
Melody answered without thinking about it, “What book?”
She got the sudden impression of someone having watched her take her tub last night, from inside the open pages of the ‘String Theory’ book. “Weird, the way minds work. Mine is stringing me along. I’ve been alone too long, I guess.”
Melody almost tripped over the book while brushing her teeth. She reached down, picked it up, and examined the cover for the name of the author. “Harmon E. Toone. Why, we have the same last name.”
The same musical alliteration in names as well. It made her chuckle and lick the last bit of toothpaste foam from the corner of her mouth. “See you in my dreams, maybe.” She threw herself a kiss in her mirror. The mirror felt and reflected the vibration of her leaving and shutting the door. “See you,” a soft male whisper said.
The second night was a replay of the first except for one thing. When Melody stretched, yawned, and fumbled her way out of bed there was a note left on her dresser. “Perhaps, we can meet during the day? - Harmon.”
There was a phone number scrawled in hastily formed letters below the name, as if unsure of finding themselves there. Melody gasped, feeling a wash of memory flood her soul of what happened not just the last night, but the night before. “No dream could be that real. We happened. I had a stranger in my bed.”
She flattened out the piece of paper, fingers caressing his name. “What’s happening? How could it be?” But, he felt like no stranger at all. From the first moment together they had harmonized completely. It wasn’t just sex. It was everything they were, how they fit together mentally, emotionally. They were pure music.
“This is Melody. Is this Harmon?”
“I’m glad you called.” It was his voice, tender, masculine, sure of itself, excited and welcoming. “I guess, I have some explaining to do. How about lunch? There’s a nice string quartet at the Renaissance Center. Say noon?”
A public place sounded good to her. Melody didn’t need to ask what he looked like. She knew him in every detail. Still, after she agreed, nodded and hung up, there was a feeling of going on a first date. One she hadn’t felt the thrill of, since first going out with a guy interested in her. “I have to decide what to wear, how to look. I have to get ready.” It was fun.
“There you are,” Harmon got up to seat her, bowed and brushed a kiss across Melody’s cheek. “You smell like roses, like the strings?” He placed his chair next to hers, nodded at the quartet and sighed, content to share the moment with her.
They listened, getting in sync with the rendition of Beethoven’s String Quartet No 14, Op 131. Lunch eased into place in front of them, a gourmet salad, breads and soup. Bodies fed, Harmon urged her to her feet. “I’ll talk better if we dance.”
The quartet tested the airwaves with a waltz. Other couples joined the floor. Melody hummed with excitement at the feel of her body pressed close to Harmon’s warmth and flowing grace. Her feet naturally matched his as they swayed together and apart, teasing the air between them.
Harmon’s voice caught with emotion as he spoke. “I was an experimental physicist. You could guess that from the book, not a best seller, by the way. It set me on a path where I found you, all that I’ve been searching for.”
“You may be a hard fact finding physicist, but you are also a romantic at heart.” Melody floated in the moment with him, enjoying the sound of his voice, the music, and the feel of them together. When would the next shoe drop?
“Let’s walk?” She asked. Her hand remained in his.
“I’m not married, yet,” Harmon teased, paying and leading her outside. Their sides brushed together. He raised her fingertips to his kiss.
“I’m a magician by trade. I have a special talent learned through my research. It gave me a super human power. Watch.”
Melody did. Harmon walked through the wall back into the restaurant. He came back out again with a fist full of money. “Tips. The owner fleeces them off the hired help, so I helped myself to some.”
The money felt real. So did Harmon. Melody had to believe her eyes. “Let’s get out of here. You are spooking me. How did you do that? Is that how you got into my bedroom? How long have you been following me?” The questions bubbled up needing immediate answers.
“I’ve had this power long enough to learn to be careful. Everything is vibration. I aligned myself with the wall, then the air inside, just keeping enough self presence to stay glued to my inner self.”
It made Melody blink, stop and examine him. “And us? What about us? We were a dream and then we had more. I should be scared but I’m not. I don’t know if I want to do what you do, even if I could. You offered it in our first dream. I tried and didn’t like it, don’t like the feel of it.”
“Come on. Let’s walk down to the beach and look at the waves while we chat.” It was either leave him or go with. Melody found herself willingly going along. “I’m in tune with the inner vibrations of the universe. At first I felt quite mad. You saved me. You drew me to you. Does that make sense? Do you feel it? The truth in it? You are my home.”
Strangely, she did. “I like the sound of the waves flowing in and out. Nature has its own music, doesn’t it? I hadn’t realized how much of a part of it we are.”
“I almost got lost in you,” Harmon said. “It is why I came to you first in a dream. You don’t know what power you have over me.”
The kiss surprised him with its intensity. Harmon felt them breathe and taste the same salty air. “We make good music together, don’t we?”
They lay under the silver moon, listening to the seagull cries as they found their crescendo. “We are each other’s home.” Melody purred, tracing the feel of Harmon next to her with walking fingertips. The future would take care of itself. Harmon might go wandering but never long from her side.
Melody listened to the music they created between them, began humming it. Harmon leaned into a kiss and began humming, too. It would always bring him back home.
3451 Word entry into June's "Paranormal Romance Short Story Contest"