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The Music Room (2)

June 2002

About four years ago my family and I were helping my grandparents move house. It was a bright June day, slightly breezy and a little on the chilly side - being quite early in the morning. We had packed everything in boxes the day before and my father and uncle had removed most of the furniture from the ground floor, bringing large items straight out of the front door, across the lawn and through a wide pair of gates to an awaiting removal van sitting patiently at the kerb. I was bringing out the smaller boxed items via the back door, down the side path and out through a pair of smaller gates. It must have been on my third of fourth trip that I heard piano music drifting lightly out into the garden. The room at the front of the house had a large bay window and had been the music room, with a grand piano positioned prominently in the window recess. I had watched six men struggle out with that piano three days previously so naturally assumed that the music was coming from the radio in the van or perhaps from the radio in the kitchen.

It was a couple of trips later that I noticed how quiet everything had gone... the bright day had turned overcast, the way the sky goes dull and threatening before a thunderstorm. The breeze had vanished as well, leaving everywhere unnaturally quiet - not even the birds were singing. The whole atmosphere was on hold and time seemed suspended. Neither my father or uncle were outside so I glanced through the big bay window and was surprised to see the grand piano back in the room being played by a young girl. Bending over her left shoulder, as if following the music carefully, was a rather severe, gaunt looking old man in a long black jacket.

I wasn't frightened - I couldn't even say I was shocked, just a bit bewildered and confused. My immediate thought was, 'how did that piano get back in there?!' I wish I'd been more observant, but I do remember that although I could see the girl playing the piano, I could no longer hear it. The moment was broken by my uncle speaking to me as he walked down the path. It was like someone jolting me out of deep thoughts. That instant the sky was bright and blue again, the breeze had picked up and there was the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life going on around me.

My grandparents swore that during their thirty-five years at the house they had never once had reason to believe it was haunted. I believe that I was somehow privileged to see a time-slip to something which happened in the past - like a glitch in the present day.

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