Mudcat Café message #2427399 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113933   Message #2427399
Posted By: Lonesome EJ
01-Sep-08 - 03:26 AM
Thread Name: Fiction : The Dead Man's Guitar
Subject: RE: Fiction : The Dead Man's Guitar
Sheila woke to the muted sounds of the guitar from somewhere in the darkness down below. The sound was eerie, out of tune, and carried a quality that never failed to bring her out of sleep with her heart pounding in her chest. Now her finger seemed to throb in sympathy.
    She had hoped he would sleep through the night. After the fight and the angry words, he had come to her and apologized, and his eyes had looked so lost and childlike that she wept and held him to her. They had lain in bed embracing for some time, and she had stroked his hair until he fell asleep. She switched on the television, no sound, and watched a Carey Grant film for an hour. He was sleeping so soundly that things felt good, peaceful for the first time in a long while, her mood disturbed only by the swollen soreness of the wound on her finger. But at last even that floated away. She snapped off the tv and was immediately asleep.
    But now she was fully awake, listening to Michael's music. There was no real pattern to the chords. Nothing that could be called a tune or melody. Instead, it was a series of arpeggios that slowly descended the scale, often with long hesitations before resuming. And he was singing. Perhaps that was not an accurate term for it. It was more like a droning intonation, between a chant and a whisper, occasionally punctuated with suppressed gasping laughter.   
    She hoped he would stop, but she also feared his soft tread on the stair that would bring him back to her bed. She took her pillow and reached over to take his, to fold them over her ears and blot it all out. That was when she touched the figure lying next to her. Michael murmured and rolled toward her in the darkness. Whatever was playing the guitar stopped in the aftermath of her scream.