The Music Box (Short story #1)

The melody of the music box soothed me. It made my skin tingle and melted with my character. It captivated me and made me calm like I hadn’t been calm before.

‘You enjoy it, ey?’ I nodded. I did. ‘Why?’ she asked me.

I couldn’t form the words in my mouth. I stuttered and then – nothing. Where was this taking me?

‘Try. One syllable at a time.’

‘I-I-’ That was hard enough.

‘I. Very good. You?’

‘I d-d-d-d-’ It wouldn’t come. It wouldn’t stick. ‘I d-d-d-d-o.’

She applauded. Only slightly, but she did and it annoyed the heck out of me. I wasn’t a child, I just couldn’t speak. There was nothing wrong with my mind.

‘Put on the headphones.’ I did. ‘Listen first. Once you’re ready, open your eyes and bring out all of your senses. Move with the music and adore the sound. I’ll be putting a text in front of you and you must read, while the music’s on.’

She lowered the headphones over my head. Like a child. The music didn’t come from the music box this time. It came from a cd player. It was loud. Really loud. But soothing. Once again. Soothing. I let the music carry me, lift me up. I started smiling. This was what I was good at. Listening. I knew how to do that.

Once the music had carried me long enough and the melody was firmly stuck in my head, I opened my eyes. Large letters were on the paper. I knew how to read, damn it. I didn’t need no large letters.

I tried talking. I felt my vocal chords vibrating. There wouldn’t be any words rolling out though. I knew that as well as any. She urged me on with those prying eyes of hers.

After what seemed to be ages, she lifted the headphones off of my head. Like a child.

‘Very good.’ She was smiling. Why was she smiling?

‘Do you care to listen?’ My mouth fell open. She taped it? Without waiting for an answer she started playing the tape. I always wanted to listen, but I didn’t want to listen now. Not to those animal sounds coming out.

There was a voice coming out of the speakers. An actual voice. I wondered why she had put on the wrong tape, but then I saw her condescending glare. The voice spoke, raspy and unorganised, not properly trained at all. It didn’t sound like my dad’s or my uncle’s, didn’t sound like anybody’s really, right up until I heard that first stutter. It was mine.

This is the first of my short stories. I write a short story every month and publish it here on my blog. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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