A door creaked open. A steady, rhythmic step could be heard on the wood floor.

She sighed and set the large book aside with a gentle thud. Twisting the little lamp off, she gently stood up from her posture on the bench and walked to the door. It was dark. Fingering a strand of hair, she squinted to see into the darkness. Focusing on the steps, she shifted her weight. The floor groaned slightly.

A deep voice said, “You can keep playing. I didn’t mean to stop you.”

Speaking to the unknown voice, she said, “I suppose.”

“Do you often practice this late in the evening?”

There was a whisper of fabric, and the curtains were pulled away from the window. Moonlight streamed across the wood. She looked to see who she was talking to, but she could still find no one.

She shook her head, somehow knowing that the voice would either hear or see her response. The window opened, and a light breeze blew in.

The voice came from behind her now – moving closer.

“Play now,” the voice urged. “I doubt we shall ever meet again.”

She sat down and stared at the silver-whiteness of the keys.

BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP
She slammed her fist down on the clock, muttering as she opened her eyes.

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