the curious incident of the mysterious music

It was half past eight on a Sunday morning when, by chance, the two occupants of Twinflower Drive, were both situated in the kitchen area of the home. Mr. Tim O’Brien was at the sink, washing dishes, and Mrs. Becki O’Brien was capably constructing a picnic lunch of peanut butter sandwiches. Their conversation was light as they planned their day before them. It was a glorious day, bright with promise and expectation. 

It was as they were both fully absorbed in the particulars of their tasks that suddenly, a peculiar melody broke their silent companionship. It was curiously situated, and a strange tune that neither of them could claim recollection to. In an instant, Tim was on his hands and knees, searching the room for a clue as to where the noise was coming from. Becki darted to the dishwasher, for the sound seemed to echo from within. As they both reached the appliance, it had been a matter of no more than twenty seconds, the tune abruptly quavered and ended. 

“It is a curious thing, my husband” Becki cried, “for I have never heard such a tune before in my life, and I claim no ownership to an object that would make such a noise!” “Indeed” frowned Tim “I am truly baffled.” They waited some moments, hoping to hear the melody again, but there was nothing. Becki’s face was pale, as she does tend to always assume the worst. And it was with a truly serious countenance that she whispered, “Perhaps, my love, it is a bomb.” It is to Tim’s great credit that he did not laugh at this statement, but only pulled his dear wife into his arms and reassuringly stated, “Not a bomb, darling. Just a silly mechanical object. I dare say we will never hear it again.” And so they finished up their separate jobs, dressed themselves in fetching attire, and set off for a day of adventures.  
They did not return to the residence until half past nine that evening. Rosy cheeks and happy laughter greeted the front door as the two happily entered the dark house. You will understand then, why, as they walked across the stoop, Becki gasped in horror. For there, from within the inky blackness, an eerie melody was playing, the same curious tune that had perplexed them that morning. Its sound was alone in the empty house. 

Tim dashed into the kitchen, and threw open the dishwasher. But alas, the sound had moved, and it was no longer coming from this same place. Becki was paralyzed with terror, her face white and eyes bright. The last tone of the melody played, seeming to drag on for long moments in a trembling manner. And then the room echoed with complete silence. 

Much was said after that last note ended, and many speculations were made. “It was coming from the basement this time” said Tim, and “Perhaps it is an alarm clock, an old cell phone, a music box?” At the end of these thoughts all Becki could manage to respond was “Yes, my dear, perhaps it is music box. However, there is no logic to understanding the fact that the melody was not coming from the same place now as it was this morning. And music boxes do not move themselves.” To that there was no argument, for it is true that no inanimate object could move itself from one place to the next. And that, particularly, was what Becki found so chilling. Because nobody frequented this residence besides the two (for the younger sister was away). And so, they waited. Hoping to hear another strain. It may be said that Becki was both dramatic and resolute. The hour was late when Tim timidly suggested that they give up their fruitless watch and retire to bed. He was met with a fixed stare and declaration that nobody was sleeping until the mystery was solved. 

This brought on a renewed energy to Tim’s frantic searches. Meanwhile, Becki was lying on the floor, imagining all manner of horrific explanations to this conundrum. And to each fantastic idea she stated, he replied with something like this “But darling, why would someone who plans to murder us first dispatch an alarm to warn us of danger?” or “Yes, I suppose it could be an unnatural apparition, but why would a ghost or demon wish to frighten us?” or “Really dear, bombs don’t play music before going off.” 

Perhaps it was this sound reasoning that cleared her mind enough to truly think about the situation. It was then concluded that, if nobody else had been there to move the melodious object, it must have been unconsciously moved by themselves. As they listed every object they had touched that morning, it was realized that the object must have first been situated in or near the dishwasher and then moved to somewhere else within the kitchen. 

“A cup!” cried Becki. To which Tim replied, “But what cup makes music, my love? Surely none that we have in our possession.” And it was then that they noticed a mug that neither had taken note of before. It was covered in the gaudy pattern of a flag, and it was entirely new to their knowledge. “Have you seen this before” asked Tim. “No…” She mused. And then they both sprung toward the object. Tim shook it and slammed it against the counter with mad hilarity. Nothing. And their hopes were dashed once again. 

It was ten minutes later before Tim, in a final act of desperation (for Becki was threatening to demand a hotel room) gently lifted the mug once more. They were both immediately overcome with relief when that mysterious melody began to play from within the mug itself. It’s strains played through and then stopped once again. 

“Ah, a musical mug!” cried Becki. “Mystery solved” rejoiced Tim, “And now, to bed?” “Indeed,” she replied, “But you will first dispose of this object. I don’t want it in my house another moment.”  

And so he did.
And they both peaceably fell asleep until morning when, upon awakening, Becki wondered aloud, “But how, dear husband, did a musical mug of such offending looks come to be in our house in the first place?”  

And that was a mystery to them both. 



  1. a mighty fine tale!!! masterfully spun!!! but I need to know from whence came the mug?????

  2. That was such a thrilling way of telling it lovie!! I really like how you write:) I was so relieved when we figured out what that noise was. Im in love love love with you!!

  3. you tell such good stories, becki! :) this should be read out loud around a campfire!