The piano rested quietly in the shadows, listening to the sounds of early, early morning in the theatre. The old building creaked and popped as the heating system kicked on, warming the old boards and bricks and stones. The piano was not content, and a small vibration began in the bass register, rumbling and rolling its way up all eighty-eight notes. Things were not going as planned… Yet. The woman would help. The piano rumbled again, lighter and softer, as it remembered the feel of her hand on its wood structure. It had been a long time since it had felt any true music, like that in her fingers. Untapped talent like that could last it a long, long time… But it would make her difficult to persuade…

The piano settled closer to the wall when it detected the scrape of a key in the lock. Stealthy, it regarded the worn old man who entered. The man carefully shut the backstage door and shuffled toward a closet door. The ring of keys jingled on his hip with every halting step, and the noise was cacophonic when he searched for the key to the closet door.

The piano rolled forward, inch by sneaky inch, being sure to stay close to the wall. It halted just behind a set piece sporting bloody handprints on fake stone.

The old man created even more racket when he drug a mop and bucket from the array of cleaning supplies in the closet. A cupboard of other utensils crashed down inside, and the man let out a soft curse as he dropped to his knees to tidy the mess.

The piano waited.

At last, the man finished re-stacking the fallen items, and he seized the mop and bucket from the floor. Using the mop as a cane, he began to lever himself upright.

The piano made its move. It rolled from behind the set piece and gathered speed. The old man looked up, squinted in the shadows as if he couldn’t believe what he saw. Unable to contain its glee, the piano let forth an eerie growl of moving steel and wood as it rolled inevitably toward its prey.

The old man struggled to rise, and realizing he was too slow, stuck out the mop to defend himself.

The piano shifted it’s lower panel open and rumbled in for the kill…

* * *
This is part of an ongoing story… Catch up via the Serials page!

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