Here is part two of the first chapter of last year's nanowrimo story :)
When I was eight, the year after my father died, the music came again. I sat upright, my eyes on the woods as the sound wove it’s way closer and closer. Someone was singing this time, a shrill voice that had pierced through my dreams. I couldn’t understand the words but it was making my skin crawl in a way that sent me running down the hallway in a burst of energy.
“Do you hear that?” I demanded, coming to a stop in Jake’s room. I had never told him my stories about the faeries I heard, but he couldn’t possible be sleeping through this song. And I was right, he was lying stiffly in bed staring at the ceiling.
“Hear what?” he asked, shifting towards me and sighing. I just stared at him. The song was reaching it’s climax, the voice climbing higher and higher until it seemed like it was right outside the window. He was blinking at me with his ‘Oh god what’s she going on about now?’ look, but I saw him flinch when the song was cut off by laughter and shrieking.
“The Faerie music,” I said boldly. “You can hear it, you’d be deaf not to.” But he was already laughing.
“Faerie music?” he gasped, wheezing. “Oh, that’s good. Are they dancing with their friends the elves and leprechauns? And maybe some unicorns?” I wanted to punch him.
“You can’t do this!” I shouted, over the sound of him still laughing and the next song that had started. “You hear it! What else could it be?”
“Not faeries!” He stopped laughing and sat up, looking at me pityingly. Which was even worse than the laughing. “Gosh Vee, it’s the neighbors.”
“The… neighbors?” I faltered.
“They’re having a party,” he explained to me slowly, like I was two. “Lots of dancing and singing, and they must have huge boom boxes because everyone on the whole street can hear it.”
“But…” it didn’t sound like noises humans would make. “The shrieking,” I pointed out hurriedly. “And screaming, that doesn’t happen at parties.”
“Some parties it does,” he said knowingly, already sliding back under his covers. “But you had better ask mom about those.” I stood there motionless for a minute and he closed his eyes. The music was still going but it seemed duller now, like something that really could be made from lots of piccolos and flutes and wound up humans. It was stupid to think faeries were real before thinking of the neighbors.
“Hey,” Jake said softly. I looked back at him but his face was hidden again, the moonlight had only showed off his lovely laughing face when he was sitting up. “Sorry if I was mean about it.”
“It’s fine,” I said shortly, and padded slowly back to my room. It was fine, even if it meant one more memory with my dad meant nothing at all. All either of us needed was a good pair of ear plugs. After that I started sleeping through the night.