The Black Keys of a Piano


My eyes opened to the sound of voices, I heard my door crack open and mom telling me it was time to get up. I groaned and pulled myself up, I rubbed my eyes until memories of the previous evening came back to me. Secretly, I excited and nervous for today. If all goes wrong. I just leave, walk back across the street to my house and avoid the Armstrong family for as long as possible.

I pulled on a faded old band shirt and jeans, tying on converse before bouncing down the stairs and meeting my parents near the door where Adrienne stood talking to them, introducing herself to my dad since he hadn't been here last night.

When we were ready, we crossed the street to the house. It looked bigger now for some reason and it was unnerving to me, like walking towards a haunted house, towards fate... I took several steadying breaths as we approached the open door, a moving truck was parked along the curb with the ramps down. Adrienne set a box in my arms labeled Billie's Awards in sharpie. I shrugged and carried it towards the door, not exactly sure where Adrienne wanted it...

My steps faltered when I entered the foyer, holy crow! The house is huge inside! There was a grand staircase, the walls were all the same old boring shade of white. A few cardboard boxes shoved against the west wall of the foyer with labels similar to the box I held now.

“Here, lemme take that.”

I looked up to the source of the voice, a man, around five and a half or so high, stood there warily. His eyes were this bright green yet rimmed in eyeliner... Ok, so not what I was expecting...

I wondered if this was the guy but didn't question it, carefully passing the box off to him. He had a couple very memorable features about him. One being his hair. It was fluffy and black, almost looking like he had a cat curled up in his head. It was short and had that just-rolled-out-of-bed look it it. His lips pressed in a firm wary line as he accepted the box and turned and walked down the hall to put a halt to my ogling. I blinked a few times, was that Adrienne's husband?... Seriously he does not look a day over twenty three.

I nod to myself and head back out. Carrying in nine more small boxes and helping my dad with two big ones of dishes, I did not see the man again.

It made me wonder about the box, though... Billie's Awards? What kind of awards? Those cheap plastic trophies they give you for participating, or the ones when you win at a swim meet? He didn't look very athletic, in fact, he looked like someone who could run if he had to, but simply had no desire to do it on purpose.

By lunch time he still hadn't shown, and we had gotten all the boxes in, just had a shit load of furniture to get and assembled still. We all took a break and disbursed, I could hear my mom in the empty kitchen talking to Adrienne. Dad had gone back across the street to our house to get his tool box to assemble the bed frame up stairs in the master bedroom.

I stood alone in the middle of the foyer, the same place I'd seen Weirdo. I admired the small details about the house, the molding on the staircase, the designs carved underneath the steps, I leaned over them, looking carefully at them. Flowers and hummingbirds, music notes, and angels with long wings...

I stood up straight and looked around myself, no one else was here with me. I went adventuring around house. Though it was totally against moms rules that you explore someone elses house, especially someone who had just moved in, it was supposed to be rude and you just were not supposed to do it. But that does not apply to me. I walked down the halls, memorized the floor plan as If I am still going to be getting piano lessons from Dracula, I should at least know around his house.

It wasn't long after I'd climbed the staircase, following dad towards the bedroom that I had broken away to the sound of music, beautiful, mysterious music. I recognized it at once, it was a classic one that my music teacher Mr. Clarence often played before class while he waited for the kids to calm and quiet down so he could begin his lesson. I secretly loved the mysterious tune.

I approached an open door where the familiar sounds of the peaceful song floated on the still air through piano notes, well he was good, at least. So he, at the very least, could hold up to his wife's bragging. I leaned in the doorway shamelessly and watched him play, his back to me as his fingers glided... Oddly creating a beautiful song that I couldn't help but gawk for a second. Then my dad called for me down the hall, I froze hoping Dracula wouldn't turn around. He didn't, he just ignored it and went about playing his song, and I tiptoed away.

I sat crossed legged on the floor next to dad, handing him his wrench, screw driver and proper screws when he asked for them. And when we finished attaching the headboard to the bed frame, dad asked me to help put on the mattresses. They weighed a ton, and I nearly crushed my fingers sliding the box springs into place. I cussed under my breath so dad wouldn't hear me, then when he said I was free to go, I went in search of the music again. But the hallway was void of any sound. Let alone a piano, then where the hell was he?

Curiosity got the best of me, and I went downstairs to subtly look for him. Which meant carrying the corresponding boxes to the correct rooms, looking for him in the process.

“Hey Adrienne, where do you want those boxes in the foyer put?” I asked innocently, but in my mind, I was thinking of all the places, nooks and crannies he could be, and which to search for the mysterious piano teacher first.

She smiled “Most of them can stay there for now, but that one box next to the door, can go downstairs.”

I nodded and turned to go back to the foyer to grab the box, this one was labeled Studio Supplies. It was heavier than the others I'd carried, I'm assuming it was probably full of Dracula's records or something.

I went searching for the basement staircase and went down. It was dark, carpeted, and the limited light was provided by the two window wells to the right. I was wary at once, because I felt like I wasn't alone.

I set the box down in the middle of the room, preparing to ditch.

“You must be Harley.”

The voice was familiar and soft. But full of dislike...

“Harleen.” I answered to nowhere in particular.

“Well, I say your new name is Harley.” he declared, stepping out of the shadows beneath one of the windows he had cracked open, in the rays of sunshine the filtered through caught the wisps of smoke from the cigarette he held. The end glowing with embers.

I sighed. I probably wouldn't stand a argument with Dracula, anyways.

“Sure.” I groaned.

He chuckled, amused that he was already annoying me, it'd be a hell of a lot easier to talk to him if I could see him half decently.

“Why are you hiding in a shadow?” I asked impatiently, crossing my arms, my mind racing for ways to excuse myself and flee the basement.

He chuckled softly again “Because I'll burn to a cinder if I stand in direct sunlight, duh.”

I narrowed my eyes.

“Yeah, I know you call me Dracula, you were muttering it on the way down the stairs.” he said, gesturing to the dim stairwell. I blushed, angry with myself that I wasn't a little more cautious, and now I suffered from embarrassment.

“No harm done, anyways, move along little one. I'll see you around, Harley.”

I cocked a eyebrow then shrugged, I wouldn't push it. I bolted for the stairs and hid out with my mom and Adrienne in the kitchen. He never emerged from the basement, and the longer he was down there, the more suspicious I became that maybe he actually was a vampire.

As soon as we got home, I dodged for the stairs so I could go to my room, but my mom stopped me dead in my tracks by yelling out “You begin piano lessons on Monday after school.”

That's the day after tomorrow...

"Great." I said with a forced smile... In that house again, it just gave me the creeps, he gave me the creeps.
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I've had this one (Among two others) written for the past year, but for some reason, I never posted them. I edited previous chapters, making them a smoother read. :D Thanks for reading (If you still do after a year haha) More coming soon.