Lydia was expecting her child to be born in less then 5 weeks from this day when she and Chanel were clearing out the attic so that it could be turned into a nursery. The space was huge and it had clearly been used as a storage space for as long as the house was there, which was centuries. Mansion is the better term for it but they still called it a house. Lydia inherited it from her mom who passed away a few years ago.
When I say that they were clearing out the attic that means Lydia was really just bossing Chanel around with her pregnant belly as the big excuse for not lifting a finger except to point out where what should go and how pretty some of this old stuff was. Chanel on the other hand was cursing Mark, Lydia’s husband, for working late today so that Chanel had to do all the heavy lifting by herself. Chanel was Lydia’s best friend for many years now and such are the obligations of a best friend.
Lydia was going through some stuff near the big round window on the side of the attic. At one point she lost her balance for a moment and her hand tried to find stability against the wall. But that move backfired on her as the wall just gave in on her then. Chanel heard the ruckus and hurried over to Lydia.”Honey, are you OK? What are doing?”
“Nothing! I just tried to reach for something and I tipped over and lost my balance for a moment.That’s all. When I put my hand on the wall the wall just gave in on me.” Lydia said pointing to the hole in the wall. Apparently somebody tried to hide it with wallpaper. Lydia started to pull more of the wallpaper off. “ Let’s see how big this hole is and if they tried to cover up any other holes as well.” Lydia kind of automatically put her head inside the hole without knowing what she was looking for. That’s when she found a box and a half burned notebook inside the hole.
She got the items out of the wall and at that moment a chill went through the room. Chanel rubbed her arms and looked around to find that the window on the other side of the attic was open. “Did you open that window? Better close it.The weather is getting bad.”
“No, I never opened any window here. Must have blown open while I was fumbling about over here. We just probably didn’t hear it.” And Lydia turned her attention back to the box. She opened it and saw that it was a music box. “Look! It’s a music box! How cute! Must be broken though. It’s not playing music.”
“Don’t you have to turn a handle for it to play?”Chanel asked. “Yeah, the crank folds out when you open the lid. But it won’t turn anymore. I think I shouldn’t force it too much. I don’t want to break it even more. Maybe I can get it fixed.” Lydia put the box down and picked up the notebook. The first few pages where burned badly, but it looked like somebody saved it from the fire then. “Whatever is in it must be important.” Lydia started to turn the burned pages until she found the first page with legible words still on it. Well, legible is overstating it. The handwriting was clearly from a different era. The words looked very much like old English. “Chanel, come over here. Can you read this?”
Chanel came over and accepted the notebook from Lydia.”It’s old english.” Chanel said. “I figured that much. But can you read it? What does it say?” Lydia replied. “Give me a minute.” And Chanel started reading quietly. Lydia grew impatient almost immediately and started tapping her fingers on the floor where she sat. Chanel pretended not to hear that and kept reading in the notebook. And then Lydia noticed that Chanel read something that got her excited so Lydia asked her what it was. “What is it Chanel? Tell me what it says!” At that moment the window on the other end of the attic blew open again. This time they both heard it but now it was Lydia who fumbled upright with her 8 months pregnant belly to close it again. “We need to check the windows in the rest of house as well. I think this weather is turning into a storm.”
“Oh my god!”Chanel suddenly shouted . The whole time Lydia was of to close the window Chanel never stopped reading. ”It’s cursed! The music box is cursed. It says that the music box will only play if an unborn child in it’s vicinity is going to be born dead.”
Lydia looked at Chanel with disbelief and fake annoyance, which was covering up a smile.”Yeah right, that’s hilarious Chanel. I bet it’s my child right? My child will be a stillborn. Hardihar. Come on! What does it really say??”
“That is what it really says! The music box will play a lullaby once to the mother and child and after that the child will die in the uterus.” Chanel paraphrases as she looks at the pages of the notebook. But Lydia wasn’t having any of it and she turned around and started walking towards the stairs. “OK, enough of that nonsense. We need to check all the windows before the storm gets too bad. Are you going to stay here and exorcise the music box or are you going to help me with the windows?” Lydia didn’t wait for an answer and wobbled on and down the stairs. Chanel didn’t answer but she got up and hurried behind Lydia because she couldn’t let an 8 months pregnant woman run around the house trying to guard the house from storm alone, could she? She brought the notebook and the music box with her downstairs and once they both got to the first floor down a loud crackling sound startled both women. Chanel immediately started counting in thousands aloud.”One thousand, two thousa..”And before she could finish a loud rumble went over the house. “Damn! That was close!” said Chanel. They both started giggling like little girls because the whole thing made them feel like they were on a slumber party with the parents downstairs and the storm was making them huddle up under a blanket and tell each other scary stories. While they were laughing Chanel accidentally let go of the box and it fell to the ground. The fall opened the lid and the music box started playing a lullaby with high staccato plucking sounds…