The Angel of Music

The mournful sound of a flute brought Megan to her front door. She opened it and stepped out into the dusk, listening and watching bats flitting across the darkening sky. One or two stars were twinkling and she would have felt totally at peace, if the flute had not been playing.
Megan went back into the entrance hall and picked up an umbrella; a pathetic weapon but better than being empty handed. She walked down the path to the gate. She had chosen the property because she craved solitude, quiet and time for reflection. Now there was someone nearby playing a flute and causing her to feel the familiar surge of anxiety she had been trying to escape.
She opened the low gate and stepped into the lane trying to find the direction of the sound but it seemed to be in front of her, then behind. When she turned around it was to the left. She knew if she turned to the left it would be coming from the right and so it proved.
The melody was increasing in volume and tempo. Megan began to feel really afraid. Not trusting to the usefulness of her umbrella she retreated inside and locked the front door. She ran through the house, locked the back door and checked all the windows.
Megan stood in the kitchen, tense, holding her breath and listening. Silence. Had the flute stopped? Or, had double-glazing prevented the sound penetrating? Either way the security of the locked doors calmed her and she thought a cup of tea would be comforting.
Megan stood to fill the kettle when there was a knock at her door. She jumped in alarm. It was dark now. She was not expecting a visitor. Ignore it and the flute player, or whoever it was, must surely go away.
Another knock followed quickly by another. She began to shake. What should she do? Now the knocking was being followed by a man’s voice calling her name. She took a kitchen knife from the block and moved towards the door. It must be Graham. Who else could it be? She walked slowly to the door and called back, ‘Graham is that you?’
‘Yes, open the door Megan we need to talk.’
Megan opened it and a crack and her husband shoved it open and entered, his movements quick with irritation. ‘Why didn’t you answer the first time? I nearly left, thinking you were out. Why haven’t you put a light on?’
He fumbled up and down the wall searching for the switch. Megan reached behind him and put it on, the knife held behind her back. Her voice was harsh. ‘What do you want, Graham?’
‘I don’t want us to end like this. I know when I’ve had a drink I can get angry and then a bit rough…..’
Megan put her hand up to her face, now free of bruises, and remembered sitting in A and E for hours nursing a broken wrist. He was always so sorry when he’d sobered. Graham seemed to have no understanding of the terror and pain, she’d suffered at his hands.
She frowned as all her resentment and anger rose to the surface. How dare he come and soil her lovely cottage, her sanctuary, with his odious presence?
She gripped the knife tighter, held it low by her side and moved one step towards him. It was his turn to suffer pain, his turn to feel fear.
‘Well what do you say, darling? Can we kiss and make up?’
‘Not this time she snarled,’ as she raised the knife to strike.
Graham shrank from her, his hands ready to fend off the blow.
‘So how do you like to feel scared? I’m not drunk. I hate you. Do you understand now? I hate you, really hate you! Get out of my house now or.… ‘
She raised the knife higher and he slid away from her and ran for the open door. Megan, her breath coming in gasps, lowered the knife as she saw him run through the gate to his car. She stood, silhouetted in the doorway, watching as he drove away fast.
Megan turned to go in, feeling exhausted when she heard the flute. It was not threatening, just fading into the distance, like an old, painful memory.