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Sirens blare as the police cars scream down the road. They are driving at breakneck speeds to reach a house, but this is not just any house. This is the biggest mansion in town and there has been a kidnapping. The wealthiest family in the city has been just reported missing. Outside a crowd of people has gathered to watch the streams of cops and detectives enter and leave the home. One detective in particular is leading the investigation and he is just as puzzled as the people outside. He is talking in hushed tones to his partner, but he is offering no help.
'There doesn't seem to be any signs of a break in. Nothing was disturbed on the inside' they just vanished!'
'Don't get ahead of yourself Jim, we're here to piece together the clues ''
'But there aren't any!'
'Well, let's look around a bit more.'
Jim was right; there were no scratches around any of the locks on the doors, and no sign of a robbery. There were no bodies and no call has been made for a ransom. It seems as if the family just left on a trip but no arrangements were made. A shout is heard from the master bedroom upstairs. The two detectives rush up the steps to find an officer standing over the grand piano near the window. He is holding a shoe and looks up as the detectives enter.
'This was found inside.'
'Did you look anywhere else in this room? Asks Jim.'
'Ok, clear out and let us do our work.' As the officer leaves he places the shoe back inside the piano. He carefully sets it down and as he does a couple of notes are accidently played. The music sounds like a boy laughing. Intrigued, the lead detective, Allen, walks over and looks inside the piano.
'Did you notice that no hands were touching the keys when the notes played? He asked.'
'I did, replied Jim, do you think the shoe touched some of the wires?'
'I was thinking that, but you didn't place the shoes anywhere near the strings. It's almost as if Jack was inside, or a part of that piano, interesting.' Later in the day as Allen sits in his office doing paperwork, Jim knocks on his door and shows him today's paper.
'Have you seen today's tribune? There is an article on the front page about the case.'
'Really? Who talked to the press, asks Allen.'
'No one from the department. Some gypsy named Dika. Apparently she thinks that the piano in the room is inhabited by spirits and the souls and bodies of the McAlister family are now residing inside it.'
'Okay'' Allen pauses to think of the implications the new information has. He only considers it because of how surreal it is that there are no bodies, no ransom note, and no one is claiming to kidnap them. He begins to believe that idea, but imagines what the press or even his superior would think. 'Have you met this woman and how does she think that the piano is inhabited?'
'We have her in the next room, and Janice was a believer of spirits. She would often have this Gypsy over at the house giving her fortune and that junk. Apparently she would often do this in the master bedroom, and commonly sat with Janice as she played that piano.'
'Okay, I want to talk to this Dika character. Hopefully she can provide some sort of explanation for this.' Allen walks out of his office and down the hall to the interrogation room. As he enters, he closes the door behind him and sits down at the table. The room is bare except for a table, a few chairs, a light, and a one-way viewing mirror with a room on the other side. He sits at the table and looks at the gypsy. She is wearing what appear to be rags, necklaces, and a satchel like bag slung over her shoulder. She has her arms folded around her chest and stares straight at Allen. 'Hopefully she isn't a book that can be read by its cover, mutters Allen to himself.'
'Excuse me? Dika asks.'
'You are, Dika correct?'
'Who wants to know?'
'Apologies. I am Allen Smith lead the investigator of the McAllister disappearance. I was wondering if you would not mind answering a couple of questions for me.'
'Sure, what would you like to know? She replies.'
'I saw that you talked to the press and mentioned that there was no murder, no kidnapping, or no running away of the family, you said the family is now residing inside the piano?'
'That is correct detective; I did tell the press people that. I have an understanding about matters like these that most people do not. The McAllister family was very kind to me and helped me out numerous times. I was distraught when I heard of them missing but I had an inkling that supernatural powers were involved. Previous visits to that house have left me feeling uncomfortable whenever I entered the bedroom. It wasn't a very kind room to be in. I never felt welcome, like some kind of spirit was watching over them and did not want anyone else intruding on its plans. It would seem that the ultimate plan was to take them for itself. I don't have a full understand on what is residing inside that piano, but I do know it does not take kindly to strangers.'
'Wow that is a pretty big hunch. Do you think if you had more time with the piano you could figure out what is inside of it?'
'I believe so' but I can't promise anything.'
'At this time, I am willing to follow any leads in this case.' Allen stands up and leads the gypsy outside the room. He leads her to his car and drives over to the McAllister house. Once at the house he parks and leads her inside, but stopping once to look around to see if anyone is still trying to get a peek at how the investigation is going. All regular citizens are gone and only a few reporters are trying to get updates for their stories. Satisfied that the barriers are keeping civilians back he walks inside the house and leads the gypsy inside the master bedroom. 'Well here we are do whatever it is that you need to do.'
Dika raises her eyebrows but continues walking over to the piano. She sets her bag down and takes off her jacket that Allen thought was just rags. Underneath she is wearing a thin brown dress that has a couple of patches scattered around. She pulls her hair back into a ponytail and looks over the piano. She peeks inside at the wires and notices the boy's shoes. 'What are these? She mutters.' She continues looking over the entire thing and ends up sitting on the bench. As she rests her hands on the keys, a soft melody can be heard by both her and Allen. Dika is startled and jerks her hands off the keys, stopping the music at once.
'What just happened? Are you alright? Asks Allen.'
'I'm fine, I'm fine, Dika says, it's just that was the music Janice would always be playing whenever I came over to the house. Just a memory that will never be relived again.' She rests her hands on the keys again and the melody picks back up. She is immersed in thought as the music continues to play. At the height of the song an interesting sensation begins to move about her body. She feels cool breeze against her skin and can smell the meadow from where she used to live. She felt the moist grass below her feet and heard child laughter from over the hill in front of her. As the song begins to fade, she hears the voice of her mother, but it sounds different. The voice is mixed with someone else's, almost sounding like Janice McAllister's voice too. As the music fades to silence, the room returns to an air of normalcy and quietness. Allen brings himself to reality and looks around the room as if entering for the first time. He looks at the piano to find no one there, and not understanding how there could be music if no one was playing. He sees a bag on the floor next to the piano and faintly remembers a woman named ' Dika, who might or might not have been a gypsy. He turns around and heads to the door and puts his hand on the knob, but hesitates. He looks over at the piano and slowly walks towards the bench. He sits down but keeps his hands in his lap. He stares blankly at the keys thinking about nothing in particular but thinking anyways. He slowly lifts his hands and rests them on the keys. Not understanding why, he begins to fiddle with some of them as if waiting for something to happen. After a minute or so of waiting, he gets up off the bench and moves toward the door. He exits this time and leaves the house. Upon returning to the station, Jim notices the look on Allen's face and silently follows him into his office.
'I don't know how to explain this to you Jim, but that woman was right. Somehow that piano manages to pull people from this world and take them somewhere' else. I witnessed it with my own eyes. For some reason it did not work for me and I don't understand why.'
'What do you mean that the piano pulls people from this world? Does that mean Dika was right in saying a spirit inhabited that piano? Jim asks.'
'I don't know if it's a spirit, but somehow that is what happened. I think we solved the case but there is no way the public is going to accept this, much less our boss.'
'What do you think we should do?'
'I think we should close the case as going cold and donating that piano to a museum. We have to make sure no one plays it but also making sure it won't get destroyed possibly killing Dika and the McAllister family.'
'This is the strangest case we have had so far, but I trust your judgment.'
'Thanks, Allen replied. I guess I'll do the paperwork tonight and we'll see what happens tomorrow.' Jim leaves the office as Allen sits at his desk and opens folders that required his time. He begins to fill them out and starts whistling a tune that has been stuck in his head since being at that house. It sounds like a piano playing'