T is for Theremin

Oh, Jesus. What the Hell is that, and how much money did you spend it?”

Brook looked up grinning, a sure sign that the answers to Clarice’s questions were “Some bullshit” and “Too damn much,” respectively. “Isn’t it great?”

“What is it? It looks like you got angry at the world and took it out on a coat rack.”

Brook grinned wider and held a hand over the metal loop jutting out of the side of the thing. A high, eerie note filled the room. He shook his other hand over the loop coming out of the top and the note trembled through the air, like the wail of some lonesome ghost.

“It’s a theremin. Like a horror movie from the fifties.” He moved his hands, waved them before the thing frantically. Isn’t that awesome?” The pitch changed, and Clarice could picture a UFO flying through the air, coming to a dead stop over the White House, and obliterating it with a laser.

“Okay. But why?”

“Well, I think it started with ‘The Day the Earth–‘”

“No, why did you by that thing?”

Brook frowned. “Well, why not?”

“Because that thing looks like it cost a couple hundred dollars and there are probably smarter things we could have done with that money?”

Brook didn’t respond. He just sat there, frowning and staring at Clarice with dispassionate eyes. Like a dog that understands that it’s in trouble, but doesn’t particularly care why or what kind of punishment will follow.

“Look, I’m not even that angry or anything.”

Brook moved his hand in a circle over the coil, pulling a low, warbling note from the ether.

“Just, you know. Maybe consult me before you drop money on a musical instrument like that?”

The not got louder, filling the living room with its oppressive hum.

“I mean, you wouldn’t want me just dropping that kind of money on a new monitor or something for myself, would you?”

His hand moved to the other coil, plucked at it without touching the metal. The air itself seemed to distort, like heat rising off asphalt in the summer.

“I’m just saying… Oh, fuck it.”

Clarice walked away. Bruce watched her go, and when she had reached the bedroom door and slammed it behind her, he grinned and resumed his self-appointed task of creating music from nothingness.


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