The Further Adventures of Sam Sonata - Music Detective - Chapter Two


Sam Sonata
After a quick shave and shower, I pulled up to the Littlesong mansion about 9AM under cloudy con spirito sky and immediately felt a deep rumbling vibrating the ground.

"So she does have an organ," I said to myself disappointedly as I climbed the stairs to the front door.

Upon being allowed to enter - I was led by a large and unfriendly butler to the nave where Mrs. Littlesong - dressed in a tiny bikini and sunglasses - played a Bach fugue on a massive pipe organ - her high-heeled feet furiously working the pedals.

Noticing my entry - she quickly finished a passage with a flourish before segueing into the solo from "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" - that she performed with extraordinary embellishments and zest. Finishing some twenty minutes later - she toweled the sweat off her glistening body and skipped over to where I sat clenching my teeth.

Sam Sonata "Ah there you are, Mr. Sonata - as you can see I almost always play my organ after a swim. It's so invigorating. Would you like to give it a try?"

My hands trembled as I thought about what it would be like to run my fingers up and down that fabulous piece of work, but practice before performance I always say.

"Maybe later - I'm a string man myself."

"Then you'll have to meet my daughter - she's an amazing harpist.

As if on cue, a lissome, barefoot, willowy red head in a peasant blouse and petticoat walked into the room and filled it with sunlight like a major sixth chord at a hoedown. Approximately nineteen years old, her hair was tied into braids in the Nordic fashion of Brunhilde, and she looked the part of a Norse Goddess, sans the breastplate. One look at her and I wanted to slay dragons and trolls and sit through 10 hour operas - anything for her.

"I thought you said your daughter was missing?" I stammered as the girl sat down obediently at her harp and began to gently stroke the strings.

"Oh silly - it's my oldest daughter, Melody that's gone missing. This is her younger sister, Harmony. She seems the shy and quiet one, but I can assure you she's quite the minx when she wants to be."

Harmony raised her eyes at this. I spotted a glint of something mischievous in them.

"I really shouldn't tell you this, but dear Harmony was even kicked out of Church for a while - they said she was acting up and causing the others to engage in... mischief. Her father was so mad."

A sly smile spread on the dear child's lips and I felt the sudden urge to show her some new arrangements I myself had just written.

"Now run along and play outside, Harmony - Mr. Sonata and I have some things to discuss."

"Yes, Mother, she said in a surprisingly seductive, deep and rich voice. I watched her lilting step - light like a piccolo in summer - and her bright emerald eyes were on me the whole way, as she slipped daintily out the door.

"You mentioned her father, er, is he home?"

"No - his world tour goes on and on almost endlessly - he's almost never home. Come sit beside me on the divan and let me make you more comfortable."

I took off my soiled waistcoat, cumbersome cummerbund and muddy galoshes and - tripping over them - sprawled onto the couch - my head in the woman's lap.

"My, aren't you the spry one?" she giggled.

"Don't get cozy, Musette - this is strictly business," I sat up and lit my pipe. After a refreshing drag, I continued. "Do you have any pictures of your daughter?"

"Yes - here's a recent one you can have." She handed a wallet-sized shot of a smiling girl. The resemblance with both sister and mother was remarkable, although this girl was a brunette with large, brown eyes who stared confidently at the camera.

"Always the outgoing one - so much promise - leader of the choir - so natural, so full of life and energy - so self-assured. Why did this happen?"

"Why do I get the feeling you aren't telling me the entire truth about your Melody?"

"Whatever do you mean?" she replied coyly.

I played my bluff. "What kind of trouble was your daughter mixed up in?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

I grabbed her wrists forcefully.

"You know very well what I'm talking about. Who's she been hanging out with? Where's she been going late at night? What kind of kinky tunes has she been getting into? What's she been doing on the bad side of Musictown?

"Ow - you're hurting me!" she cried. "I don't know what you mean - she's always been such a good girl..."

"You disgust me almost as bad as an unrehearsed amateur production of "The Flying Dutchman," I snarled and flung her nearly naked body to the marble floor. "Maybe I'll have better luck with your other daughter." I hastily put my coat and boots back on.

"But don't you want to... play a duet with me?" she sobbed.

"Like I told you - I'm a string man." I strode out the door in a quickly paced 4/4 time.

Outside, I found Harmony in the garden polishing her guitar.

"I know what you want," she said without looking up.

"Oh you do - do you? What's that?

"But you can't have it," she continued, busily oiling her fretboard, "until you find Melody."

"Do you know where she is?" I asked.

She shook her head and her long auburn braids swung like tassels in the breeze.

"You're her sister - what's she been doing - where's she been going? Has she been hanging out with a bad crowd?"

She looked up and her gorgeous green eyes sparkled with worry.

"She was always the good one - a regular in Church - I never thought she'd... What I mean is no one ever expected her to..."

"Tell me, Harmony."

"A while back, she started hanging out down at the coffeehouses with the beatniks and the folk singers. Then something happened... I don't know what, but she changed - got kind of distant. We weren't close anymore..."

"Do the initials "N&M" mean anything to you?"

"No - not that I can think of. Wait! "N" could stand for "Nothing" - she's a performance artist down at the club."

"And "M"?"

"Um could be "Moondoggie" - he's a bongo player she had a thing with a while ago."

She stood and shone in her radiance, but she was only semi-transcendent - I could see that there was something lacking inside her, and that she was hurting from the absence of her sister. I saw that I needed to find and save her sister in order to make her score complete.

"You stay here in case your sister calls. And Harmony, I promise you I will find her."

She hugged me tightly and I felt my heart pound like the timpani in Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathrusta."

I pushed her gently away and headed to my car. My destination - a little club I know down by the railroad tracks that the locals call "The Void."

To Be Continued...
Chapters: One - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven - Eight - Nine - Ten

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