As she made her way up the driveway of the yard sale, Mrs. Ailing's eyes were already scanning over all of the relics the house had to offer. Her browsing was interrupted by a quirky and outlandish-looking woman. Mrs. Spuke, the new neighbor, greeted Mrs. Ailing with a warm smile, which highly contrasted the home she was now residing in. It was hard for Mrs. Ailing to concentrate on what Mrs. Spuke was saying, for she kept rambling and going off on tangents. Politely, she diverted herself from the one-way conversation with Mrs. Spuke and headed to the far end of the yard sale.
Mrs. Ailing grew more and more disappointed as she was getting to the last of the trinkets and gizmos. Finally, she came across something alluring - a meticulously crafted box. Its intricately carved design held Mrs. Ailing's gaze for another moment or two. Her fingers gently lingered over the cedar and cherry wood of the box, as if she were trapped in a surreal trance. The box felt so comfortable in her hands, and she knew she had to take it home with her.
She proudly walked with the box in between her hands down the street, knowing that she had made a great purchase that day. When she got home, Mrs. Ailing set the box delicately on the dining table and proceeded to the living room to take a nap. She fell into a deep sleep, but was awoken by what sounded like a faint lullaby. Still half asleep, Mrs. Ailing arose from the couch and plodded over to where the sound was coming from.To her surprise, the box that she had bought earlier that day was actually a music box! Astounded, she shut the box and brought it upstairs to her bedroom. As she ascended the steps, she stopped and had an intriguing thought. Who could have possibly opened the box in the first place?
Never mind that, it must've been her husband, she thought. Pushing that aside, she began to hum the catchy little tune that played while she slumbered. She began to notice how tired she grew the more she hummed that catchy little tune. Too much sleep, perhaps? Or maybe she was just hungry. Whatever the case, she stopped humming, but the catchy little tune played over and over again in her head. It began to deteriorate her sense of awareness, but it's not like little Mrs. Ailing noticed.
The next morning, she took the box with her to the dining table to eat breakfast. She didn't even have it for an entire day and she already treasured that box as if it were her own child. She was so caught up in the box's uniqueness that she nearly fed her ear a spoonful of cereal. Frazzled, she anxiously finished her bowl and went out onto the porch to further explore the box. Everything was extremely calm outside that morning - no sign of children playing, no obnoxious dogs barking, not even the steady sound of the sprinklers spraying across the yard. Mrs. Ailing knew that once she opened the lid of the box, the hypnotic song of the music box would break the peacefulness, but she didn't care. She propped the lid up against the back of the porch swing in which she was sitting and listened mindlessly with her eyes shut. The minor melody danced around in her head; something about it was very mysterious. Why? She didn't know, and the curiosity lingered over her uncomfortably.