A piercing screech shattered the silence of the quiet afternoon, setting my teeth on edge, like fingernails on a chalkboard. My shoulders tensed, anticipating the next shriek. It came, even more curdling than the first. The blood drained from my face, puddling in my toes, anchoring me to the floor. I wanted to run screaming from the room, but, somehow, I was mesmerized by the horror of that sound. I had never heard anything so frightening in my life.
The howling persisted, becoming rhythmic now, repeating over and over and over, picking up speed, the beat angry and demanding:
Da da dum dum, da da dum dum
Da da dum dum dum dum dum dum
It was racing to a fever pitch, tortured into a frenzy. My face contorted in agony, my mouth forming a silent circle as in Edvard Munch‘s The Scream. Then a voice started shouting, pleading, begging, “Stop! Stop! Make it stop!” With horror I realized the voice was my own. No, this was no dream. No nightmare, except one of my own making. When the pain became unbearable, I put down my violin.
After six years of neglect, my violin finally has its new Diamond e-string and I can begin playing again, thanks to my husband who took me to the violin shop Tuesday to have some repairs made and get my new string. He’s been wanting me to go back to playing for a long time because he knows how much I enjoy it. In fact, he is such a sweet honey, he prefers me to practice when he’s at work so I won’t be distracted. Isn’t that thoughtful of him?