The Haunted Hummel by Joslyn Corvis

My dad was always telling me about this music box that, every now and again, would go off all by itself.  It wasn’t a real Hummel, but an imitation that to the untrained eye looked quite similar to the real deal.  Yeah, right. Suuuuuuure, I thought to myself.  I knew of the music box.  It was one my mom had for years and years.  If it was going off all on its own, why didn’t I ever hear it?  Even in the middle of the night when I was sound asleep, why didn’t the thing ever wake me up?

One day he was talking about it, and curiosity got the better of me.  It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in this stuff.  We’ve had all sorts of weird and unexplainable things happen here.  For instance, one day as my parents were sitting at the kitchen table, a magnet flew from the fridge and landed right in front of them, and there’s no logic as to how the thing could have achieved such an angle and such a distance without any help.  And one time my brother (who would probably say he was making a sandwich at the time), along with my dad, saw me flash by them.  But it wasn’t me.  Anyway, I guess I just wondered why I had never experienced anything with the Hummel, and maybe I felt a bit left out.

While my dad was at work one day, I went to their room, picked up the music box, and I wound it up.  I wound it pretty good, but the gears inside (which you could see when you held the hinged lid up) didn’t move.  Okay, the stupid thing is broken.  The gears weren’t moving.  It must have been some other sound he was hearing.  I don’t know, maybe the Ice Cream Man was making his (or her) rounds in the middle of the night and he was hearing the music from the Ice Cream Truck.  Maybe it was some alarm on some new-fangled machine that we’d just gotten and neglected to read the instructions to.  Who knows?  But there was no possible way it coulda been the music box.

Now let’s fast-forward.  It’s a few days later, maybe two or three, and my dad’s at work.  I’m in my room.  I hear a happy little song.  It was like little chimes going off in a melodic tune.  “Hmmm,” thought I, wondering where it was coming from.  Now, I would have thought it was a cell phone, but at that time, my mom’s cell had a ring like a regular phone.  It is significant to point such things out today because the first question asked by our modern youth would be, “Could it have been  your cell?”  I didn’t even have a cell phone at that time.  Oh, and by the way, I’ve noticed the majority of teens and pre-teens have cell phones, but it wasn’t like that then.  I didn’t have one, but the majority of my peers were still using landlines like I was, so it wasn’t unusual.

Back to the story.  Suddenly, I thought of that music box!I took off like a bolt of lightning to my parents’ room which was just across the hall, but I didn’t want to miss out!  I still heard the music playing.  I stared at the music box, which was playing at a normal speed.  I picked it up and held it in my palm, careful not to jostle it too much.  I sloooowwwwwly lifted the lid so I could watch the gears.  And as I lifted the lid, the music slowed, chimed the last few notes, and stopped before I could even get a glimpse of the gears to see if they were moving.

I figured that when I wound it up, maybe the gears didn’t move because the pin was down, holding them in place.  But if memory serves, I tried moving the pin and tried a few things before giving up on it the few days before.  However, maybe that’s the way this music box worked.  I don’t know.  There are lots of reasons the gears may not have budged.  And maybe, even though it took a couple of days, maybe there was some vibration that jiggled the table and in turn the music box, setting the gears in motion.  That, I can explain.  But for ever logical reason I come up with, I find myself asking more questions.The thing just didn’t seem to work at all, so how did it manage?  Why would it take so long for the box to go off on its own?  Why would it go off in the middle of the night if no one was messing with it the other times?  And the music box was just one weird thing that happened, so how could I ever explain all of the others?

While most instances with the Hummel were random and unprovoked, I think my interest in it may have sparked something.  Since I had been playing around with it, trying to see what made it tick so to speak, whatever entity that made it work knew just how to get my attention.

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