Adventures in Harmonia: Music Theory and Dinosaurs (Part 13)

To read previous installments of this series, visit the Adventures in Harmonia page.

I spent the rest of the weekend contemplating “King” Alexander’s odd request. He wanted me to get him back to Harmonia? REALLY? How on earth was I supposed to do that? Even if I discovered what was blocking him from using the portals in the first place and then miraculously figured out how to unblock him, there was still the matter of smuggling him out of a nursing home. Sure, I could take the music box there so he technically wouldn’t even have to leave his room, but still…the nurses were bound to notice his disappearance into thin air sooner or later. Continue reading


Adventures in Harmonia: The Exiled King (Part 12)

To read previous installments in this series, visit my Adventures in Harmonia page and scroll down.

“Can I help you?” The woman behind the desk asked when I arrived at the main office of Pleasant Oaks Retirement Center. Her name tag proclaimed her to be Tammy.

“Yes. I’m here to see Alexander Haywood. I was wondering if you could tell me where he is.”

“Sure thing, honey. Just give me a second.”

She clacked away on the computer keyboard, smacking her gum loudly. “Haywood…Hay–Ah! Haywood. Found him.” She smiled up at me as if waiting for my congratulations.

“Um…great,” I replied.

“I’m sorry. What did you say your name was, dear?”

“Oh, I don’t think I did. My name’s Stephanie. I’m a…an old friend.”

Tammy smiled still wider. “How sweet! I’m sure he’ll be delighted to see you then. According to my records, he hasn’t had a visitor in a long while. Your company might do him good.”

“I hope so.”

Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Questions (Part 11)

If you missed previous installments, you can visit my Adventures in Harmonia page and scroll down for more posts.

“Hi, Ms. Stephanie!” Alyson greeted me when I opened the door later that afternoon.

“Hi there. How are you?”

“Great!” She stepped over the threshold and took off her coat. Her mother, Tiffany, followed.

“Hello. I’m going to stay today, if that’s OK,” Tiffany said.

I scarcely concealed my relief. “Of course! Come on in!”

Ha! I wouldn’t have to talk about the music box or Harmonia now. Not with the mom there. Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Denial (Part 10)

If you missed previous installments of this series, you can go to my Adventures in Harmonia page and scroll down for more posts.

I waved goodbye with a numb, vacant smile–the most I could manage at the time–as Alyson climbed into her mother’s car. It had without a doubt been the most stressful and traumatizing piano lesson of my life.

We spent hours trapped in an insane and, as it turned out, dangerous world where music notes were alive and a swarm of flying, bloodthirsty accents sent us running for our lives; all of which existed, annoyingly enough, inside the music box on my piano. The very music box some old man had pawned off on me, and I had been sucker enough to take out of “sympathy.” It was supposed to be nothing more than a pretty, but ordinary wooden box. Joke was on me, I guess.
Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: The High Guardian (Part 9)

To catch up, click here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part Part 8.

Alyson and I followed the pathway into the woods. As the bright sunlight faded into a gloomy twilight beneath the trees’ domain, my mood darkened as well. Why did Maestro insist we meet alone deep inside a forest? Was the topic we were about to discuss really that dangerous? Or did he have more sinister reasons for getting us on our own?

I stopped in my tracks and watched Alyson skip along the path in front of me. For an instant, guilt consumed me. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought her along. Then I shook myself. No. It was just as dangerous, if not more so, to leave her alone. How was I to know if all those Notes back at the Inn were trustworthy? Better to stick together I thought, remembering the mysterious reaction of the Notes upon seeing Alyson enter the Inn. Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: The Half Rest Inn (Part 8)

Catch up here: Inside the Music Box (part 1, part 2, part 3); Rhythm Class; Recess (Part 1, Part 2).

The Staff Road

The Staff Road

One positive fact about the bare layout of Harmonia was that my line of sight was virtually unobstructed. If anything came after us, odds were I’d see it long before it got to us. Not that I knew what I’d do if faced with a sudden adversary. I had nothing on me, no weapons of any kind, and there was nothing lying around that I could use either. We’d probably just run like crazy. Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Recess (Part 7)

To catch up, go here: Inside the Music Box–Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Rhythm Class–Part 1, Part 2. Recess–Part 1

music portal “Maestro says you are from the Other World.”

“Yes…” I sighed. “I suppose so.”

“What are you doing here, then?”

A sharp laugh dangerously close to hysteria escaped my lips. “I wish I knew! One minute, I was teaching Alyson in my house. The next, we were here.”

“But, you must have come for a reason?”

“Trust me—I had no intention of coming here. I didn’t even know this place existed!” Then I added under my breath, “The sooner I can get out of here, the better.” Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Recess (Part 6)

Catch up here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

playground 1

It struck me as odd that, in such a ridiculous, nonsensical world, there should be something as common as a playground. Yet there it was in the school yard, sticking out like a perfectly normal thumb surrounded by sore fingers. Swings, slides, a merry-go-round, a climbing gym and more awaited the eager Note children. For whatever reason, I could not justify its existence in my mind. By this time, however, I had stopped trying to understand any of it. Instead, I just accepted the fact that schools for music Notes must have playgrounds as well as human schools. Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Rhythm Class (Part 5)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

“Alyson,” Maestro called over his shoulder, “would you like to help?”

Alyson gasped and clasped her hands together. “Oh, yes, please!”

She skipped over and sat on her knees to look into the chest. Still not entirely convinced of Maestros’ trustworthiness, I joined them and peered inside as well, just to be sure.

There was nothing threatening in the chest after all–only large, black plastic numbers that seemed harmless enough.

“Choose your time signature,” said Maestro, “and the notes will have to arrange themselves inside the measures to match.”

Ahh, so those are measures on the floor! I thought triumphantly.

“Why does she get to pick the time signature?” one of the notes whined.

Maestro stiffened, and his head snapped around. “Because she is our guest! Where are your manners?”

The note crossed her arms and pouted. I turned my attention back to Alyson, who was rummaging inside the chest for the first number. Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Rhythm Class (Part 4)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


By Sue Dawe

Maestro walked in the space between the staff lines, following the “road,” if that’s what it was supposed to be. Warily, I followed a short distance behind him, as I distinctly remembered from my childhood being warned never to walk too close behind a horse because it could kick you if startled. Maestro didn’t seem the type to be easily startled, but I wasn’t taking any chances.

There was no sound besides the rhythmic clacking of the unicorn’s hooves and some cheerful song Alyson hummed softly to herself. The staff-road seemed to go on forever. What horrors awaited us at its end, I could only imagine.

As the images of monsters and screaming flashed through my mind, the roof of a large building rose up in the distance. Grey smoke billowed out of its brick chimney and swirled high into the air.

I knew it! They’re going to eat us, I thought. My mind raced to figure out a way to grab Alyson and make a run for it—but where would we go? Continue reading