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Day Twenty Five: Hum

He heard it that very first night. At first he thought, maybe the dishwasher, but he checked and it wasn’t running. Pressed his ear right up against the side of the television set. Just warm.


‘Dolores, you got the washing machine going?’ He called through into the bedroom.

‘No? Why?’

‘Nuthin.’

‘What is it?’ She asked, poking her head round the doorway. She was wearing her curlers already.

‘Can you hear that?’

‘Hear what?’

‘Just listen,’ he said, holding up a hand. They stood in silence for a moment, both looking up through the ceiling. ‘You don’t hear that?’

‘I hear you carrying on,’ Dolores shook her head. She went back to her bed - and magazine.


Donald returned to his lounger. He looked down at the dog: eyes closed, ears back. Not a care in the world. He turned off the television and pulled the string on the reading lamp. The living room sunk into darkness. He stood again, agitated, and walked to the window, flicked off the switch for the porch light and looked out, across the yard. The barn was dark and solemn, empty now, except for the cats. All the equipment sold.


In the distance, the windmills, like watchful giants, their arms rotating slowly - it was not a gusty evening - saluting the night sky.


And chanting and low and mournful tune.

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