X is for Xylophone

The xylophone sat in the corner of the room, so unassuming, so innocent.  The wooden bars gleaming beneath the gallery lights.

Which made Elise want to touch it all the more.  Despite the fact that the students currently touring the gallery as part of their Music Appreciation class, were told to Not Touch the Antique Instruments in the Gallery.

Elise snickered when she remembered how the Museum Guide, an elderly man with a head full of grey hair, hunched and a thready voice made them repeat this instruction after him.

The group passed an exhibit of various percussion instruments from Africa, string instruments from Europe and wind instruments from Asia.  The xylophone was part of the percussion instruments from Europe exhibit although the placard beside it explained that the instrument had origins in both Africa and Asia.  This particular xylophone was reported to be unearthed almost 200 years ago in a village, buried together with the Chief.

Elise thought Yeah, right.  Looks brand new.  Probably made up the rest of the description too.

The Museum Guide turned to Elise at that moment as if he heard her thoughts.  Elise rolled her eyes at him and stayed to the back of the group.  The further she was away from him, the better.  He gave her the creeps.

The group moved to the next gallery, Elise trailed behind near the xylophone.  Gosh, it’s so shiny.  How much lacquer did they put on the bars! She looked around, making sure the other visitors weren’t looking her way and inched towards the xylophone behind the red velvet ropes.  She reached out to touch the bars and smiled when she finally did.  Haha! Take that, stuffy Museum Guide!

Before she could formulate her next thought, Elise felt a tug on her fingers.  And so she tugged back but found that her fingers were stuck!  She used her other hand to pull on the hand that was in contact with the bars but nothing.  She watched with wide eyes as her fingers disappeared slowly into the bars.  She looked around, calling for help but no one paid attention to her.  As the xylophone sucked her in, it made a slurping noise, enjoying the meal.  The Chief’s children it had the last time was 200 long years ago.  It was hungry.  After all of Elise disappeared into the bars, the xylophone let out a SMACK! And an Mmmmm…barely audible.

The Museum Guide came back to the gallery, looking for Elise.  He stopped at the xylophone.  Odd, the bars look shinier.  Hmmm…maybe Maintenance changed the bulbs in here.  Now, where did that shifty looking girl go to?