“Gold,” I whispered, staring at the handrail.
How could it have been gold? For the past few days, I’d been using a wooden handrail, darkly-stained and well-polished. What was going on?
The further down the stairs I looked, the more things seemed to be changing, like a new light washing away the old. The frames on the walls transformed to gold-plated wood, ornately carved, the paintings brighter, the figures in them more regal and esteemed. Looking down the hall I’d just come from, I saw much the same. The hall seemed to light up, shining as though everything was edged in gold. Even the floorboards glowed as though new and vibrant.
“What’s going on?” I asked myself.
The music was growing louder, too, and now I could tell that it wasn’t from the clock downstairs. The other end of the hall lit up as I glanced its way, the light and the gold spreading all the way to the library doors. Even the doors themselves were changed. What had once been time-worn woods was now a fresh and bright cerulean blue, the handles sparkling with gold.
There was the click of a latch coming from the library. I realized then that my heart hadn’t started pounding until that moment. And now, with the prospect that I was no longer alone in the house, it was thundering. I dashed into my office to grab my cellphone, slid it into my jacket pocket, and stepped back into the hallway.
I debated calling for help right then; I had already input several local numbers into my phone. What could I tell them, though? I heard a noise and I was scared? My house was magically different? If I could just get more information about the situation first…
My feet carried me down the hall towards the library. The door handle moved under my lightest touch, hardly making a sound as it turned. Even the door was quiet on its hinges, although the day before I’d made a mental note to get some WD-40 for it. How could it have changed?
The library sprang to life as I entered it. The further I walked, the further the light and the gold spread. Every book seemed new and fresh, every gold and silver letter sparkling. Light bounced off the crystals in the lights above me, making the entire room twinkle as though with some sort of magic. I gazed around it in awe, wondering how it could be possible. At the very least, nothing about it seemed malicious. There was just light and beauty all around.
Finally, I noticed the double doors at the other end of the room. Those had definitely not been there before. It had only been a solid wall, an especially large painting hanging on it. These doors were also blue, but more ornately carved than the ones leading into the library. Again I thought of calling someone, but stopped myself; nobody would believe me, anyway.
I couldn’t help but wonder where those doors led, and I was fairly certain that they had something to do with the music. It was louder in the library, and still playing– but I saw nobody. Against all of my better judgment, I crossed the library, heading straight for the blue-painted doors that had not been there before.
I found this charming video while researching various minuets. This one is mostly “Flight of the Bumblebee,” but it’s great because it’s done with both western and Chinese traditional instruments. Happy listening!