At first it was almost imperceptible. She could have been listening to the throbbing frogs and crickets. Beyond that, though, there was a different sound. It was as deep as thunder, but consistent. It grew louder, the pitch became elevated, until it was a clear tone, a hum that drowned everything, even the rapidly increasing heart rate that she felt pounding beneath her ribs.
Lucy tipped her head to the left, and the sound decreased. She tipped her head to the right and heard it more clearly this time. Softly, hesitantly, she hummed the note. It sounded like an ‘A’, she thought. At nine years old, she’d discovered she had almost perfect pitch. She could sing a note and say what it was, and be at most a semitone off. As she hummed, she was astonished to hear the sound grow more intense, and go up two tones. She momentarily stopped humming, but the sound continued. She began again, and held her tone. It harmonized with the sound around her. Lucy scanned the sky from end to end, her eyes enormous in the dark, her senses keen. She stopped humming and the sound diminished. She had never been so awake in all her life. Her skin began to tingle. She had pins and needles all the way up her arms and her neck. Her face tingled. She even imagined, for one insane moment, that she could feel her thighs tingling. But that was impossible.
Suddenly, just in front of her, a blue-green light appeared. It was so bright it dazzled her completely. It was as large as an open beach umbrella, and it moved until it was right over her head, no more than an arm’s length away. Around it, the night sky seemed consumed by the light. It looks like a miniature sun, she thought. The humming began again. It seemed to come from the light, but it was all around her at the same time. Surround-sound, the thought. In C major. This time, she felt the tingling right the way from the top of her head down to her waist. Prickles of feeling seemed to shoot in small slivers down to her hips, though she knew she had no sensation there. Lucy closed her eyes for a moment. The light was too bright. As her heart raced, another sound joined the first. And then another. And when she opened her eyes and looked up, a white light hovered above the blue-green light, and beyond that, slightly to the left of both lights, was a small orange light, similar to one she’d seen before.
The blue-green light pulsed brightly, and emitted C. The white light followed, pulsing twice, emitting an A. Then softly, the orange light flared, and the tone she heard was B. She threw her head back, aghast. Was this something intelligent? When the sequence of pulses and tones repeated itself twice, Lucy thought that there was no doubt. It was music. It followed a pattern. What she was hearing, was a musical sequence! Her hands, which gripped the chair tightly, were vibrating as though she were on a bridge above a massive freight train. The vibrations were intoxicating. ‘Oh. My. God. It’s real,’ she said hoarsely to the night, to the lights.
Lights Over Emerald Creek by Shelley Davidow
Lucy Wright, sixteen and a paraplegic after a recent car accident that took her mother’s life, lives in Queensland on a 10,000 acre farm with her father. When Lucy investigates strange lights over the creek at the bottom of the property, she discovers a mystery that links the lights to the science of cymatics and Scotland’s ancient Rosslyn Chapel.
But beyond the chapel is an even larger mystery. One that links the music the chapel contains to Norway’s mysterious Hessdalen lights, and beyond that to Saturn and to the stars. Lucy’s discoveries catapult her into a parallel universe connected to our own by means of resonance and sound, where a newly emerging world trembles on the edge of disaster. As realities divide, her mission in this new world is revealed and she finds herself part of a love story that will span the galaxy.
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Genre - Young Adult SF
Rating - PG
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