Something strange lurks in a vacuum-sealed bell jar in a wealthy eccentric's parlor, feeding on the unearthly sounds his musical mercenaries create. When suicide attempt survivor Aerie Walker passes his audition, her life takes a major turn for the weird.
Aerie Walker should be famous or dead or both by now, just like her idol, bassist Scott LaFaro, who in 1961, at the peak of his fame, died in a fiery wreck in upstate New York.
She plays upright bass too, and plays it very well. Won awards and acclaim, but could never manage a living. When her odyssey in professional jazz ends with spoiled dreams and a failed suicide attempt in Tokyo, she retreats to Ithaca, NY where she hopes to pursue a new career in the culinary arts.
One night after work, a 'musicians wanted' posting catches her eye. She takes her bass out of storage and to a bizarre jam session in the wilds of Connecticut Hill. She ends up joining the oddest of ensembles, playing atonal, improvised music for a mysterious bell jar, but never in public. Musical alchemy, patron Aaron Levine calls it. The thing in the jar does interesting things to carbon when the right sort of dissonance sends it resonating.
This strange 'music' disturbs John and Cindy, the God-fearing couple who live next door, to the core of their souls. The hellish racket seems to draw the oddest creatures out of the forest. Cindy even thinks they might be demons. Pastor Mac, her illicit lover, agrees to intervene, cashing in a favor from an old friend who runs Last Hope Ministries, a commando deliverance outfit specializing in high tech, large caliber exorcisms.
When Aaron goes away on business, the band, pining for recognition, brings the show to town, bell jar and all. The gig proves disastrous, freeing the entity in the bell jar, wreaking havoc on the alchemist's designs and nipping Aerie's musical comeback in the bud.
But in the process, cuckold John becomes a fan, accomplice and secret admirer of Aerie's. And he alone has the inclination and ability to jam the gears of a potentially deadly deliverance.
Sonant celebrates music and nature and the mysteries of the heart, riding the ‘Slipstream’ between gritty contemporary fantasy and magical realism.
About A. Sparrow
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Published December 20, 2013
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction.