It all happened so suddenly that if you were to ask Sylvie, she probably couldn’t recount it in detail – at least not the order of events. But just as she placed the last thrown bottle on the bat beside her, a gust of wind blew the shop door opened. As that wind swirled around and around the room, it made a very strange, multi-pitched flute sound – blowing as it did over the tops of those just thrown bottles.
That eerie flute sound was amazing by itself – caused as it was by a random wind. But what happened next had Sylvie rubbing her eyes in disbelief. She was still seated on the kick wheel’s bench, and facing the north wall of the shop. She watched with disbelief as suddenly the center of that wall seemed to disappear. In its place appeared an irregularly shaped opening. The gust of wind, the flute sound of the bottles, and now the opening wall – none of it seemed real.
The scene beyond the opening in the wall was at least as puzzling as the chain of events that seemed to have caused the wall to open in the first place. What appeared seemed to be a garden area – a large sunny and grassy area with a perimeter of well-tended flowers and shrubbery. In the center of that lawn was a huge oak tree. In the shade of that oak’s umbrella were several picnic tables, obviously loaded down with a banquet of food. And partiers. Lots of partiers standing and sitting around those tables. From her distance, Sylvie couldn’t be sure, but she thought that perhaps one of the men with his back to the opening was Doug Hively.
And then, just as suddenly as it all happened, the flute sound of the bottles stopped. And at that silence, the opening in the wall slowly closed.
Stunned and puzzled, Sylvie hurried across the room to re-shut the door that had blown open. It was still raining outside. The skies were still quite dark. As if it wasn’t obvious by the size of the back lawn mirage that it wasn’t actually the back lawn of Doug Hively’s shop, it was also sunny there…. but it was still raining outside.
“If I….” Sylvie began to wonder to herself. She sat back down at the wheel and leaned toward the shelf of bottles. With an eye toward that mysterious west wall, she blew over the top of the nearest bottle. IT HAPPENED AGAIN!
But it was only the slightest hint of an opening – so small, in fact, that had it not been sunny and light beyond and dark inside, Sylvie may not have noticed any opening at all.
“So there is a connection between the bottle’s sounding and the wall’s opening…” concluded Sylvie. “But there’s no way I can sustain the sound long enough … or with enough of the bottles to even make it so that I could look through the opening again, much less walk across the room to see if it’s an actual opening or if it’s just, like, a window or something.”
Remembering the compressor that Mr Hively uses to spray glazes, it occurred to Sylvie that there just might be a way to not only sustain the air flow across the top of the bottle, but to actually sound multiple bottles at the same time – much as that sustained gust of wind had done in the first place…