The doorbell. Peter ignored it. He was near deadline for the piece on his computer screen — puffery to accompany the statistics of a corporate report. After two days of starts and stops, he had a handle on it. Finish this, and get back to the novel.

The doorbell again, more insistent. He sighed, left his study and went to the big Dutch door in the kitchen that served as front door. A small man, graying, with a black bag. “Mr. Keating? I’m here to tune the piano.”

Of course. Meg’s reunion was just a few days away; an out-of-tune piano would be an embarrassment if Beth visited and wanted to play a few bars. “Come in, Mr. . . .”

“Casey. Howard Casey. Been years since I was here. It must be way out of tune.” Shown to the living room, he set his bag beside the bench, took off the piano lid with astonishing ease, stood it firmly against a sofa, turning to take in the wide arc of sliding glass doors that framed the piano. The garden was coming into spring bloom; at the forest edge, burgeoning oaks and maples began to fill winter’s spaces between dark firs and pines. “I wish I came more often. I look after a lot of pianos. This has far the best view.”

Read the whole story in Clare Literary Magazine



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