C was fast asleep
Then the noise came.
There was no gradual build up. There was no warning, no linguine building up to a freschetti, or whatever it is that these musicians say in French.
A sudden burst of electronically generated tone, either a B flat or an A sharp, I couldn't be certain. But it was loud, it was shrill and it was constant.
I shot up in the bed, like one of those movie women when they've gone out, got really pissed and ending up sleeping with an ugly bloke, then woken up sober in the middle of the night with a shock as they've realised what they did. In my sleepy haze I pressed the snooze button on the alarm clock, then looked at the time.
It said 3.30 AM. I say "it said" but what I actually mean is that it projected cunningly onto the ceiling. For RD Towers is a hotbed of advanced technology as well as design. My projection alarm clock is one of those objects I rather adore. If I were an astronaut I'd take one up with me in my spaceship and use it to project the time onto the surface of the moon. I'm sure it could do it easily. Come to think of it I might try it tonight just from my bedroom.
"3.30" I thought. Weird. I also thought, but not in inverted commas this time. As I stirred into consciousness it dawned on me, though it wasn't yet dawn, that the noise wasn't actually the alarm clock. Hitting the snooze button was a reflex action and the noise stopped soon after, but it hadn't come from the alarm clock (projection type).
In the dark, with the light of Kingston Town shining in the bedroom, I wondered how I'd woken up in Jamaica, then realised it wasn't that Kingston Town. I waited and listened, hearing nothing but the distant rumble of silence. The noise, in its B flat or A sharp had made a hasty retreat. I sensed, with that man's intuition we're famous for, that it was hiding somewhere.
C, who is a person, not a note like A or B, not to be confused with A, the fifteen year old daughter of course, asked what the noise was. She had strolled into my bedroom from the spare room and was fully robed with only her eyes showing, maybe a bit of ankle too. There are notes who go by the name of C as well, I should mention for the sake of fairness.
We were puzzled about the noise. When I say "we" I mean me really. The woman's view on these sort of things is along the lines of
"There was a noise, I woke up. Now I'll go back to sleep and forget about the thing totally."
The average man, which I consider myself to be, or should that be whom I consider myself to be, is very different.
I went back to sleep with half an ear and half an eye open, waiting for the noise to come back but ready to catch it. I don't really know how you catch a noise but the idea made sense at the time. I was like a hunter feigning sleep to let the animal creep up, then I'd pounce and grab it with my bare hands and win a long and arduous fight.
The noise, possibly because it was an old and experienced one that knew my tactics, never returned. Or, if it did return it crept around silently without waking anyone. Noises are clever like that. I've lost count of the number of evil but silent ones I've met in my time. Some of them are invisible too. A noise that's silent, invisible and harmless is often the most dangerous.
The first thing I said to C in the morning was that I wondered what the noise was. The first look that she gave me was that woman's look, the one that goes "why the fuck are you still bothered about that?"
At work I told Gaz, one of my business partners about the noise. He, being a man, fully understood the importance of solving the mystery. We had a decent ten minute discussion about it, the possible causes and sources. Gaz suggested that it might have been a boat going past. It's still plausible. Not only that but I know there's a ships that pass in the night joke hidden in there somewhere, I just can't think of it.
We've considered things from mobile phones to smoke alarms and come to no conclusion. We're none the wiser.
Monday night saw no show from the noise. Perhaps it's been scared off. Maybe it's still lurking in RD Towers and biding its time. I should check behind the Superdry shirts to see it it's there.
Either way I'm still pondering on the matter.
Men will understand my need to solve this deep mystery. Women I reckon will frown with dissaproval, as if this is a trivial matter, as if there are far more important things in life to think about.
But, that's another topic. Can anyone tell me what the noise was?
Any advice on the best way to catch it would be much appreciated.