Fear the house would become like its neighbour – heavily padlocked on the outside but open to the sky, like a swollen corpse slowly disintegrating from the monsoonal rains but keeping up some remnants of body structure as it sunk into primeval slime – stalked the Brother and Sister in the House of the Forgotten Notes in the Parish of St Sebastian the Beautiful and the Street of the Left Behind ..
Each morning the Brother would play the same note on his violin and the Sister would come out from behind the split door of the main entrance to the House and clean the candle stubs from St Sebastian’s shrine.
His cousin the Notary who looked after their affairs arranged for the Professor to come each year and tune the instrument. He had never managed to play more than the one note since Isobella had left him for the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit. If his Sister died before him they would take him to the Nuns, he would never leave their care and he would never play his violin again
She used the silver key her Mother had given her to open the shrine and care for the Flowers that embraced the Saint Sebastian forever swooning under the impact of those cruel arrows, adding more water and replacing the flowers on Market day. Market day was now her sole trip away from the House and there was just enough money in the housekeeping to buy the Lilies she wanted
The rain pelted down each afternoon, the streets flooded to ankle height and when Sister went to light the Shrine’s candles the Parish cats – each generation getting smaller and skinnier and hopelessly related to each other -crept over the open half of the split door looking for a dry spot inside..