It sounded like a mix between an owl being castrated and a badly tuned harp being plucked out of order.
It was the type of sound that worms its way into your very soul and wraps itself around the joints of your brain and stays there like an annoying in law who asks for yet another cup of tea.
I first heard it in the morning when brushing the fur from my teeth, the sound crawled into my ears over the noise of the dripping tap, it got louder, I turned the tap on harder creating a furious wave of water. The agony persisted penetrating and twisting its way into my being, I couldn’t bear it, it got louder and louder until I could take no more.
“Molly” I cried in agony “stop that infernal racket; that’s not singing it’s noise.”
My six year old paused momentarily, toothpaste stopped in mid air whilst her brush waited anxiously below. She gave me a look that could turn milk, squeezed on the white paste and started to brush whilst still “singing”.
I left the room, the noise still rioting in my head.
All day she continued humming a tune Lucifer would be proud of, she followed me from room to room until I felt my palms a twitching.
Then it came to a head.
In Tesco’s of all places.
I was shoving the groceries into bags, readying them to move to their new home. BB wailed beside me, screaming her protest of being trapped in a trolley.
The noise began, softer than before but more insistent. The toddler yelled some more, a bag split, the eggs cracked and my nerves hit breaking point.
“Will you stop the bloody row,” I demanded in a shout whilst shoving beans in with the sugar and trying to avoid the dripping yolk, “Its not singing it’s noise and it is burning my ears.”
It stopped abruptly with a gasp of shock. I looked up to see twin girl sitting two feet away head buried in a magazine, lips silent.
My cheeks flushed, I altered my gaze to meet the eyes of the sixty something year old checkout lady.
“Sorry” she muttered “I didn’t realise I was that bad.”
In my defense, she was bloody awful!