Teaser: Sonata in B Minor, S.178

A large house appeared through the thick fog. The pale yellow moonlight, softly sifting through the misty atmosphere, revealed an imposing four-story curiosity. The front, painted all shades of night and ocean, was covered with windows of different shapes and sizes carefully placed in odd locations so that it was nearly impossible to determine from the outside where one floor ended and the next began. The traveler, weary of walking and intrigued by the mysterious exterior of the building in front of him, made his way along the path to the front door. It swung open easily at his touch.

Once inside, he stood speechless at the spectacle that greeted him. The inside was stranger than the outside. Walls appeared in unexpected places and furniture, mosty end tables, were tossed about at random. And yet the entire house was so evenly balanced that only the most skilled architect could have achieved the effect. The wallpaper, the novelty items on the tables, the frames around the mirrors, and even the balusters and the finials along the banisters of the many twisting staircases, though appearing to come from completely different regions and periods, each displayed one of five basic patterns, giving the entire house a breathtaking coherency.

Ascending the nearest staircase, the traveler noticed the colors fading as the entire house became covered in swaths of deep gray. In contrast with the maze that made the first floor, the second floor was one large room. The windows were lightly tinted in a mixture of odd hues, filling the room with an eerie and relaxing light that illuminated the farthest corners. Large couches and canopied beds stored beneath gray sheets and curtains rested around the room like sleeping whales. Smaller brass items around the floor grew like coral around the traveler’s feet. Everything, even the cobwebs around the chandeliers, seemed to be deliberately placed. The same decorative patterns that were prominently displayed all through the ground floor graced the walls and ceilings of this floor as well.

Eager to discover the house’s secret, the traveler continued upwards. The third floor greeted him with a blaze of light and color as he stepped into a glorious ballroom. The windows were all stained glass. Cleverly placed vents and ducts kept a steady breeze blowing in all directions. Clouds of dust were constantly swirling, catching and scattering the colored light, becoming dazzling, dancing spectres. The traveler laughed as a dusty ballerina twirled past him, shooting off bright pinks and golds.

Finally climbing to the fourth and final floor, the traveler felt the air grow cooler. The light dimmed to a soft glow, and he found himself stepping into a small upper room. It was a comfortably furnished bedroom, set up to greet a weary sojourner. The now-familiar patterns were sensibly etched into the furniture. On the freshly made bed was a note written with a kind and hospitable hand. It welcomed him to this unique house and invited him to enjoy a rest from his traveling. He crawled into the comfortable bed, glancing briefly at the paintings around the walls of breathtaking landscapes and beautiful sunsets. Slowly, he drifted off into a deep and sound sleep filled with dreams of home.

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