“Hey, Mary-Beth,” I said poking my head into her cubicle. “Do you hear that-”

The cube was empty. The cup of chai Mary-Beth always had around this time was still steaming on its coaster, so she hadn’t been long.

“John,” I said walking to the other end of the office. “Are you hearing what I’m hearing? It sounds almost like music, or somebody humming? Weirdest thing.”

I stopped. John’s hoarder’s sty of a cube was similarly empty, with a stack of binders dashed across the entrance like a roadblock. He’d apparently been in some hurry to get out.

I poked about the rest of the office, only to find that everyone was gone. And the sound grew more insistent, a warm and almost choral note at the very limit of what my old ears were able to pick up. If I had to guess, it sounded like it was coming from Ramal Park, near the center of town, which made me think it might be a band concert or choir recital I was only hearing snatches of.

But there was something about the sound that was also alien, something about the register that was unsettling, warm and inviting as it was. My hearing aids couldn’t have been the sole reason for that, as I was able to catch a little of the sound even with them switched off.

I went to the office window and hiked up the blinds, hoping to catch a glimpse of what was going on.

“What in the name of…?”

Everyone in town, from my fellow co-workers in the bank to the kids running the Gas ‘n’ Gulp across the way, were streaming slowly out of their places of business, their homes, and filing meekly toward Ramal Park. Toward the source of the mysterious sound.

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