The Red City Philharmonic Orchestra disbanded centuries ago. As such, their instruments have grown restlessly out of tune and starved of human touch. The lights are still on in the old opera house where they await their musicians, but dead noise saturates the air to a point of near-total darkness. Cleaning robots have learned not to enter, and dust has cloaked most of the surfaces inside.
What was once the concert harp has taken up residence in one of the private balconies high above the stage. Its frame has been twisted into the geometry of a double-helix from hunger, and its strings are now detached from the soundboard, dangling like some awful wig. A single horsefly intrudes upon its territory, and one of the wires snaps around its wings.
It squeezes away the insect’s buzz, and for a moment, remembers what music tasted like. Then the silence returns.