Bob hadn’t missed a word.

“Is it true that the root of music is in the human hearbeat?”

“Does it matter?” Grandma Moon countered. “Heartbeat, breathing, walking, eating, day and night, seasons, years, planets, stars and galaxies – everything is rhythm.”

It was getting dark, and tomorrow Bob was leaving. “Did your affair with Grandpa end well?”

Affair? Boy, if it hadn’t you wouldn’t be alive. I don’t have a thing to complain about, until your Grandpa died, that is.”

“Was he…?”

“He died on this very chair, rocking to sleep.”

“Was he a mixer?”

“Yes, of course. The very best mono mixer this side of the planet. I could stare at him all day, laying optical tracks and splicing film. It was a world I never knew existed until he came along. You see, Bob, we Analog folk have a way of destroying reality. We don’t sample right, we leave out most of the colors, we have pull downs and fields and signals – he had film, and that was it.”

“Digi-folk aren’t like that, are they?”

“Digi-folk are like us, I’m afraid. Same bad habits, in the name of economy and the ‘common good.’ But they have power that we’ve never had – the ability to go back to the roots. Miss Cathy Digital will be good for you.”

Bob blushed to full saturation.

“The newspaper…”

“When two things mix, you never know what is going to happen. Like in chemistry, food or audio. You have to try it, and see for yourself. There are some people who are against trying, and will do anything to protect their side of the park.”

Some of that didn’t make sense to Bob, and Grandma Moon could sense that, even if she were looking into the horizon hidden behind the trees.

“Film folk hated us Analogs for ruining what they believed was their most precious possession. It was only natural. Nobody likes to see their work shredded and distorted to conform to your ceiling fan. We were naive enough to think we’d get their blessings, but we got another reaction. Your Grandpa gave up film to be in Wolfcrow, but he hadn’t counted on the fact that he wouldn’t be welcome here. We were kicked out, with nowhere to go.”

“But you’re back.”

“Not officially. We sneaked back in. Your mother lived with my sister, learnt the analog mixing trade, just like we always have. By the time the town realized we were hiding in this part of the woods they had grown too old to care. Today, no one cares.”

“I care, Grandma Moon.”

Grandma Moon snickered, like a sputtering scooter. “I always found it cute when you called me Grandma Moon. Moon! He He. Look how you’ve grown. You better make that girl happy, Mr. Analogue. It will be tough, but it won’t work if you don’t trust each other fully.”

“I will, Grandma Moon. Why do you laugh when I call you Moon?”

“Don’t you know, boy? My name is Mono.”

Next: Sampler in the Dock
Previous: Lights Out