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Play It Again

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It likes music. It's especially fond of the piano.

It was late one night. Around 2:00 AM. I was up late surfing the internet and listening to music. It was a normal night; I was just getting tired when I happened across an interesting YouTube video called "Easiest Song to Play on the Piano! Learn tonight!"

I'm not much of a piano player, but I've been trying to learn, especially since I inherited my grandmother's old upright piano. It was built in 1928, but it's still in fine condition. I decided to watch the video to see just how easy it was to learn the song.

On the video, it was a shot of the keys around the middle C key, and elderly, white hands were playing the notes. The song was extremely simple, but there was something about it that was... strange. Unnerving. But I liked it.

I memorized the chords and notes, stood from my computer, and left the room. The hallway was dark—pitch black save for the small night-light plugged into an outlet in the hall. It cast a dim, yellow light on the walls and flickered like a candle. I walked slowly down the hallway, feeling along the wall for the light switch I knew was there... somewhere.

Click. Found it.

The hallway flooded with light, but I was not comforted. It seemed, for a moment, I saw something. Something... small. And white, perhaps. Not like a spirit or ghost and not like a person, but it was small and... probably just my imagination playing tricks on me with the light.

I made my way to the piano in our living room. It, too, was pitch black. Our high ceilings were never visible in the dark. It was unnaturally dark. A kind of dark that you can feel.

I turned on the tiny lamp that sat about the piano, opened the keyboard, and played a few scales to practice. While playing, I tapped my foot on the pedal to add an echoing noise that almost sounded like... a steady inhale... exhale... inhale, exhale pattern.

I stopped and listened. Silence. An eerie silence.

I began to play the song I learned on the internet. The keys all flowed together well. I was remembering the song easily enough. It was quite simple. In fact, someone could probably accidentally play this song without realizing it was actually a song at all.

When I finished playing the song, I sat back, satisfied.

Then, I heard the song playing from the hallway.

How was this happening? I stood up and walked briskly back down the hall, to my room where it sounded like the music was coming from. I saw my computer playing the YouTube video again. It probably just refreshed itself.

Then, the music started playing again. This time, from the piano. In the living room.

I was frozen in place. I could not move. Slowly, I made my way back down the dark hallway... back into our vast living room—all the while, the piano was still humming this new, bone-chilling melody.

I approached the corner to where I knew I'd be able to see the piano. I swallowed my fear and turned to look.

Instantly, the music stopped and there was nothing I immediately saw.

Upon looking closely, I saw something white... a small, almost child-height... being. Standing in the dark corner... smiling at me.

It whispered to me in a hellish, quiet tone.

"Play it again..."

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