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The Pianist

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Grand-piano

That grand piano.

I am here to tell you the story of my good friend Ivann. Ivann was fifteen years old, he was a piano prodigy. He was playing Vivaldi and Beethoven before he could even talk. I met Ivann via business transaction about a year ago; he was buying my old piano.

I should never have sold him the piano, I knew what it was capable of. It was a Steinway grand piano, I've had it locked away in a storage unit for years. Ivann saw me in my storage unit one day -- he worked there as a temp, he would clean the junk out of old abandoned units -- and he saw the shape of the piano under the thick canvas cover. He inquired about it, and I jumped at the chance to rid myself of it, not considering the consequences.

I sold it to him for one thousand dollars, he was quite surprised at how little I wanted. He had offered ten, but I just wanted it gone. I told him that it had been in the unit for ten years, but I knew it would be in perfect tune. It never loses its tune.

Ivann paid for it to be hauled out of the unit and brought to his home. It was gone within the hour, he was so excited. As he got into his car to head home I tried to issue a warning, but he didn't hear me. Ivann never was a good listener, in the literal aspect. He could, however, hear a song once and then be able to play it in the exact key within fifteen minutes.

Ivann arrived at his home, and the piano was already in his music room. It was pitch black. He switched on the lights, and they flickered eerily, the shadows of the the fan blades crawled across the ceiling. The piano was sitting in the middle of the floor, open and ready to play. Ivann wasted no time, he went to the piano and sat down on the bench. What happened next should've been enough to scare Ivann off, but he was determined to play.

He pumped the sustain pedal a few times to get the feel of it, and he heard a peculiar noise. It sounded like a heart beat. He pumped it a few more times;

'Bum-bum.'

'BUM-BUM.'

'BUM-BUM.'

The entire house was shaking, beads of cool sweat rolled down Ivann's forehead. Ivann was a rather adventurous individual, though, perhaps more than he should've been.

He reached up and positioned his hands on the first chord of his favorite song, Requiem for a Dream. In his left hand was G-Bb-D-G, and his right was a G octave. Ivann lifted his hands, and slammed them back down onto the keys.

There was a bloodcurdling scream, Ivann slammed his hands over his ears and fell off of the bench. The piano stood silent, the last of the scream fading away. As I said, Ivann was more adventurous than most, so he got back on the bench.

He lightly tapped a Db, and brought his hands up near his head again, but he heard the dulcet tone of the intended note this time. Ivann, feeling more comfortable, started into the melancholy Moonlight Sonata, another personal favorite of his.

All was going well, but when he tried to stand up he couldn't move at all. His hands and foot started moving on their own, playing Moonlight Sonata, but all wrong. His right hand in the key of Db, left in the key of D. It sounded harsh, metallic. He was also playing much faster, much louder.

This went on for the rest of the evening, each time louder and faster. Scratches began to show on the keys he was using, he was nearly melting the ivory. I believe it was around 3am when Ivann finally did stop. He tore his hands away from the piano, and crawled over to the corner of the room.

He looked at his hands, his fingers were mangled and broken, a big bloody mess. He glanced back at the piano, and blood was seeping up from between the keys. The flow increased, the floor was now covered in blood. The screams started again.

Ivann inched his way over to the door, and escaped the room. He got downstairs, and entered his living room.

The details are a little fuzzy from this point on, but Ivann hung himself that morning. This is the note he left behind:

'She's

Watching

Always

Always watching

Had to end it

All is better

BABAFGFGEDCBACEDGBAGFEDC'

I think Ivann left that string of letters as instructions, I think it was the notes to a song. I burned the house with the piano it, I was too afraid to play the song. I ended it all that night. I spend my days now sitting in the storage unit, just looking at where the old piano used to be.

I'm so sorry, Ivann.

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