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The Piano Woman

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There once was an old woman who lived in a two story house at the end of the road in a small suburban town. You never really saw her that much, except when she stepped out of her house to drink her tea. From what her neighbors saw, she was a complete recluse. She always gave ugly looks to the people that looked at her so they tended to pay her no mind.

After she concluded with her tea time, she would back inside. The strangest thing that her neighbors noticed was the playing of a piano coming through the walls and windows. Songs no one recognized always permeated through the windows and walls of her house and flowed into her neighbor’s ears. The melodies were always in minor key, making them sound haunting, and it frightened her neighbors. They couldn’t really say anything about it since she was old and probably senile, so they just left her alone.

She wasn’t always a recluse; however. Long ago, she had more than just her piano to keep her company. She once had a life. She once had a name: Emily. Many years ago, a time far beyond the knowledge of anyone residing there now, she had moved in from the city with her husband Daryl. On the outside, they had a perfect life together there in the little house. They were both very nice to the other residents; no one suspected any malice from them. They were especially fond of the Emily. Everyone in the neighborhood loved her.

They especially loved her talent for playing classical piano. She had come from the city to teach at the local elementary school, and had become close to the many children who lived there. Every morning she’d play her piano. Such beautiful music it was. It conveyed her emotions perfectly, her playing bringing warmth to the world around her as the music passed through the walls. Her neighbors never minded it. In fact, they enjoyed it. They felt a sense of passion echoing through plaster and brick. Sometimes the woman would be invited over to play piano for the many fans that she accumulated in the neighborhood.

About a year had passed since Emily and Daryl had moved in. She had become pregnant and was expecting in about four more months. It seemed like everything was perfect to the neighbors that asked her about her life and her husband. They thought everything about their relationship was perfect, though they couldn’t be far from the truth. Though her music echoed happily over to her neighbor’s houses, what didn’t strangely was the yelling and screaming. Emily and Daryl fought for hours more often than people had realized.

Although Daryl wasn’t necessarily abusive, he had a temper and would get angry at her over little things. He was also very possessive and jealous, getting angry when any man even looked at her. Even though he hid it well when they were with company, they began fighting soon after their door shut. One day, they got into an argument. Emily’s husband thought she was cheating, and that the baby wasn’t his. She tried to peg him as delusional and slapped him out of even considering that notion. Daryl reacted out of instinct and shoved her hard, which made her tumble down the stairs. With a thud she landed on the ground with her arms spread out and a gash on her forehead.

Emily awoke in a hospital bed with Daryl over her, tears flowing down his face. He told her that the doctors couldn’t save her baby, and that he was sorry. He held Emily close trying to console her, but she had snapped. Her sanity had been destroyed; it had been stomped on and bloodied by the loss her of her child. She let out a scream of agony and immediately passed out again. When they came home, Emily was completely silent, only crying or playing piano. But the songs were different. They sounded like the lamenting of a lost soul; haunting to the ear paralyzing anyone who heard it with chilled fear.

It was as if the screams she failed to make were expressed by the new melodies becoming louder and louder. Daryl tried many times to help her out of her trance like state; however it fell on deaf ears. He was forced to do everything for her, even having to force feed her. Her neighbors eventually found out what happened and that her husband was legitimately sorry for what had happened. The friends she had gathered tried to comfort her, even trying tough love, but it was no use. She had become a shell of her former self, the color drained from her face. The only thing that was left in her mind was her music.

One day Emily did start speaking again, but her voice was almost monotone and difficult to hear. She started to cook and do stuff around the house, even started to eat again with Daryl at the table. Daryl thought that she was recovering, but she was still far gone. She still didn’t want to be near him, being cold and un-wanting when he wanted to console her. He tried to apologize again but she didn’t listen. She just kept trying to play her piano. When she had fallen asleep on the piano, he took her to the couch and kissed her on the cheek. Then he just went to bed with tears, still ashamed of what happened

The next morning, Emily came to her friends in tears. She told them that Daryl had died in his sleep. They consoled her and decided to help her with the funeral arrangements. It was held a few days later. There was a crowd of people gathered at the town cemetery. Emily accepted the comfort of her friends and neighbors. A priest did the sermon and during the burial, Emily laid flowers on his casket. She stayed silent. Not wanting to be comforted by her friends. She eventually quit her job at the school and started to live in seclusion.

For the next few days, Emily’s neighbors could hear her piano playing the same haunting tune, as well as a growing odor coming from her house. It foul smelled, almost making anyone who smelled it faint. Her neighbors tried to complain about the smell but nobody she did not answer. After days of trying they gave up, assuming that it was just coming from their trash as weeks passed, disappearances started happening one by one, starting with the dark music and the foul smell became more prominent to the point it was covering the town in the smell. The neighborhood kept hearing the haunting melodies coming from her house. Her friends decided to act.

They called the police and let them know about the smell. They went over to Emily’s house and she answered them. They did a search for anything that could find anything suspicious but nothing was ever found. This continued for years and years. Children started disappearing from the neighborhood. People who moved in to the neighborhood were found dead by asphyxiation in their beds.

She always smiled when the police came to her house and they always came up with nothing. The only thing that remained constant was the music still coming through. People listening swore they heard screams echoing through her playing. She eventually cut herself off from her friends and became and old crone, always looking angrily at people. She hated couples the most, always jealous about their “happiness.”

After years of this, the smell went away for the most part. The disappearances became less and less, until finally they ended. The only thing that remained was the constant music was being played constantly, as if the old woman never slept. Eventually she passed away, and nobody knew when she did. Her corpse rotted in her bed as days went by and nobody found her. Eventually the police did find the body, and decided to bury it in the cemetery in an unmarked grave. They began to search for clues as to how she died and eventually came across an old piano. Its keys were dusty and the bench was knocked over on its side.

One of the policemen searched around because he felt something was amiss. A certain smell that he had smelled before was faint, but lingered in the air. He eventually came across what seemed like a doormat, lying in the middle of the living room, where the smell was more prominent. He lifted it up carefully and found what looked like a weird indentation in the floor. He started to feel around it and found and edge of something. He pulled every which way and uncovered a hole in the ground, leading into darkness. The police man shined his flashlight to reveal a horrifying sight: many human skeletons of men, women, and children were seen laid inside.

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