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The Songs at Night

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Guitar

Being a musician, I'm always interested in instruments of all kinds. Old, new, guitar, bass, trumpets... It doesn't matter. But there's one guitar I'd care to never own again.

A few months back, I was searching the local pawnshops for a nice acoustic guitar. I had seen tons in different shops all over the area, but nothing really caught my eye.

Until I saw this one... It was an old beat up acoustic guitar with "Charlotte" etched into the body, just below the bridge. Expecting a big price tag, I tried to shrug it off. The shop owner noticed it caught my eye.

He took it down and handed it to me. The notes sang and felt so right in my hands. I looked at the price tag. $50. I asked the shop owner why it was so cheap, he told me it was old and beat up and someone scratched all over it, so he didn't think it would be worth anything. His loss, I thought, as I handed him a $50 bill and walked out of the store.

I sat and played it that night for hours. I couldn't stop, it changed me, like I was a better player because of it. That was when all hell broke loose. Every time I set it down to go to sleep, it was like a voice in my head told me to play it. I played all through the night, never sleeping a wink. I was getting ready to go to work, and the guitar called to me again... this went on for days.

I got the occasional nap, and ate a meal or two a day, but I played endlessly. While setting it down one time, I noticed something in the body of the guitar. A note, I took the note out and scratched on this old, yellowed paper was a terrifying letter.

"Whoever owns this guitar... I'm sorry. I couldn't bear to keep it... the voices... the fucking voices. It has me and it won't let go. I just need rid of this goddamned guitar."

My heart sank. I set the guitar in my room, and left the house, locking the door behind me. I drove around for a while, but couldn't stop thinking about the guitar. I went to my best friend's house to try to occupy myself, he opened the door and looked in shock.

"Dude, you're white as a ghost... where have you been for the past few days? You haven't answered your phone." I just walked in his house and sat down. He got me a beer, here's where I lose myself. My friend tells me I just kept repeating "Charlotte... I need to get back to Charlotte..." I fell asleep on his couch that night where Charlotte couldn't get me.

My friend woke me up around 11am the next morning asking what was up with me last night, I just shrugged it off and went to my car and drove home. I walked to the door to see a note from the shop owner where I got Charlotte.

"I'm sorry for what I did. By now you should know what I'm talking about... but I couldn't let those voices have me anymore. She's your problem now."

I walked into my house to find nothing out of the ordinary. I went to my room where I left Charlotte. On the wall opposite my door, someone had carved into my wall with a knife: "Charlotte's mine and you can never have her." I grabbed the guitar and ran out of my house. I was going to end it once and for all. As I rushed through the door, a string snapped and lashed across my hand, cutting across my palm. Two drops of blood hit the ground in the shape of a heart, and the string fell right on top, smearing the heart away. I jumped in my car and drove out to my grandpa's old farm.

I got out and walked up to the cemetery where most of my family had been buried. I found an open plot and dug a grave. It was the middle of the night by the time I was done, and the only lights were the headlights of my car. I threw Charlotte down into the hole and grabbed a bottle of lighter fluid, and a book of matches from my trunk. I poured the lighter fluid all over the guitar and threw a match down in the hole. As Charlotte burned away, I pushed the dirt back into the hole.

Everything went fine for a few days, I stopped back in to the pawn shop and talked to the owner. He said he'd never had a guitar like that. I talked to my friend who said I was completely out of it. But everything was going back to normal. A week later I drove back to where I buried Charlotte. The grave was empty and the guitar was gone, all that was left was a burnt plank of wood shaped like the back of a guitar. It had words burnt into it that said "You can't kill my dear Charlotte." I looked up to see a man standing atop the hill in front of me with a guitar. He walked over the hill and I never saw him or Charlotte again.

Good riddance.

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