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The Tale of the Runaway Musician

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The date was October 22nd, 1846, and the now fifteen year old girl, Marilyn Everline, had just blown out her birthday candles. The family seemed even happier about this birthday than any other of the previous ones. Had the girl known her life was about to change, she would have dreamed to never turn fifteen. Her parents, Lucinda and Augustus, had news for their only daughter, an announcement that pleased most girls of her time. "Marilyn, we have something important to tell you!" Lucinda sang to her daughter.

Marilyn, who was happily eating her cake, looked up at her mother and father. "Yes mother?" she asked curiously and politely.

The Everline's were rich, but not so much at this time. Her father loved to gamble, and he lost a lot of the family's money. The family still acted prosperous, and they owned a large home. They had a maid and a butler, as well as a cook. Due to their wealthy lifestyle, Marilyn always acted polite and proper, especially to her parents. "Your mother and I have been talking, and we believe you're of age to marry!" Her father said, full of joy.

"So, we have arranged for you to marry Miles Fellman!" Her mother cheered. Marilyn's smile fell, and she looked down.

"My apologies mother, and father, but I do not wish to marry him," Marilyn sighed. Her parents’ smiles fell as well and her mother looked angry.

The Fellman family was very important to the Everline family. They were very wealthy, and in this period of time riches were your ticket to ruling society. The marriage was going to bring Marilyn's family a lot of prosperity.

"We already arranged the wedding for next week, so you're not going to let us down," Lucinda said sternly, getting up from her seat.

"We need this money, and you need a husband," her mother finished, walking away. She refused to look at her daughter as she spoke. Marilyn was speechless, she didn’t even blink.

"I’m sorry dear, but that's just how it is," her father said as he stood, following Lucinda, leaving Marilyn alone.

Marilyn stood from her seat and adjusted her long dress. She looked down at her feet in utter despair as she walked to her room. She had so many things running through her mind. Everything was changing so quickly. She wasn't too fond of Miles; she had met him at parties the previous year. Miles often stared at her, and Marilyn found his leering creepy.

Marilyn was a beautiful, young woman though; she had long, wavy, black hair, and beautiful, pale, blue eyes. Her skin was a pale cream color and she was considered flawless. Although she was beautiful, Miles was her only admirer in the upper class.

The young girl walked into her bedroom, carefully shutting the door behind her. Taking a glance around her room she softly smiled. "At least my room hasn't changed," she joked, then sighed, adding to her previous remark, "yet.” Making her way over to her dresser she changed into her nightgown, preparing herself to go to sleep, even though it was rather early. Grabbing her lit candle tightly in her slender hands, she made her way to her bed cautiously. Sitting the candle on her nightstand and crawling into bed. She let out a soft depressed sigh and blew on the candle. The fire went out, and the room was surrounded by darkness, with only a small amount of white moonlight, peering from her slightly open curtains. She began to pull the hair tie out of her long hair that was always kept in some sort of up do like the other woman of her time. Once the tie was removed, she rested the small band next to the candle.

Her thick, long hair spread out on the pillow and she shut her eyes. She rested there, unable to drift into a peaceful slumber. The fear of this sudden engagement caused her to become restless. What if she does something wrong in the relationship? It was impossible for her to bear even the thought of failing her family. After an hour of contemplating scenarios in her own head, she fell into a not so blissful sleep.

The next morning, a maid walked inside Marilyn’s room, violently opening her curtains. The teenage girl groaned as the morning sun hit her shut eyes. “Up, up, up,” the maid sang as she scurried out of the young girl’s room, shutting the door rather loudly. Marilyn stretched and got out of her bed, trudging herself to her large closet. She pulled out one of her beautiful black dresses, with a white ruffled collar and white ruffles peeking out of the sleeves.

“Mother!” Marilyn called out, and in came her mother. Lucinda helped her daughter change into her dress and impatiently pulled her over to her mirror, pushing her daughter down in the seat. Marilyn sat down and watched as her mother took out a hairbrush. She began to vigorously brush out Marilyn's hair, as if her mother was in some sort of rush. “Mother, enough!” Marilyn said loudly, feeling a tug of her hair with each brush.

“My apologies dear.” Her mother pulled out a hair tie, pulling her daughter’s hair into a neat bun, and placing a black ribbon on it.

“Thank you mother,” Marilyn smiled only slightly.

Her mother nodded and walked out of her room in quite a hurry. Marilyn dismissed her confusion towards her mother and drew her attention to her jewelry box that sat on the desk next to her mirror. She slowly opened the box, and the dancing doll that spun to music once the box was opened began to rotate as it usually did. Marilyn closed her eyes and smiled at the pleasant tune the box emitted. “You’re the only thing that seems to please me in my days of sorrow,” the young girl spoke to the doll that spun right before her eyes.

The doll’s design was rather beautiful. She wore a plain black mask, which covered only around her eyes and parts of her nose. The eye holes in the mask were meant to reveal beautiful green eyes, but instead only white, unfilled eyes, since they had worn out over the years.The mask angled down on the bridge of the nose, and a white feather was placed between to fill the gap. In addition, the simple yet alluring mask curved outward on both sides to cover most of the nose. Black rhinestone lined the top of the mask, giving the doll a glamorous shine to her dull appearance.

The porcelain doll had beautiful, pale skin, and brown hair, which was put into a bun. Loose curls strayed on the sides of her face neatly. A strapless white tutu was worn by the doll; the bottom was lined with black which peeked out from underneath the skirt. Her stance was much like any normal ballerina, one arm held above her head and the other curved around in front of her stomach.The doll’s thin legs were pressed together, and she stood on her tip toes. Black ballet shoes were placed on her small feet, and her legs were almost completely covered by her white knee high stockings. Marilyn loved the doll, she admired its unpretentious yet delightful design.

Marilyn spoke sadly, “What should I do? I don’t want to marry as some sort of bribe.”

The doll didn’t do anything, it just continued to spin to the music. Marilyn felt as if the doll was communicating with her, she was just so lonely and afraid. She felt as if no one would want to help her. Her father’s words haunted her fragile teenage girl mind. If her father refused to help her and her mother refused to listen, who would? The maid wouldn’t want to risk losing her job. All she had was this small doll that spun in her jewelry box; it was her only ally in this situation. Marilyn stared at the dancing doll, listening to her “speak”.

Marilyn was a proper girl. Never thought anything bad, and she never disobeyed. She never angered her parents; she wouldn’t even dream of it! Sadly, she was running out of options. She couldn’t speak to her parents about the issue. What could she do? Nothing! All she could do was listen to this little figure she admired.

The girl’s eyes never shifted from the spinning doll. She listened to every word the doll, or her conscience told her to do. This doll was nothing more than an inner voice. Marilyn incriminated this little figure, not aware that she was the one thinking in this new, profound, and rather defiant demeanor.

What did she really fear? What was on her mind? Was it the fact that she had to marry, or was it something more? She was so full of anger, it seemed as if she lost sight of what she had even been angry about in the first place! Too much happened all at once. She sat and thought; only able to think of her anger and fear as the doll captured her concentration. She was in a trance.

It seemed as if the girl had sat in her bedroom for hours, just gazing at the beautiful doll as she listened to the box’s gentle song, which soothed her so often as of now. She listened to the anger of the doll’s unsaid words. It is typical for one to blame thoughts such as intense anger on something other than themselves, as if one does not wish to believe they could even possess thoughts so angry on their own. Poor Marilyn, in so much denial she could not even believe that she was speaking to herself.

Marilyn picked up the tiny box and examined the small doll closely. She quickly sprang up as her door opened, taking her out of her deep thought. The box managed to fall out of the girl’s willowy hands. She watched as the box fell to the floor, and the doll broke out. Lucinda, who stood at the door frame, shook her head in disappointment. Marilyn quickly picked up the box, and the jewelry contents that had been inside, placing them next to the mirror. Reaching downward, the girl went to grab the small doll.

Her mother sang with joy, “Marilyn, we have your wedding dress!” Marilyn sighed and picked up the doll, which now contained small cracks and small holes scattered around her body. Staring at the small doll in her hands the girl ignored her mother’s words. Lucinda noticed her daughter’s disinterest in the dress. When she had noticed Marilyn staring at the little doll, she cracked a small smile. “You know your grandfather made that for you.”

Lucinda rested her hand on her daughter’s shoulder, “He passed before he could fully finish painting in the doll’s eyes, that’s why they faded so quickly.”

“Grandfather made a beautiful doll, it’s a shame he couldn’t make me more.”

“Yes, a shame indeed.” Her mother exhaled out a loud breath of air as she stepped out her daughter’s room, disappearing from her sight.

Marilyn continued to look at the small doll in her hand, but did not hear it speak to her. She attached the broken doll back onto the box, but the broken box did not emit any music. The doll just spun in a seemingly dull manner. Still, Marilyn did not hear the doll speak to her. She could only assume that the doll would only speak to her if there was music present. Luckily, the girl had been practicing violin since she was only five, and was very skilled. Getting on her knees and reaching underneath the bed she pulled out the beautiful instrument from its hiding place.

She tuned the instrument and began to mimic the tune the doll originally danced to. Due to Marilyn’s belief that this method would work, it had worked, and the doll began to speak to her once more.

As the doll and Marilyn began to “converse” her mind became corrupt. She laughed at the crazy ideas which the “doll” possessed. This unrealistic conversation between what she has been taught versus what she believes made it harder for her to be in a healthy state of mind. It was a tug-of-war between her inner and outer voice.

“Runaway.” Her mind, her doll, had told her.

“Never!” The girl exclaimed.

This process repeated numerous times, until Marilyn stopped playing, and the room becomes dead silent. Sitting herself on her bed and setting the violin on her lap she stared blankly at the wall. She began to feel uncomfortable. The room was soundless, deathly soundless, and she could hear her faint breathing. Her heart pounded loudly, in fear, the noiselessness had struck the room so quickly. At the speed of sound the sound was gone, as if it had run away. Marilyn whispered, “Runaway.” Then she exclaimed, “No!”

The streets were not safe for her, and running away from home did not seem like a good option. Then again, to her, neither did marriage. She began to contemplate whether it was a good idea. She was worried about even the possibility of her getting hurt, or maybe even mugged. Her head hurt, it felt as if the angel and the devil were inside her brain battling each other with swords, and with each swing of their swords they missed, slashing her brain. Debating whether to run or stay, the confused girl began to cry, not knowing what else to do. She needed to trust the doll, although that really meant she needed to trust herself.

Paranoia attacked the girl like lightning strikes a metal pole. Visioning all the possibilities, even the most brutal ones, she could hear herself screaming, she could see herself be torn apart, and she could see all the blood of the improbable possibility of her getting murdered. Who truly knew what could happen to the poor girl out in the open?

Without warning, she grabbed the box and threw it at the wall. Bang! She snapped out of her thoughts and looked at the hole in her wall. A maid stormed inside as fast as she could. “Miss Marilyn, what happened?” she asked as she panted loudly.

“I’m fine just please exit my chamber,” Marilyn sighed. The maid immediately exited the room, obeying her orders. Slowly standing, she placed the violin down where she had been sitting. She timidly approached the shattered box, pulling out the doll, which was still in one piece.

“I’ll do it,” she said, looking at the doll.

That night, the girl crept out of her home in her silk white night gown. She shivered as she roamed the dark stone roads, a lit candle lamp in her hands. In her other hand, the small doll and her violin were wrapped tightly around her fingers. Peering at her little broken doll and sighing sadly she looked around. Attempting to find a vacant place to stay for the night, but failing, she spotted a poor family, huddling together in an alleyway. The girl hesitantly approached them. The family consisted of a mother, and two small boys, but no father. Marilyn spoke, “Greetings.” The family stared at her, and she cleared her throat. “I hate to be a bother, but may I join you? You see, I have no home anymore,” the girl sighed. “I ran away.” Marilyn smiled the most she could, and the boys looked up at their mother. The mother smiled and nodded at the young teen.

“Of course dear!” the woman said cheerily, patting the ground next to her for Marilyn to sit.

Marilyn enjoyed herself, the whole night was full of questions. They all had inquiries about how the other half lived. When the woman and the boys had fallen asleep, Marilyn pulled out a small sack full of coins she had been saving up. Grabbing her things, she quietly ran off, leaving the little coin sack behind for the homeless family.

The foolish girl had not thoroughly planned her escape. She had sat in a vacant alleyway for days after she left the small family. She was hungry and she couldn’t remember the last time she had a drink of water. She would constantly speak to the doll and play her violin silently. One night, she began to see things nonexistent. She even began to see herself, but differently. She could never see her own body, it was too blurry, but she could see her face clearly. She had two music notes under each of her eyes and blood running down each of them. Her eyes were dull and tired, and her skin had lost its radiance. She spoke to her hallucination, but it only spoke back in a faint whisper that the girl could not hear.

Days passed and the girl’s condition only seemed to get worse. Her parents frantically searched for her. The girl spoke to her daily hallucinations, until real voices were heard walking passed the alley. She cowered and listened. She began to lose focus; the doll was screaming at her, and the voices in reality were getting louder. Whoever was coming was close. “Run!” The doll screamed repeatedly. The girl panicked; she put her hands over her ears to silence the noise, but it all grew louder. She couldn’t help but scream. She screamed, but not loud enough for people to come running to her aid. Just noisy enough for the people nearby to hear, her heart pounded in her chest; she covered her ears tighter but the beating of her heart just grew louder. Thump. Thump. Thump.

Each beat more thunderous than the previous. She whimpered in fear, turning her head to see two silhouettes approaching at a quick speed. She closed her eyes tight and listened to the abundance of noise around her. Her heart continued to pound, sounding as if there was a thunderstorm in her torso. Suddenly everything became soundless. Opening her eyes slowly, she looked up at the 2 figures that now stood before her. Her parents.

Lucinda refused to get the police involved; she feared that they would mistake Marilyn for an insane teenager for running away, especially in the state in which they had found her. Lucinda dragged her daughter into the house roughly; pulling Marilyn into the bathroom, where there had already been a bath drawn for her. Her daughter was unresponsive and just stood staring blankly at the wall. She was easy to control. Marilyn held the doll and the violin weakly in her petite hand. Lucinda pulled the objects out of her hand and roughly placed them on the sink’s counter top. Lacking the ability to be patient, Lucinda quickly undressed the young girl, pushing her into the bathtub. The girl landed in the water with a loud splash! Her mother pulled the tie out of her hair and began to wash her daughter, who still was not responding or aware of what had been going on.

After being bathed and clothed, Marilyn was given tea and a small piece of cake left over from dessert. The girl sat at the large table, her mother and father watching her closely. She didn't touch the cup, nor did she touch the cake. All she did was stare at the wall, her eyes lacking any spark of interest, and her skin lacking radiance. “What are we going to do?” Lucinda asked her husband, only to receive a sigh in response. Augustus ran his hands through his messy dark brown, chin length hair.

“I think we need to send her away.” Augustus sighed.

“No!” Lucinda yelled, turning to face her husband. “If we do, we will be like those filthy rats living in the streets!” she scoffed. When she looked back, Marilyn was gone. She was so silent, it was as if she wasn’t ever there from the start.

The girl slowly and impassively walked towards her bedroom. Her mother quickly followed her, grabbing her hand from behind. “Tea!” Lucinda yelled, and a butler rushed in with a cup of tea. Lucinda forcefully poured the warm tea down her daughter’s throat, which wasn’t very difficult. The girl looked tired and her face lacked any sort of emotion. “Marilyn, please! Say something!” her mother pleaded. Surprisingly, the girl parted her lips slightly, as she stared blankly at the wall in front of her. Lucinda’s eyes gleamed with hope, but the hope was shattered when her daughter closed her mouth. Lucinda let her daughter go, and Marilyn continued to walk, swaying slightly as she did so.

The next morning, the whole house was engaged in work. The Everline’s were hosting a party that night for the rehearsal dinner. Marilyn stayed in her room; talking to her doll and playing the violin. This time the doll never responded. The small porcelain figure never spoke from the start! The teenage girl was now taking responsibility for everything she thought and there was nothing hidden. “I want to run, run, runaway,” Marilyn said as she stared at the wall. She continued to play the beautiful instrument while pacing in a circle around her room. “I must run, run, far away.” Her voice lacked any form of emotion. She continuously repeated those two phrases as if they had some sort of meaning to her. She had replicated these words for what seemed like hours until it was finally her turn to get ready for the party.

Maids flooded the room one holding a beautiful long white dress with short puffy sleeves, another holding a beautiful pair of black flats. Her mother stormed in and pulled her to the bathroom. The girl still lacked ability to be responsive for there was too much on her mind. She was so nervous, so anxious, so terrified of what was yet to come her way. After tonight, everything would be set, and the next morning everything would be done. She felt like she was being sold just to pay off her father’s debt. That must’ve been how her mother viewed the situation as well since she never spoke about how Marilyn did not want to marry Miles.

About two hours later, the girl was ready completely. She looked stunning yet so dreary. Her cream skin still lacked bright color and her eyes were drab and pale. “I want to run, run, run away,” she said with a dull tone as she looked into her mirror. She couldn’t seem to see herself, all she could see was the hallucination of herself from days before. The foolish girl did not see it as a vision; she saw it as a sign. Taking her unlit candle lamp she hit the side of her mirror. With a loud smash half of the mirror shattered.

Marilyn snatched a large piece of glass and gripped it tightly. The glass pierced her skin; leaving a large cut on her hand. She winced in pain but ignored the discomfort. She quickly stabbed the sharp end of the glass underneath her eye; but careful enough not to hit her eye and blind herself. With a loud whimper she continued to wound herself. She cut two music notes underneath with a sawing motion. Blood seeped down her face crimson, red blood. “It’s the only way!” Marilyn yelled in tears. Pulling out the large, bloody piece of glass she brought it to the other side of her face. She stabbed below the other eye this time emitting a loud scream of agony. She repeated the process like she had with the previous wound crying loudly at the torture she inflicted onto herself.

Lucinda and the maids heard the loud weeping of the teenage girl and immediately ran to her aid. Assuming it was about the wedding, Lucinda commanded the maids to wait outside the room. She walked in, gently closing the door so she wouldn’t startle her daughter. Marilyn looked down at her lap, crying loudly. Black makeup dripped from her wet eyes down to her dress. “Marilyn,” her mother said sincerely. Marilyn looked up, her appearance barely visible in the shattered mirror. Her mother sighed, “What did you do to your mirror?” Lucinda placed her hand on her daughter’s shoulder. Slowly Marilyn turned her head to face her mother. Her mother gasped and quickly removed her hand. Marilyn’s face now covered in blood, tears, and makeup residue which horrified her mother. They remained still. Marilyn refused to even blink. She stared at her mother blankly. Lucinda’s heart rate increased as the battle of staring continued between the two of them. She wanted to speak, she wanted to scream, but she feared what this monster, her daughter was capable of.

“Marilyn what did you do?” Lucinda asked in shock.

Marilyn’s response was monotone, “I had to do it.”

“Why did you have to do this?”

“I don’t want to marry him.”

This angered Lucinda. Her daughter had harmed herself to get out of a harmless marriage. Unable to control herself; she screamed.

“Look at what you have you done! You failed this family!” Lucinda yelled.

Marilyn yelled, “I didn’t mean to!”

“You planned this!”


“Don’t lie to me Marilyn! Your attempts of getting out of this marriage have finally succeeded! How does that feel?”

“Stop yelling at me!” Marilyn cried.

Without thinking; Marilyn threw her lit candle lamp at her mother. Lucinda dodged the attack, but unfortunately the lamp broke and the candle set fire to a curtain where it had landed. Quickly, the fire spread. Lucinda ran out as fast as she could, “Fire! Fire! Run! Get out now!” Marilyn was in too much shock to move. Her mother had no use for her daughter now; she would be sent to a mental institution even if she escaped the flame. Lucinda left Marilyn behind to fend for herself. The fire spread to Marilyn and the sudden pain on her legs snapped her out of her trance. She screamed in agony as the bottom of her long dress caught on fire. The flame burned her legs and burnt off the bottom of her gown. The fire surrounded the room and the exits, but that didn’t stop Marilyn from attempting her escape.

Marilyn looked around frantically only to see fire and smoke. With no way out, she knew she would have to push through the flames. With no time left to think she ran. The fire burned her arms and her legs, but she ignored the pain. She felt dizzy from the smoke and blood loss but she had to push through. It was life or death, and she wanted to make it out alive. Thump! Thump! Thump! Her heart pounded like a drum. She was aware that any wrong move could result in a fatality. Fearing the possibility of death she increased her speed despite the agonizing pain of the flame grazing her limbs. She quickly turned around every corner of the large maze of a house, the fire quickly followed her and she increased speed. The ceiling began to fall behind her. A loud piece of wood fell, shaking the floor and causing her to trip. She fell to the ground. Looking behind her she saw the fire only inches away. She crawled quickly before she could finally stand. Once she was back on her feet, she sprinted.

With the doll and violin in her hands, she quickly escaped the large house. Instead of gathering with the others she knew her only option was to retreat. The streets were dark and the horrid pain now could be felt on her limbs. Marilyn screamed and cried as she ran down the streets. Sprinting into the alley where she had resided the last time she ran away. The girl looked at her burnt arms and legs and wept. Looking up at the dark sky, tears spilled from her eyes as well as blood from the fresh stinging wounds she had inflicted on herself. She asked the doll, “What did I do?” Her voice was a whisper and she never lost eye contact with the moon.

She ripped some cloth from the bottom of her dress and wrapped it around her arms as it began to rain. Now cold and wet the girl shivered and cowered hugging her knees tightly. The rain washed the blood and makeup off her face, cleansing the open wound. She knew no one would search for her; her mother expected her to be dead. The girl rested in the alley, and every day since then she would play her violin by the dirty streets.

The whole town believed she was deceased which made the people fear her even more. Because she was perceived to be only ashes burnt in the flame which engulfed her family’s home, the city’s residents thought of her as a ghost. Not wanting to be institutionalized for believing in such spirits, they tried to ignore her existence. They allowed her to play the instrument. When someone approached her, she ran away.

Now a bleak December morning with snow continuously falling, the sound of church bells filled the air. Ding dong! Went the bells as the streets became full of people walking towards the beautiful white house of worship. The eerie musician looked around with curiosity as well dressed beings roamed the dirty streets. She looked at her little doll and smiled. “What might this large gathering be for?” she asked. No answer. The doll hadn’t “spoken” for months now. “Why must you be so silent now? Do you dislike my new freedom? Do you like being trapped in your tiny box?” No answer. “Do you enjoy the barrier? Do you enjoy being locked in? You’re the one who told me to run, but it seems as if you’re quiet now, is this because you feel as if you’ve wronged me?” Again, no answer. The girl just sighed as she glanced at the full streets once more. “Should I go?” she asked. No answer. She sighed, “I must go my own way then.”

She snuck in with the crowd of people, but of course they tried to avoid her. She ignored the freezing snow that grazed her bare flesh and walked determined to uncover the mystery of what event could be causing such a large mass of people to be gathered into a church. Worship was never usually this busy. Finally reaching the church she sneaked inside and it wasn’t long before she had realized a wedding was taking place. Before she could be spotted she quickly ran towards the stairs leading to the bride’s changing room. She took a quick peek around the church before making her way up the stairs and that’s when she saw him, Miles.

She slowly tiptoed up the wooden steps, trying to be silent so Miles wouldn’t catch her sneaking inside. Once reaching the small room and hiding in a small closet which held nothing but dust, she carefully listened as the patter of feet entering the room became audible. She was very timid when opening the door slightly to peek at the person who had entered the room. The girl was just slightly older than herself and she was alone. That’s when Marilyn decided to be bold. Marilyn stepped out of the closet with courage as she cleared her throat. The girl who was brushing her long, blonde locks of hair turned to look at Marilyn. She dropped the hair brush out of her hands. Before the girl could scream, Marilyn quickly ran to her and covered her mouth.

The blonde girl struggled and let out muffled screams as she tried to escape the girl’s grasp. “You’re making a mistake!” Marilyn yelled. “I know this was arranged! He doesn’t love you!” Suddenly, the thundering sound of footsteps became could be heard rushing up the stairs. Marilyn panicked and pushed the girl into the wall. The girl screamed. Marilyn quickly ran out, pushing the people who were coming up the stairs to clear her path. She ran out of the church and into the snowy streets.

Ever since that day, the blonde girl had been interested in finding out who that horrifying attacker was. Every day she would wander town and ask people if they knew anything about her, but everyone refused to speak of “the Runaway Musician”. The only thing the girl knew about her was her nickname, which didn’t do her any good.

“I have to find her,” Catherine, the blonde girl, said to her husband Miles. Miles just sighed.

“Let it go,” Miles demanded.

“Miles, I can’t just let it go! She was so unreal, but she was there an-”

Miles said harshly, “I said, let it go.”

Catherine wasn’t going to let it go. For weeks she roamed the streets looking for the Runaway Musician, but every day she had no luck. Until one day when she heard the sound of a violin playing nearby. She quickly followed the music and that’s when she found her, the Runaway Musician, her attacker. At a fast pace she approached the horrid young woman, but like Marilyn always did, she ran away. “Hey get back here!” Catherine yelled, running after the girl.

She never caught her. No one ever could. It was as if she always seemed to disappear. Unlike everyone else, Catherine wasn’t ready to give up. So one day, while chasing the Musician, Marilyn didn’t do her little disappearing act as usual. Catherine had her cornered.

Something was different about the Musician this time around. Instead of the music notes being just healed scars on her face, they were opened wounds once again. Blood dripped from the openings at a rapid pace. The crimson liquid ran down her face and neck, soaking the top of her dress with blood. She looked even more horrifying than usual. Now being able to get a clear view of her face, Catherine could see the dull tone of her pale, blue eyes and the drab color of her cream skin. Half of the girl’s arms and legs were mixed with brown, white, red, and pink from her healed burns. Her black hair was messy and wavy.

Being so close to this spine-chilling being caused Catherine’s heart to pound like a drum. Ba dum! Ba dum! Ba dum! The thunderous booming in her chest was audible. She quivered and quaked, her legs shook so rapidly she felt as if they were going to fall off. The Runaway Musician held her doll in her hands tightly. “I have something for you,” she said with a hushed eerie tone of voice, smiling at the trembling girl and not meaning any harm to her. The Musician extended her arm, handing her a piece of blood stained white cloth. Catherine timidly grabbed the item from the young woman’s hands but before she could examine the bloody cloth, the Runaway Musician let out an ear piercing scream.

Catherine covered her eyes quickly, looking at Marilyn as if she was crazy. “You can’t look at the note yet!” Marilyn yelled. Catherine uncovered her ears and looked at Marilyn with a look of extreme fright. “They think I’m a ghost, a spirit haunting their damned streets.”

The Musician started to laugh. “I am no spirit! I only face the consequences of listening to a little figure!” Her laugh grew into tears, it was difficult to determine her emotion. “Am I a spirit? Am I alone? Do people chase me to torture me? Do they want me dead? Do they? Answer me!” She cried, a mixture of blood and tears spilled down her face.

Catherine shook in undeniable fear. Her eyes were wide and she couldn’t speak. Marilyn sobbed, “I can’t be alive, that’s what they think, but I’m a smart girl, I sneak into homes and factories to rest my eyes because no one shall know I’m alive because they will think I am crazy, but I’m not crazy!” Catherine wanted to run, but she felt as if her feet were glued to the ground. The Musician looked Catherine in the eyes and grabbed one of her arms and slashed her wrist with a piece of glass. Wincing in pain, Catherine began to cry. She should’ve listened to her husband. “Instead of focusing on my face, you should’ve paid close attention to the contents in my hands,” Marilyn stated before running away with only her violin and doll.

Catherine ignored her bleeding wrist and immediately returned home to read the note that was written in blood. The note said:

Don’t be scared, don’t be afraid,
Some things are better off this way.
I may have burns, I may have scars,
But I do not wish to forget at all.
A fan of forced love I am not,
For money’s sake your love will rot.

She ran to her husband in panic and fear. “Miles! Miles honey I found her!” she screamed.

“You have found nothing, you’re just imagining things!” Miles yelled as she approached him.

“No I really found her! I have proof! She gave me this!” She showed him the bloody note. Miles looked at her in shock, until he noticed her bloody arm.

“You are ridiculous! You harm yourself and present me with a note you constructed by yourself and you expect me to believe you? You’re insane!” He screamed at her as he quickly exited the house. He quickly made his way to the police station.

When the police arrived at the house they grabbed Catherine. “There’s a special place in the crazy house for ya,” a stocky officer said with a grin.

Catherine screamed, “I’m not crazy! She’s alive! She did this! I swear! The Runaway Musician is real!”

“She’s worse than I thought she’d be; let’s get her out of here!” A tall cop said. They carried her out of her home and she was then sent to an asylum.

At the asylum, Catherine spent most of her time sitting in the corner and staring at the small gash on her arm. This was it, she would die here. There was no escape. Every night as she slept she imagined the musician’s bleeding face and her hushed tone. She would often hear her too. It was the Musician’s fault she was sent to this horrid place. There was no plumbing, the residents were barely fed and often neglected. “I don’t belong here!” Catherine often screamed, but no matter what she was stuck. She was locked up in a box much like the Musician’s doll had been.

“She’s real! I swear it!” Catherine screamed one night.

“I know she is,” an old man said as he walked over to her slowly. “I tried to show them, but every time I did, she disappeared! She sure is a sneaky one I tell ya’! She’s got the whole town goin’ insane!” He spoke like a crazy man, but he wasn’t crazy, he spoke the truth.

“Finally! Someone who knows!” Catherine said with glee, but that didn’t change her fate.

Once the night fell and the asylum fell into darkness, the woman stared at the dark void of nothing in front of her. She saw the Runaway Musician again. She imagined her ear piercing scream and her bloody face. The screams continuously echoed through her head. Catherine covered her ears tightly, but it was still audible in her mind. Her heart was pounding, and with each thunderous beat she felt herself and her sanity slowly slipping away. Her head was spinning and she could see nothing but the bloody music notes on the Runaway Musician’s dull face. She was imagining her image, she felt like the Musician was there. The screaming never halted. “Stop! Stop!” Catherine cried. “Please! I beg you! Make it cease!” The screaming volume intensified, and Catherine couldn't handle another minute. She got onto her knees and screamed, “I can’t take this any longer!”

She then slammed her head on the concrete floor and she never heard the screaming again...

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