impossibly thin white fingers were whipping though the air in time to the violins
Stanley sat hunched in his chair, the television was blaring the kind of inoffensive sitcom which always particularly offended him. Stanley’s wife was out for the night, a rare occurrence, and although earlier in the day he had relished the prospect of an evening to himself he was now at a loose end. His entire evening had hinged on him finding a horror movie of some sort and then moving on to something more sordid in the small hours, now the television schedule was starting to seam like staring into the void. His evening stretched away from him, a sense of loss struck him. Hollow forced laughter pumped though his surround sound at him, a long dead crowd celebrating something they could not have possibly seen. It was defiantly time to get some pottering about the house done.
Stanley started in the kitchen. He did the washing up, then started putting away, only the largest of the kitchen knives was left out. Stanley wondered what he would do if someone broke in, he imagined himself fighting a huge man, deftly twisting away from the clumsy swings, Suddenly the man pulled a gun, Stanley vaulted the counter grabbing the bread knife as he did. Now, without it ever leaving the draining board, the knife flew across the room and into the stupid oafs heart, He bowed graciously in victory. Stanley caught himself; though no one had seen his shadow boxing he was ashamed of his foolishness. Stanley could hear a very quite but persistent noise, he walked back to the living room to turn off the television.
The television was already off. Puzzled Stanley searched for the remote; it was not within reach of his chair. Stanley could still hear the noise, it was faint, was it even there or just the product of boredom? Stanley searched the house for the source of the sound; on his way past the landing window he saw a street light flickering and paused to watch it. The noise was louder here; Stanley’s confusion was being replaced by a strange instinctive need to hide. Stanley reached for the window latch, his body did not seem to want this to happen, evidently his resolve to open the window was not as strong as it would have to be if the window were to be opened. Stanley reasoned with himself, he was not scared of the window; he was scared of what lay beyond it, so, logically speaking of course, opening the window was altogether very achievable. Yes, very achievable.
Stanley was not entirely sure why but now the window was open. he could hear clearly what the sound was, very quite violin, no louder now that the window was open, only clearer. A tremor went thought him, a mixture of fear and awe at the beauty of the playing. Watching the long empty street, Stanley began to relax as he reached out to close the window the lights went out. For a few seconds Stanley froze. The beautiful eerie violin continued, in the dark, only now perhaps a little louder. The lights in the house flared back into life, dazzled Stanley stared out into the street. As the light at the very end of the street flickered he could have sworn that he saw a solid shape fading away. A second violin joined the first, the faint vibrations falling like hammer blows on to Stanley’s mind. The violins intertwined, rose and then fell. With a start Stanley realized that his position did not effect how the music sounded, he backed away from the window, panicking he put his fingers in his ears. The music was coming from nowhere; it was just there, echoing of every surface yet source less. Stanley moved back to the window, dread forcing him to know what he would rather he did not. The streetlights flickered.
All the streetlights were fading, all except the throbbing bulb at the very end of the street. Stanley watched in terror as the flashing light revealed a hard outline. The outline walked forward, a hooded figure taller then a man. Stanley saw its hands; impossibly thin white fingers were whipping though the air in time to the violins, each about as long as a conductor’s baton. This horrible thing was coming for him; he knew it in the same way that you could guess a plot twist.
Stanley rushed down stairs he grabbed one of the heavy dinning room chairs and rammed it under the front door handle, he did the same with the back and side door, then ran back to the landing window. What ever it was now outside the range of the flashing light, the figure was in the dark. He yelled in frustration. It was noiseless. This horrific music was the only sound left in Stanley’s world. Stanley ran down stairs, into the kitchen. Stanley stood alone; a piano joined the violins. It was low and each invisible keystroke sent his body into spasms of fear. Stanley snatched up the knife from the draining board. He tottered to the front door, knife in hand. A flute joined the ensemble. Its soft intermittent sounds filling the gaps, Stanley’s hand felt hot.
A Cello joined, Stanley began to tremble, the knife was heating up in his hand, it was red hot. Stanley looked down as his smoking hand dropped the knife with out his say so . His weapon gone he backed away.
The music stopped. Was he safe? He wondered. He tried to yell but the world was silent. The silence was destroying Stanley. He fell back on to the ground. Slowly but surely the music was rising again, harsher then before. What had been the dedicate cuts of a scalpel were replaced by axe blows. The music was rising; Stanley clutched his head in a vain attempt to keep the sound from his ears. It was still rising, rising and rising, volume that would have deafened him if it were possible. Then with a terrific motion, every door and window in the house wrenched open, the chairs holding the door handles in place smashed.
There at the door way stood the figure, abnormal fingers swaying with the music, it took a step forward, the lights went out. Stanley stood up in the dark, almost tripping on a chair leg; he picked it up, holding it like a bat. The music was rising, Stanley grimaced, this monster hunted with music, using it to drive people mad then strike when they were at their weakest, but Stanley was prepared.
Stanley liked horror movies.
he knew the patterns.
Stanley knew nothing of music but he knew when the creature would make its move. The music swelled, pumping though the house, the sounds breaking bottles. It was nearly at its peak, it could not possibly swell more. The music reached its climax, Stanley swung the chair leg though the air and felt it meet with the face of his opponent, the music gone, replaced with the beautiful sickly sweet crack of wood on bone.
The lights faded back in, revealing the prone hooded body, Stanley flicked down its hood with his chair leg, revealing a grey face. Featureless, except for the huge mouth that had been filled with sharp teeth until moments ago. Stanley looked down at the monster that he had slain with a single blow; he dropped the chair leg and walked into the street. He savoured the sounds of the traffic, aeroplanes and drunk people, drinking them in like a fine symphony. Far away, echoing though the city streets came the unmistakable sound of two snare drums and a symbol.
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