Death Waltz
Author: Dalek Cruccibul

Chapter 5
Trying Again

The two men departed out from the basements halls, out through the building and into the chilling night air. With another firm handshake, the two bid one another farewell and parted their ways, heading off into the city night. The Talent maneuvered along sidewalks to his nearby home, where its familiarity beckoned to him.

He walked up the steps and towards the door, drawing out his key to open the door. On opening the door, he was greeted with the familiar shamble of his living room. Things were scattered here, like the papers that were stacked high on the table. There were clothes hung over the couches, and suits hanging to dry on the stairs. Besides the mess, the cozy room is what the Talent called home. Here, he lived out his days practicing, composing, grading, and so forth. Tonight, however, all he planned to do here was resting. He made way for the nearest couch, plunking himself down with a deep sigh. He closed his eyes, not bothering to even take off his suit.


He woke up the next morning with the light in his eyes. Through the high windows, sunshine peeked over the building tops to light up the shambles of his house. Stretching, the Talent got up and walked around his house for a bit. He retrieved new cloths, putting them on and preparing himself breakfast. After all of his morning rituals were done, he headed back out of the house to see Rex once more.

He hurried along, going through the building down into the basements. Through the dusty halls, just as before, he arrived to greet the guard. The guard opened the grand, marvelous doors up but again, letting the Talent waltz on in.

“Here already, Rex?”, he asked with curiosity.

“Of course, Talent. Like I said before, I have been anticipating for this moment for nearly my entire life. Getting up a little bit earlier than the usual crowd was no trouble at all.”

“Well, I think I'm ready to play. I feel motivated too, like I could run a mile without breaking a sweat.”

“Ah, that's the spirit Talent. Let's get started imminently, shall we?” Rex said, not hiding any of the eagerness in his voice.

The Talent seated himself at the stool, getting comfortable, and opened the book to page 42. The title “Death Waltz” greeted him again, giving him a tingle in his stomach. It wasn't as strong as before, no, but it was still a little discouraging. Disregarding the feeling, he began to play the tune note by note. His fingers flew across the board, playing here and there and everywhere. The song was very complex, and required his uttermost attention. It was all fine and dandy, in till he started hearing yet another sour note.

He tried to ignore it, but it was all too aggravating. Then he slipped up, playing the wrong note as the song tumbled over itself in a mad frenzy. His hands flew off the keyboard in exasperation. He grinded his teeth together, insistent on getting this song right.

He collected his thoughts, putting his hands back on the keyboard and started again. However, he was suddenly drawn from the music completely, as he heard someone's voice. It was a woman's voice, and it sounded all too familiar. He furled around the stool, catching himself from falling again. But, just like the sour note, nothing was there.

“Talent, is there a problem? You seem a little distracted.”

“I don't know, sir. There is something that keeps throwing me off about this song. There is something wrong, I'm telling you. I keep hearing things.” he admitted.

“Hearing things besides the notes, you mean?”

“Well, yes. I hear a woman’s voice, or, I just started hearing a woman’s voice. The other times I keep hearing some sour note that throws off the entire song. But I have no idea where they are coming from.

There is no woman here, so what am I hearing?”

“I would like to think it's your mind getting all worked up. You can't let these things get to you, though.

One thing, Talent, that you must remember is that you are the master of your mind. If you begin to become paranoid about these sort of things, they become ever more real. Concentrate, and start again. I'm here for you Talent.”

“Sir, I have something else to say.”

“Anything, Talent.”

“I have this feeling that you're holding something back from me. What am I doing wrong?”

Rex curled his lip a little, “I'm worried, Talent. This song is something of a mystery to me, and I can't help but feel on edge when it comes to the unknown.”

“But what do you mean by that?”

“Tell me, Talent, did you have a feeling of dread when you first read the title of this song? Something deep down telling you that this was something... dark?”

“Why, yes, sir.”

“I know it is all superstition, but yet I worry. That is all.”

Even then, the Talent felt as if Rex wasn't telling the whole truth. He began again...


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