Death Waltz
Author: Dalek Cruccibul

Chapter 15
The Death Waltz

His hands burnt with every key stroke. His head swelled tighter and tighter with ever note. His throat seemed to contract, as he grasped desperately for air. The song was frantic, frantic, and FRANTIC! The Talent could see that now. Even though his eyesight was growing dim, glossed over with his own sweat and blood, he could see things clearer than ever. To put in better terms, he could hear things more clearly.

He could smell things more clearly. He could taste things more clearly. The world growing sharper to his senses. He could taste the death in the air. He could hear now, behind every piano key, the sour tune it carried. The song wasn't sour, nor was the piano. But the air it carried seem to make it revolting to hear. It was hidden, like some deeper meaning in poetry. The song was a facade to the true face of repulsive taste.

His hands began to slip around in his own blood. But he still couldn't take his hands away. The song was repulsive on every level, and yet it just kept luring him in. The song spoke soft words in his ear. They spoke things that no man should ever hear. He wanted to get away so badly but just couldn't. He was unaware to his convulsions, however. His was unaware of how completely deranged he looked.

“I am so sorry, Talent. This was never meant to end this way. I only wanted to do what was best...” Rex whispered, tears rolling down his face.

The Talent heard nothing of it. He only heard the music. He only heard each note stabbing his eardrum.

Back and forth the notes went, and they never stopped. He tried with all his might to draw his fingers away from the keys. He strained his arms, making his hands shake wildly. CRACK! His fingers shattered, as he pulled them away from the keyboard. He had did it! He had stopped playing the song. But why was the song not stopping? Why were the terrifying notes still ringing? They weren't coming from the piano, no, they were running along through his head. His blood pulsed through his body, ready to erupt.

Suddenly, he collapsed on the ground, panting hard. Suddenly, knives rained from the sky. They pierced his skin, and they pierced his very soul. He threw up and the ground and tried to get back up. His legs wobbled beneath him. His body trembled with his effort.

Then it emerged from the shadows. The game would soon be over. The black hooded figure scuttled out from the darkness. It planned its next move. It would soon call checkmate.

The Talent saw the creature swirl about in his vision. He saw it crawl along, saw it gaze into him. The creature who had been trailing him all this time. The creature who had gone by undetected. From the floor it rose, its form growing up higher and higher. It started with its wings. They sprouted from its back, monstrous and dark. They were made of a thick black skin, with gray veins pulsing throughout. The cloak began to grow too. Dark hands emerged, skeletal and thin. They beckoned to the Talent. The monster grew high above his head, and a black cloud began to form. The smoke swirled about the thing, as it moved its hands about in precise ways. The bony fingers caught on to the mist, shaping it and bending it.

The smoke began to fade, being replaced by an enormous scythe. The figure bore the weapon tightly in his hands.

“NO! YOU MUSN'T!” The Talent cried.

The Talent furiously dragged himself across the floor. The creature did nothing in response, only looming over his prey. The Talent's body bled everywhere, leaving a pool of blood in his wake. He only wallowed in it, bringing himself towards the piano. His mind was fading. His body was deteriorating, he told himself, as he pulled up onto the piano stool. He began playing again! His distorted, broken fingers tried to play the rest of the notes.

AND THEN HE CAUGHT ON FIRE!

“Oh good God, what have I done?” Rex exclaimed, his voice rising over the shrieks of agony.

AND HE DIDN'T STOP PLAYING!

He didn't even need the sheet music anymore. It was as if he knew the song by heart. In fact, he did know the song by heart. The song had etched itself into his subconscious, even into his conscious. There was nothing else, practically. It was like someone was wiping his mind of all thoughts that weren't the Death Waltz.

“Charles...” a voice whispered in his head. His eyes rolled back, and his head flung back. But that didn't stop him from playing the last page. He was on the last page and he planned on finishing the last page.

“Charles...” the voice grew louder. Dammit, his name wasn't Charles! He was the Talent. Charles was someone he used to know. Charles was a mockery of himself. The name Charles would never be used in his presence...

“Charles, hear me. It's me.” He knew that voice, but he didn't want to. Why was he so drawn away from it?

“Charles, don't be scared. I know that you’re afraid, but I'm here now. My little Charles, you've done me proud.”, a voice spoke. The room began to glow. The room began to fill with piercing white light.

“Mother?”

“Yes, Charles. Don't be frightened,” she said, “It will be over very, very soon.

The room began to fill with light, making the creature only more eager. He advanced towards Charles. The room filled with the smell of his burning flesh, and it filled with the sound of a woman.

Everyone could hear it, not just Charles. He wasn't quiet that delusional. The white began to quickly turn to gold, filling the room with wondrous shine. The light was blinding. The song kept playing. Only a quarter of a page left. All of this, and only a quarter of a page left. A finger fell off, and then another.

“Charles, come with me.” the voice beckoned to his. Charles knew what he had to do. He had to finish the song. He soon realized something. He didn't need to finish the song, he couldn't go without finishing it. It was something he simply couldn't escape. He couldn't escape the Death Waltz. He fingers flew around, and slid over to the left of the keyboard. He ran them along the keys, pressing each one with precision. A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G, all the way to the right.

The sound of the scythe pierced through the chaos. WHOOSH! And all too suddenly, SNAP! The sound of tearing flesh and cracking bones. And then, in miserable unison, all the keys played out. It truly was the sound of death, Rex thought, as Charles crumpled over the piano.

“I'm proud of you, Charles”, the voice whispered, as the whiteness and the golden shimmer disappeared. The creature stood over the dead body of Charles. It cracked its fingers and played a little tune. The notes, this time, were soft and quiet. They rang out, each one, the next more eerie than the last.

Then the room was left to silence.

In the silence, Rex stood in awe. He had heard of the Death Waltz, and he had heard of his father's death, but never had he expected this. He held back a sob. He held back the urge to collapse on the floor right there, right then. He simply walked over to the piano and grabbed up the newly found violin sitting on it. He looked at it, scanning over it with a sigh of relief. It did seem to be the one he had been spending so many years looking for.

“Rest forever more Charles,” he whispered to himself, “You've done it. You've really done it”

 

 

 

 


 

 

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