Halloween Stories 2017: A twist on an old diddy

“This story cannot end well for you my friend.” He smirked as his words left the thinest lips ever stuck on a skeleton. He held out his hand, one long boney finger extended to amplify the veracity of his words.

“No man is meant to hear the notes played from this instrument. Pride won me this fiddle. But it’s sound is a curse. Death flows from it’s strings, the bow laying waste with it’s tune. It will kill those around you and haunt your every thought. And it won’t let you go.”

He tried to pull himself up from his chair. His wasted body nearly collapsed under it’s own weight. Shaking from one tiny footstep to another he slowly made his way across the small cabin.

“I should have just walked away from that serpent. I should have just let him tease me. But pride pushed me to fight every challenger. I knew that slick old stranger was in for a shock. I remember the first time I played my prize. My beloved mother heard it first and collapsed dead after just a note. It took the lives of many more before I understood that my music was now my curse, and this shiny fiddle my chains.”

He opened the cupboard with an unsteady hand. There it shined, bright and polished yellow. “It won’t let me die. I’ve watched my children, their children and their children’s children’s children all come and go. I do not end, yet my body fails me just the same. That old snake didn’t actually want to win our challenge. He wanted me to have this damned thing.”

He tried lifting it. In failure, he motioned towards the fiddle and said “Are you sure you want to take this from me? Are you sure you want to have my curse?”

Caleb held the fiddle to his shoulder, breathing in the smell, feeling it’s inner resonance. “I have different notes to play. You’re music won’t be mine.”

As he pulled the bow across the strings light exploded from the scroll. These are notes and rhythms not known to this instrument. The old man smiled as he felt his body come apart and disappear into the wind.

Caleb continued to play as he walked, wilted flowers springing lively as he passed. The golden fiddle happy in the notes it was learning.