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 Gravesong [A Short Story]

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Rob_Macabre
Grand Senior Literati
Grand Senior Literati


Posts : 70
Literary Regard : 336
Join date : 2009-07-09
Age : 29
Location : The Fifth Level of Hell

PostSubject: Gravesong [A Short Story]   Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:30 am

FOUND UPON THE WRITING DESK OF THE LATE ALEXANDER KROSS

LONDON, 1888





I write this simply to have someone to confide to. I fear
far too much to go out and see any of my old friends, and always having
something of a writer's temperament, I imagine I will find more solace with
this pen and paper than I would in anything otherwise. The shock bestowed upon
me at the time of Victor's passing, I believe, has rattled my nerves. That is
to say, I hope it has rattled my nerves, for if what is happening to me is actually
happening to me, I fear that my end is rather near. I shall try here to relate
the events as they occurred, should something happen to me that they need
explaining.

My friend Victor had not been himself around the time of
this happening. I had seen him, walking down the stone-paved street several
times during the week, and he seemed to grow thinner and more pale each time I
laid my eyes upon him. It wasn’t until the week’s end that I could speak to
him, and when I did, I invited him over for Sunday tea.

When I took his hat and coat at the door, I was astounded at
how much larger they seemed to be, though I knew it was actually Victor growing
smaller and I inquired about his health before I even greeted him. His answer,
however vague, was no surprise:

“I’m afraid I have been better, my friend.”

I poured he and I steaming cups of tea, staying silent to
give him time to elaborate if he chose. When he did not, I took a moment to
consider the proper line of question, and then spoke.

“And why is that?”

Victor told me that his sleep had been disturbed in the
night, starting a week before. As he lay and slept, the most mysterious notes
of music he had ever heard found their way to his ear. They woke him, and
enchanted him. He had, he said, been obsessed with the music since it first
reached his ears.

The expression on his face when he was describing the music
was something between lovesickness, and absolute horror. He said the music was
a voice, though it was definitely not human. He likened it to the sound of a
mythical Siren, but said it was some how more sinister, almost vile. When I
asked what the voice sang, he said there were never any words.

He told me that every time he heard the music, he was
powerless. He could not eat; he could not slip; he could not live. He had
apparently been plagued by the voice at his home nightly for a few days, when
he started to hear it all night, no matter where he was.

Needless to say, upon hearing this I was rather worried for
my friend’s safety, but I tried not to let it show. We drank our tea,
discussing trivial matters. The tea turned to brandy, and the trivial matters
turned to politics, which gave way to philosophy, and finally literature
eclipsed the other two.

By now, night had fallen, and we had moved to the smoking
room. We sat immersed in conversation, pipes smoldering in both our hands.
Victor’s bad health and disturbing story had fallen by the wayside several
glasses of brandy previously, and so I was taken by complete surprise when
Victor’s eyes widened, and dropped his pipe, still smoking, to the floor.

I rushed to my feet to tend to him, but he pushed past me
and I fell. He ran out of my house without his jacket, and I heard his fading
voice as I rose to give chase;

“There!” he said, as he fled the smoking room. “Do you hear
it? That’s the song!”

I heard nothing, which of course worried me more, and I
chased him. I heard him slam my front door, and I opened it again to give
chase. I could barely see him running like a mad man down the cobblestone
street. I followed him as best I could, but he ran like a man possessed.

He bumped into a few late partygoers, knocking off a man’s
top hat and earning Victor a strike from the gentleman’s cane. I apologized to
the group of men and women, but Victor didn’t even acknowledge them, not even
when the cane hit him round the knee. I haven’t even the slightest idea of how
long I ran after him, following him blindly through the night, but we didn’t
stop until we came to a massive stone wall with a huge, black, arching wrought-iron
gate.

Once we arrived here, Victor froze and stood still with his
head tilted slightly, as if he was, in fact, listening to something. I still
heard nothing, but I was disturbed by the sincerity of my friend’s actions. His
eyes darted between the shadows that danced in the night around us, the
moonlight shone upon his gaunt, sweat-streaked face, giving him the look of a
corpse.

We had scarcely paused a minute when he burst through the
gate, and I lost him once more. I followed him through the gate, and found
myself standing in the last place I expected; a cemetery. I made my way after
him, dodging headstones and crypts on my way. The cemetery was as silent as one
would expect, and also very dark. With little vision, Victor’s mad silence was
hard to find, but, at last, I did. I ran at him once I saw him, but I stopped
and stumbled as fear gripped me.

I saw victor kneeling before the ethereal form of some
specter-woman. She was an odd gray color, tinged with an unearthly shade of
blue, and exceedingly beautiful. I could see logic to Victor’s obsession, even
though I still heard note a note.

I overcame the fear that had transfixed me upon seeing the
specter, and rushed towards Victor, but the spirit was faster. I recoiled in
repulsion and terror as the thing swooped down upon Victor; who fell screaming
to the ground with bleeding ears and hollow eyes.

I fainted without another thought.

A copper woke me up with a boot the next morning, and asked
me a few questions. I could scarcely speak for grief. I felt horrible for
allowing such a fate to befall my friend Victor. The policeman escorted me
home, and after hearing my tale, advised me to get some sleep and forget about
it. I heeded his words, and slept soundly, until nightfall.

A slow, haunting noise was creeping through my window,
winding its way through the air like a venomous serpent, finding my ears and
burying deep within. I was paralyzed by the haunting sounds, unable to move. I
was enchanted by the sinister sounds so much so that it wasn’t until I had been
listening for a while that I noticed, with a pang of sheer terror, that I heard
not one of the haunting, ghostly voices, no, but two!
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