The Devil’s Music

Hello wonderful people and welcome back! What would you think if I told you that today you’re gonna witness what could happen when an angelic voice would meet a diabolic mind! A bit scared? Intrigued? Fascinated? Or would you make that EPIC sound; Muahahaha…

If there’s a mix of them all, fasten your seatbelt folks and get ready to read a tremendous story from my short stories’ collection, “Happily Never After”.

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The Devil’s Music

Ligonier Valley’s High School choir, the Angelic Harmonics, was something the whole town could brag about. Those children, who were so passionate about music and singing, could literally make their audience feel ecstatic, no matter what they sang. So, when their singing teacher informed them that they would represent their school to a national contest, the kids couldn’t feel anything but thrilled!

“It’s gonna be epic!”, Susan, the choir’s leader said enthusiastically. “I’m gonna start working on the arrangements tonight!”, she went on.

“Are you sure Mrs. Bolton is going to let us pick the songs for the contest?”, Alex asked.

“Of course she will. Unless she wants the audience and the judges to fall asleep. Lately, the only modern song we get to sing is the National Anthem.”, Susan said, rolling her eyes theatrically.

“That’s not modern, that’s all-time great. And it’s not a song.”, Lucas said.

“Well, you know what I mean smartypants!”, Susan replied.

“I do! But it’s always nice to see you rolling your eyes like that!”, Lucas said and nudged her.

“Oh, you lovebirds! It’s really sweet watching you smoochy and all but we do need to rehearse if we wanna win!”, Alex intervened.

“Of course we’re gonna win! Follow me to the auditorium!”, Susan said and the rest of the choir followed her obediently, laughing loudly and teasing each other.

***

The auditorium seemed empty. Twenty members of the choir couldn’t possibly fill it up. That grand hall needed at least two hundred people to look crowded. Nonetheless, the fact that it was almost empty this morning was truly helpful for their rehearsal.

“I’ll be able to hear the slightest mistake!”, Susan said, looking at the rest of the choir intensely. “I want you to be focused the whole time! We deserve this! And we’re going to win!”, she went on.

“Only if you tell us what we’re going to sing.”, Alex said. She seemed kind of impatient.

“I’m glad you asked! Because you’re taking the first solo! A whole new world by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle!”, Susan said triumphantly.

“First of, that’s a duet! And second, you said we were going to sing modern songs!”, Alex complained!

“You’ll sing it with Paul, Alex. And with the arrangement I’m going to prepare on my computer, it’ll sound perfectly modern! The latest hit!”, Susan replied. “Ok, let’s hear the two of you now.”, she went on.

“I can show you the world. Shining, shimmering, splendid…”, Paul started singing. His voice was soft as velvet. Anyone listening to him could travel with their mind to great deserts, beautiful oases and magnificent, exotic palaces, with big gardens and rare animals.

It was a fact that Paul had the most dreamy voice in the choir. But so did Alex.

“A whole new world! A dazzling place I never knew…”, she started singing and suddenly a sound like breaking sounded at the back of the hall.

“What was that?”, Susan asked. “Is anybody here? If it’s you again Be-Tuners get lost! We are sick and tired of you spying as all the time.”, she said.

“Oh my God Susan! Chill! We’re not in Broadway!”, Alex said angrily.

“Yet…”, Susan replied. “Let’s take it from the top now, shall we?”, she asked.

“As if we sang that much to take it from the top!”, Paul complained but started singing his part again, once he saw Susan’s angry look.

***

The Angelic Harmonics continued their rehearsal until the end of the free period and during the lunch break. They all knew how dogmatic and perfectionist Susan could be few months before a big contest and nobody wanted to piss her off.

“So, we’re going to continue tomorrow guys. Same place, same hour. Don’t you dare be late!”, Susan said and stared every member of the group strictly.

“They won’t Sue. Let’s go, I’m starving!”, Lucas said and pulled her towards the exit of the auditorium.

The rest of the choir followed his example. There were only Paul and Alex left.

“Are you coming Alex?”, Paul asked.

“I’m gonna stay for a little bit longer. Rehearse on those high notes at the final chorus on the piano.”, Alex replied. “I’ll see you tomorrow Paul!”, she went on.

“See you tomorrow!”, he said and walked towards the exit.

***

The next morning, the sun rose high above Ligonier Valley’s High School but the temperature was low. As low as Susan’s happiness meter was.

“Did anyone talk to Alex today? She hasn’t come yet. Is she sick? I can’t afford a sick singer right now!”, she said and looked at Lucas for support.

“I’m sure she’s fine. Don’t worry!”, Lucas said and tried to comfort her. Susan was taking the whole competition too seriously and the slightest misfortune could throw her off balance.

“Paul! You two were the only ones left in the auditorium yesterday.”, Susan said and fixed her eyes on Paul.

“We were. But I left after you guys. And Alex said she would stay a little longer to rehearse her high notes. I didn’t see her afterwards.”, Paul replied.

“Did anyone else have same classes with Alex after free period yesterday?”, Susan asked. She had started feeling anxious.

Few more members of the choir who were walking with them nodded negatively.

“I’m sure she’ll appear with a very good explanation.”, Lucas said, trying to relax Susan.

“She better will…”, Susan replied.

***

The hours were passing slowly and when it was time for the free period, the whole choir was exhausted. Everyone but Susan.

“All right everyone. Since Alex didn’t do us the honor today, Phoebe will take her part.”, Susan said.

“Sue, I don’t think so.”, Phoebe replied. She was almost whispering.

“It’s time to get out of your comfort zone Phoebe and take your rightful place in the choir!”, Susan said.

“What Phoebe wants to say is that it is not fair.”, Paul intruded. “And frankly, I’m not sure that our voices sound as good together as they do with Alex.”, he went on. Phoebe nodded to support him.

“Ok fine. But if she doesn’t come tomorrow, she’s out!”, Susan said. “Luc, let’s start with our duet today. A thousand years, Part Two by Christina Perry and Steve Kazee!”, she went on and smiled at Lucas.

“As you wish…”, Lucas said and sat at the piano.

Susan started singing and her voice covered every other sound in the hall. She may acted like a tough vixen sometimes, but when she was singing, she was the sweetest person in the world. Especially when she was singing with Lucas.

The rest of the choir was looking at them and started their background singing. At this very moment they were truly sounding like the Angelic Harmonics the whole town knew and loved.

At the final bridge of the song, Susan looked at Phoebe and she stared at her terrified.

“Adele. When we were young. Hit it!”, she shouted.

Taken by surprise Phoebe started singing the chorus of the song and Lucas followed her at the piano.

“Let me photograph you in the light in case it is the last time that we might be exactly like we were…”

Phoebe was singing, with a shaky voice in the beginning, with more certainty later on.

And so did the rest of the choir. They were a team and they were supporting one another.

By the end of the rehearsal, Susan was feeling much better and the whole choir proud of themselves. They started packing their stuff and leaving the auditorium.

“Phoebe. Can I talk to you for a second?”, Susan asked.

“Sure.”, Phoebe said with a trembling voice.

“I’m not trying to make your life in the choir difficult. I just know that you have a good voice. You have to believe that, too!”, Susan said and faint smile appeared on her face.

“I know I do! For both of you.”, a voice sounded from the back of the stage.

The two girls turned around and tried to locate the source of the sound.

“Who’s there?”, Susan asked. “Another one of those Be-Tuners’ tricks?”, she went on.

“It’s probably someone from the group.”, Phoebe said.

“Let’s find out!”, Susan said and walked securely towards the back of the stage.

Phoebe had frozen up. She wasn’t as brave as Susan. She was always thinking the worst scenario possible, even if she was saying otherwise.

Susan was no longer visible from where Phoebe was standing. But she wasn’t brace enough to go to the other side of the stage.

“Sue? Are you still there?”, she asked and just took a few steps closer. There was no answer.

Gradually, a thick, red liquid started covering the stage. Phoebe looked at her feet and screamed.

“I’ve always loved the high notes.”, the same voice which had sounded before said. A tall, black-hair man appeared on the stage. He had fixed his eyes on Phoebe. He was paying attention to the blood. Like it was something that belonged on the stage.

“You’re the new janitor, aren’t you?”, Phoebe asked and started walking backwards. She knew what she had to do. She didn’t know though if she was fast enough.

“You can call me David. As long as you can still talk!”, he said and gave her a vicious look.

The sharp knife was now clearly visible in his hand, covered with Susan’s blood.

Without hesitation, Phoebe jumped off the stage and started running towards the exit of the auditorium. But so did David. He was faster than her. He grabbed her and stuck his knife on her neck.

“You little girls made it so easy for me. First that girl, left all alone in the auditorium yesterday, and today you two. It’s a good thing I have to clean the whole school, isn’t it?”, he said and laughed with his personal inside joke.

“You don’t even know me! Please let me go!”, Phoebe whispered. She could feel the knife’s blade on her skin.

“Ah ah ah… Who said you could talk?”, David said and pushed the knife a little bit deeper. Little drops of blood where now visible on Phoebe’s neck.

The girl was shaking from terror. She couldn’t escape. One move and she would be dead.

“You know, my ex was a singer. She left me for some music producer. They’re not here today to share the story of their success. They’re probably singing in heaven. Or hell…”, David soliloquized. “I never listened to music from that day on. Until last week.”, he went on.

Phoebe had frozen up. She could feel the little cut on her neck. But she knew that if she moved, that little cut wouldn’t be her only injury.

“You and your little group started rehearsing in here. I guess you were unlucky that I happened to pass outside the auditorium. I mean, I knew the school had a choir. But if I hadn’t listened to you, your friends would still be alive.”, David said. “Please, will you do me the honor and sing something for me?”, he asked and a fiendish smile appeared on his face.

Phoebe didn’t even make a move. As long as she was feeling the blade on her skin, she would say a single thing.

“Are you afraid I’ll cut your neck?”, David asked, like he had read her thoughts. “Don’t worry. Just sing.”, he said. His grip loosened and the knife rested peacefully in his hand.

Phoebe turned around, with eyes red from the tears, and stared at him. She knew she had no choice. So, she started singing the one song she knew it was appropriate for this moment.

“Hope you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall…”

In an instant, David was standing right in front of her. Her stuck the knife on her throats and pushed the blade right into the carotid artery.

Phoebe goggled her eyes and started choking. She was spitting blood everywhere.

“You swear you lived?”, David asked and cut Phoebe’s throat, spilling her blood all around the auditorium.

© Victoria Moschou. All Rights Reserved 2016-2017.

Since your feedback means a lot to me, I really want to know whether you like the WIPs or not. They aren’t all that bloody! You can thank Katrin Hollister for that, whose Wattpad contest made me embrace my inner darkness.

I promise you though that there are also plenty of WIPs that will soon be uploaded that are anything but scary, dark and frightening. So, stay tuned!

Till next time… Toodles and have a great week everyone!

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