The Music Box
Never heed the haunting sound of an old music box as you walk past the decrepit abandoned house. Never glance at its rotten wooden deck, broken roof tiles and boarded up windows. Don’t push through the wrought iron gate that’s off its hinge and into its over grown garden. Resist navigating your way through the densely packed weed choked flower beds to find your way to the back door. Don’t see the back door broken in just enough to fit through as though someone had walked your path before you.
Never hear the haunting melody as it echoes strangely through a house stopped in time. Dust caked over every surface, spider webs so thick it looks like cloth draped all over. Try not to observe the dust as it floats through the air in rays of sunlight flittering in through cracks in the boarded windows.
Disregard the toppled side board table and its shattered contents spilled across the floor in the hall. Ignore your quickened breath and heart beating in your ears at the sight of the massive blood stain at the foot of the wooden staircase. Don’t see the blood stains leading all the way up to the landing or the smeared hand prints running up the banister under all that dust.
Never notice the melody getting louder as you follow the trail of carnage up the stairs leaving your footprints in the dust as you go, careful not to step on any stain. Don’t notice the metallic smell of rust still lingering in the air as it assaults your senses as you reach the top. Turn around and leave as you behold the chaos of the second story hallway, its broken mirrors and picture frames smashed all over the floor, all of its doors closed except for one. Don’t hold your breath as you realise the dust covered objects at your feet are children’s toys as though used as impromptu projectiles at some unknown enemy.
Never be aware that the sound of the music box is coming from the room with the open door, allowing it to drift all through the otherwise eerily quiet house. Don’t look around and see spiders scurry in the webs. Resist the urge to walk down the hall towards the sound of the music box, careful to avoid stepping on anything as you go. Don’t hold your breath as you still yourself level with the door frame. Don’t close your eyes as you turn to face the room.
Never lay your eyes on the music box no matter how beautiful, how haunting or how compelling its swan song. Don’t see it sitting open in the middle of what was clearly once a little child’s room. Don’t watch its broken, worn little dancer dance its horrifying macabre mechanical circle. Don’t step into the room to take a closer look. Don’t notice that none of the windows in this room are boarded, or that the windows look down to the street where you stood looking up at the house not long before. Don’t gasp in horror as you see the dust around the rocking chair by the window has been disturbed yet the only foot prints in the room are yours leading in.
Never panic as the music box slows and rings out its last notes, creating a heavy silence on interrupted by the soft sound of door behind you clicking shut. Suppress the urge to scream as you turn only to hear the lock turn and realise you are trapped as the music box key turns by itself and begins to play again….
…. Never heed the haunting sound of an old music box….