Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

The Boy By Ella Priestley

It was a long time ago, say, Queen Victoria's rule, when two girls started walking to school by themselves. Let's call them Elizabeth and Alice, to protect the innocent. They walked together for ten years until they were 15 years of age. Every day for those ten long years there was a boy playing a music box for money. The same town, the same rattly old street, the same spot. Every. Single. Day. The box was old, made of broken oak wood. Every day the girls wondered; what is he doing here? Doesn't he have anywhere to go?

One morning they realised that he never aged. They saw it as him still being quite young and thought nothing of it until one day in the cold, dirty street they decided to take notice of him and give him some money. It wasn't much, just a shilling or so. When they threw it into his tiny hat, but he refused to accept it. He said “Oh, no money please, just a heart.” The girls had walked of by now and pretended not to hear him. But they did, every word. They were scared, didn't know what to do. Every day from then on the boy stared at them as soon as they walked past, morning and night.

On a chilling Friday night the girls were walking to their friend’s house. They had to take the same route that they took to school. There was someone there. Who was it? It… it was the boy. However… it wasn't the boy. He was as white as a sheet, his clothes in tatters, and his music box, broken. Screeching in pain with every note. As soon as he and the girls locked eyes he threw it down. “A heart. Please. A heart. That's all I need! All I need to be free!” He screamed as the girls looked closer. There was an endless chasm in his chest, dripping with blood and staining his clothes. The girls ran, but he followed. Reaching his hands out and repeating, “Please! I beg of you!” He stopped as if being held back by a wall, “Is it… too much to ask…” The girls didn't stop until they were safe at their friend's home, and the boy walked solemnly back to his designated spot. As a single tear fell and was slowly absorbed into the muddy ground below, he picked up his music box and played. He played, and he played, and he played, until his next unsuspecting victim -or victims- would walk past him, unknowing what was going to happen to their poor, helpless souls...

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