Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

A Deceased Pianist By Marisa Orton

With a growl, the castle swallowed me whole.

‘Welcome,’ said our host, ushering Sam and I through the monstrous wooden door, past a window open wide enough to drain a myriad of souls. Dramatically, he leaned in close to my ear, his smile uncanny, and whispered, ‘one of us here tonight will die before the party’s over.’ And he laughed as if roaring up to the skies, whilst handing us each a glass of champagne as full to the brim as a heart ready to explode.

That was when I noticed the ebony black pistol in his back pocket.

I glanced over at Sam, but my friend appeared not to have heard over the ecstatic buzz radiating from every corner of what could only be described at the vastest ballroom I had ever seen.

There was something incredibly intense about the contrast of bright, elegant people dancing, laughing and drinking, against the sombre interior.

I felt rather insipid standing there in my plain suit, fantasizing about running my fingertips over the trigger of a pistol I would probably never hold. I finished another few drinks, realized I had already lost Sam in the masses and proceeded to admire the fiery flashes of crimson, gold and sapphire cavorting to the sound of furious piano music.

It was as if the pianist were driving himself insane during this last sonata before taking the final plunge.

To avoid drowning myself in terrifying, yet morbidly exciting thoughts of death, I decided to dance.

Right foot. Left foot. This wasn’t so hard. Ri-

My skin burned beneath her fingertips before my eyes saw her behind me. She took my hands, her steps sweeping us across the room. Threw back a laugh like it were liquor.

And in that moment, as her immaculate smile lit the fire in her eyes, I believe I fell in love. Her every movement pulled me in and every part of her seemed to scream out to me. As her hips fell into synchronicity with my own and her icy lips met my neck, I felt her fingers entangle themselves in my hair.

And then she was gone. She left go of my hair, pulled me in one last time and then materialized into the crowd. Into Sam’s arms.

My heart stopped. I wanted her like I had never wanted anyone before.

She threw me a smile from where she was dancing in the intoxicated arms of my friend and I was choking, suffocating and yet, basking in the glory of being victim to the sharp green light with which her eyes flooded the room. She just had to be mine.

My mind was spinning, sending soaring pain through my body when I saw him touch her, over and over again.

I ran to the wooden door, where our host was still greeting latecomers. I pushed him to the ground. Took that bewitching treasure from his back pocket. Started running towards them both.

Right out of the open window.

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