Comedy Of Terror

Entry by: Freya

1st February 2016
Comedy of terror

The evil piano was born in a noble family of two Steinway 19th century grand pianos. Its mother was a white gently-sculpted instrument and the father a solid black and heavy work of art of the highest rank. The little piano was lovable, cute and charming and played only Romantic music on its tiny keys. Sometimes it happened to be out of tune like any child its age, but it mostly behaved properly. Its parents were very proud of having raised such a promising and conforming progeny. And the little piano would have led a successful, if boring, life of a wealthy well-born if not for a freakish accident.
On one stormy night in mid-September, when the sky grew pitch black and the only brightness came from the lightening, a fire started; a fire so wild that people talked about it long after the houses it destroyed were rebuilt, ashes swept and the people that perished forgotten. The fire devoured half the town with a rage previously unknown to humankind. The house where the little piano lived with its parents was completely consumed by the hungry flames along with almost all its inhabitants and contents: but there was one object that survived intact. While two parental grand pianos had vanished in the mouth of the fire queen, the little piano was not affected. It cried and screamed while its safe world was collapsing and dying. It begged for mercy from the gods the parents had taught it to pray to, but its pleas remained unanswered. When, at dawn, the fire finally burned out and the fire brigade pushed their way inside, they discovered the little piano.
One of the fire men, a keen piano player, approached the instrument to check on it. When he opened the case, the hot air that had accumulated there for hours blew in his eyes and blinded him forever. Once he was screaming in pain, a diabolic giggle filled the room. Out of suffering, terror and helplessness, the evil piano was born.
Since there were no relatives who claimed it, the little piano was put on sale in a second-hand store. By this time gossip had sprung in the town that the little piano killed whoever came in touch with it. It was fueled by what happened to the four removal men hired to deliver it to the store.
The first broke both his legs on the stairs while helping to lift the instrument. He slipped and somersaulted to the lower story. In the hospital where he was taken, he instantly caught a lung infection and died suffocated by his own mucus.
The second felt funny in his stomach after he lifted the piano on the truck. He thought he might have had indigestion but on his way home a sudden sharp pain pierced his chest and he died on the spot of heart attack.
The third managed to get home safely, but there, out of the blue, his wife became mad with him. The row culminated with her stabbing him in his guts with a kitchen knife. He died due to loss of blood. When questioned by the judge on her brutality, the wife claimed she heard hypnotising music that prompted her to kill her husband. She was sent to a mental asylum to never be released again.
The fourth survived the night, yet early next morning a deep sadness crept over him. He took a rope and hanged himself in the living room.
No local citizen was therefore eager to buy the little piano, but a few years later, on one foggy day in January, a rich Pole was travelling through the town with his spoiled daughter. When their imported Cadillac passed the store, she noticed the piano which by that time had matured and become a baby grand. The girl screamed and kicked until she persuaded her papa to purchase the instrument. The shopkeeper felt obliged to warn them about the evil features of the piano but they both dismissed him as a lunatic.
The piano was sold and the shopkeeper decided to leave his store early to take his wife for supper in the town centre. He never reached home. While locking his store, he was shot by a greedy local drunkard who stole his money. Soon after, running towards his hide-out, the murderer slipped on a frozen puddle while crossing a bridge and fell into the frosty river where he and his money drowned.
The evil piano arrived at a picturesque Polish estate near Wroclaw where the spoiled girl lived with her family. The estate provided it with ample opportunities for mischief that temporarily satisfied its hunger for malevolence. It caused trouble for its owners, constantly requiring tuning. It also frequently shut the keyboard lid, at times injuring somebody’s fingers. To its utmost joy, the mother of the family undertook to give piano lessons to the children of some family friends. The keys did not play what the poor brood attempted to play, and the mother of the family spent hours beating her small students’ unruly fingers with a birch. To no avail. The score books would often open on the incorrect page in the middle of the piece, the pedals would produce strange ghostly noises, the c would frequently sound like g, and minors would become majors. The evil piano thoroughly enjoyed itself and, thanks to the amount of evil it was allowed to do, it swelled and grew again turning into a grand piano.
The war broke out all of a sudden and Wroclaw was one of the first cities to fall under Nazi occupation.
One day, a group of Nazi soldiers entered the estate and robbed the family of their valuable possessions. The evil piano caught the eye of the officer in charge. His superior, General Schmidt, loved beautiful musical instruments and would appreciate such a gift.
The evil piano initially did not favour the prospect of being removed from the environment that offered so much fun. But, when the Nazi officer brushed its ivory keys, the piano instinctively understood that the Nazis were wicked themselves and thus could offer better opportunities for spreading evil than staying with the now impoverished family. The piano thus remained peaceful and unmoved while the family cried and begged for mercy.
The piano travelled on train to Berlin where it was tuned, polished and delivered to a palace where General Schmidt resided. Schmidt turned out to be the evillest man the piano had ever encountered. He played Jazz music, gave parties during which he performed violent sexual acts, and happened to have a taste for animals, particularly goats. The evil piano enjoyed witnessing the atrocities occurring on a regular basis by its keyboard. But, in time, the parties became less frequent, as the General started losing his influence in the party, and those that occurred increasingly ended up with the spillage of alcohol and body fluids between the piano’s keys, making the instrument smelly and unpleasant to be around. The music played was no longer evil but the melancholic German folk tunes which the piano detested.
Eventually, the piano had enough of the maltreatment. One night when the General attempted to rape his manservant, the instrument caught his head between its base and the lid and smashed it with brutal force. The male staff was so dumbstruck that he turned mute and could not defend himself at his trial (since he was also illiterate). He was sentenced to death for killing the General and shot in the back of the head shortly afterwards.
The Soviet army entered Berlin with the song of Kalinka on their lips. They destroyed the city, block by block, collecting the valuables and breaking everything else that could not be easily pillaged. The evil piano was at this time based at the office of one of the Nazi officials where nobody used it. It passed the time playing tricks on the cleaner. Alas, the man quickly learned to polish the instrument with a broom on a very long stick, leaving the piano exasperated with boredom.
The Soviets broke to this particular office in the early afternoon. They killed all the humans that occupied the building and began destroying the furniture.
The man assigned to destroying the piano was initially a little perplexed by its strange behaviour. When he tried to smash the main chest with a large hammer, the piano produced loud angry sounds that aimed to deafen the attacker. Its lids leapt up and down while the instrument tried to bite into the soldier’s body. To no great success. The man seemed invincible. The piano’s attempts to deafen him or at least give him a major headache remained thwarted. The soldier was deaf from birth and not a particularly delicate type anyway. He broke the piano’s legs first, he pulled the pedals out and tossed them away. Then he smashed the keyboard’s lid, leaving the keys devoid of any protection. Through all this carnage, the large lid was still clapping with energy trying to catch the attacker. When the soldier began pulling the keys out of the board, the piano managed to bite a piece of his arm but he remained immune to any pain even though his blood splattered all over the floor. He was determined to finish his job. The large lid finally gave way, exposing the delicate strings. In a sequence of painful blows, the soviet then cut the strings one by one with a sharp butcher’s knife. The piano screamed for the last time and then died.
Or so it seemed.
At the bric-a-brac store in a small German town of Hoff a client appeared. He inquired about piano parts. He had organised quite a collection of old pianos but the ivory keys were still hard to find after the war had just finished. It was his lucky day, the shopkeeper invited him to the storage room beaming. To his delight, the client found there several matching ivory piano keys. The men completed transaction in no time, and the satisfied buyer promptly returned to his workshop. The same day he managed to install the newly purchased keys. Another instrument’s renovation came to a successful end, and the piano was ready for sale. With the help of his assistant, the renovator moved the piano to the display room. After he turned the lights off for the night, his cat jumped on top of the piano, found a comfortable spot and snoozed.
In the morning the assistant drew the heavy curtains, so that potential clients could admire the stock. When he shot a quick glance at the new piano, he froze. It was stained with clotted blood. The remnants of the cat lay at the centre of the room.
A quiet satisfied giggle came from the newly refurbished instrument. The evil piano was back in business.
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