by One More
A strange tale
No Strings Attached
An unscrupulous violin maker, Walter Rottenblogger, discovered something strange when he returned to his violin shop to lock up one night.
Just as his crooked fingers, stained by cheap oils and tacky resins, touched the door knob, something happened that caused the hair on the nape of his neck to flare like hackles on a dogs' back. He wanted to run but he couldn't. He was a puppet on invisible strings. The more he fought to take back control the deeper into a dark, psychic, quicksand he sank.
"What the?" His teeth crushed together as if someone had given him a swift upper cut to the jaw causing him to bite his tongue. He could feel the blood oozing through the gaps in his teeth and he tried to wipe his mouth but, something controlled his hand and it slapped his
Jim, the master violin maker, ran to his side. "Sir. What's wrong with you? Are you sick? I'll get a doctor. Come, you sit yourself down. Oh come on sir. Are you drunk again? Did you get into a fight? Stay here. I'll get some help."
Walter slid into the chair, limp as a wet noodle, then continued to slide to the floor.
He couldn't move, nor talk, but, he could see clearer than ever before and he could hear- layer upon layer of sounds.
One of oldest violins in the shop began vibrating colors of blues, purples, violets, and pinks. There was a hum somewhere in the room, then a crackle, like surging electricity. The room began to fill with light. It became so bright he tried to shield his eyes but his hands would not move. He could neither blink nor turn his head.
The light exploded into trillions of minuscule particles that floated and danced in the air above his eyes. They took the shape of musical notes. A violin moved away from the wall as they changed shape to form a bow. The bow tapped gently on the strings of the violin, similar to a wine taster sampling a fine wine. As they moved across the strings, an eerie, familiar melody ensued.
Spell bound, Walter could only watch and listen. Something pulled his mind away from his body, lifting him into the air. He saw his body on the floor. What had happened to him? When did he get so old? His bald spot was larger than he thought. He looked like a skinny, unkempt street urchin, a drunkard but it was him and he wanted back in.
The flock of musical notes went into the body (His body!) He could only watch as his body moved. It stood up right and danced. It laughed and sang:
. "Remember me? I was a tree, in a forest far away? I told you then and I will again, that you will have pay." Then, the spirit of the tree left the room with his body.
Desperately, Walter attempted to pull his mind back but it melted into the fibers of the violins' wood. He became the violin. Locked in the wood. He could not escape. He could see and hear but nothing else.
Jim and Walter's possessed body came back into the room.
"I feel like a new man, Jim."
"You sure do look better, Sir.'
"Thank you. You have been a great employee all these years and I have cheated you out of more money than you know. I discovered something about myself tonight that makes me want to make it all up to you."
"What was that?"
"I discovered that I don't want to die here. I am going home to my roots. But before I do, I want to give you this shop and all my worldly possessions. Except for this old violin," he said as he gently placed it into the antique case, snapping it shut; locking the semi-defused, and extremely agitated Walter inside.
"Really? What's going on? Is this another one of your sick jokes?"
"No, I am a changed man, Jim. I almost died tonight but, saw the light. I am going to make it up to you. You are the true violin maker, not me and it's your destiny to bring out the beautiful sounds from the wood you carve.
So, close up shop now and we'll go make this all legal, with no strings attached."
And also a new beginning for both Walters.