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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2040746
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Dark · #2040746
Evil guitars will give you the blues.
SHRED

1.

  Eddy hissed, yanking his hand back from the slick, glossy neck of the guitar.

  Damn thing bit me, he thought.

  Blood welled around his fingernail where the mean little B string had slipped beneath, and stung.

  The store clerk, who looked like Bruce Dickinson, if he had swallowed Ronnie James Dio, slapped his considerable belly and laughed. The bellowing guffaw echoed down a wall off Acoustic Guitars and hummed within them.

  "See," the clerk flashed a gold tooth from within his crooked grin, "you're shreddin' already!"

  Eddy smiled grimly. There was an ache in his hand and blood on the guitar. But that was okay. That was Rock n' Roll.

  "Sorry I got blood on this thing, man."

  The clerk waved away the apology and Eddy noticed a small scorpion tattooed on the back of the man's hand.

  "You're buyin' it anyway," he said, like it was already paid for.

  "I guess I am." Eddy reflected, as he once more inspected the guitar.

  He had no business wanting it. Eddy never would have imagined himself shredding and jamming on a clunky wood grained eyesore, like this. It belonged on a guy wearing Buddy Holly glasses and a string tie. But it's price tag, like the contents of Eddy's wallet, was on the low side of three digits; the very low side. And there was something he liked about that wood grain finish. The knots looked like faces. Faces that were screaming.

  As he handed over his cash, it occurred to Eddy he had no idea what type of guitar it was. The clerk had said something about it "finding its way into the shop" but that really meant nothing. The space on its head, usually reserved for the maker's tag, was blank.

  "So is this a Fender? Gretsch?" Eddy asked, "I mean, what is it?"

  The clerk lifted his Scorpion tagged hand, scratching his chin while he considered. The gold tooth flashed once more.

  "It's yours."

  And so it was.

2.

  Within 30 minutes of getting home and plugging in, Eddy was seriously regretting having bought the guitar. It sounded so full and crisp in the shop but now it was toneless and cutting out. He figured the pick-ups must be defective because they seemed to be getting some radio signal; he could hear voices, distorted and distant issuing from his amp. It wouldn't stay in tune. Again it had sliced his finger, this time tearing his pinky on the fat low E.

  When the D string opened the tender flesh at the crease in his pointer finger, Eddy cursed and threw the guitar down on the couch beside him. He rose to his feet and stormed across the room. He wanted a refund. He was getting his money back.

  Eddy was half way to his car keys when a loud PANG! stopped him in his tracks. He turned and saw the B string had snapped. It swayed like a drunken cobra, a drop of blood dripped down its length.

  PANG! ... PANG!

  Two more popped as he watched dumbfounded. Then another.

  PANG!

  The last one snapped with such force it slashed the couch cushion opening a cotton stuffed wound.

  The instrument crashed to the floor as the lasts string broke.

  The body of the guitar swelled and became distended. The enamel cracked across the surface and the wood broke out in what looked like scales. All six string went rigid and stood straight up. Eddy watched as they curved, their needle sharp tips pointing down towards the floor. Three strings went to one side, three to the other. Violently those living wires stabbed into the floor and began to push the guitar up like a bloated insect rising to its feet.

  With his heart in his throat, Eddy turned to flee. He made it two steps before he tripped and went sprawling. The tangle of chords snagged around his ankle and yanked an amp down on top of him, The weight of the speaker shattered his knee and pinned him to the floor.

  Eddy screamed himself hoarse. The agony of his ruined bones, the hideous abomination transforming before him, these things broke something within the young musicians mind. He felt as though his brains rolled and boiled within his skull. .

  The creature, (one could no longer call it a guitar) was engorged and had doubled in size. Its mass would expand the contract. Expand and contract.

  It's breathing! Sobbed a tortured voice within his fragile mind.

  A throbbing atonal screech brayed from the amp, those twisted faces screamed along with it. Eddy saw their tormented expressions in the wooden flesh of the monster dragging itself towards him.

  The creatures neck gave a sickening crunch and snapped. Putrid bile colored foam oozed from the fracture and there was another crack. Then another. And another. The neck was breaking in segments at every fret and it was curling over the top like a scorpions tail. What was once the head of the guitar was inflamed and swollen. What had been tuning knobs became jagged barbs, green puss dripped from their sharpened points.

  Eddy tried to dislodge his leg and failed. Screaming seemed like the only thing to do. So he did. Right to the end.

  The grinding buzz and howling shrieks rose to a crescendo. It was quiet after that.

3.

  Jan and Steve admired the instruments hanging throughout the store. Their son squirmed and wailed in his fathers arms, the infants plight unknown. Steve was rocking and soothing the child when his eyes caught a modest wood grained guitar with a price tag he could afford.

  He reached out without thinking and brushed the strings. The open chord sighed in pleasant dissonance and the child was silent at once.

  Jan smiled at her husband "Music soothes the savage beast."

  "Sometimes, music is the beast," a voice spoke from behind the counter, "Why don't you take that down, strum a few chords. See if it grows on you."
© Copyright 2015 James Heyward (james_patrick at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2040746