This is my take on May’s Blog Battlers writing prompt. This month’s word is “Flute”.
This one started off as a drabble for a horror anthology. 827 words later I had to admit it had gotten beyond my meagre editing abilities to squeeze back into its drabble form. A big nod to H.P. Lovecraft’s The Music of Erich Zann on this, it’s one of my favourites. Once read it’s impossible to write music-themed horror without hearing his music. If you like this or don’t like it. I can guarantee there are lots of better takes on this month’s prompt. Be sure to check them out.
Many horror stories feature a cursed tome and this tale is no different. Except in my case, it wasn’t some demonic dusty Necronomicon but a paperback, The Art of Feng Shui. My girlfriend’s most recent obsession. I was just thankful that it stopped her learning the flute, which had been last months obsession. Yoga the month before that. Within days of reading the book, she was a Feng Shui master and spent the next fortnight harmonising the apartment, only to conclude that I was the problem and moved in with her yoga teacher. The bendy bastard. The only things she left behind were her flute and that blasted book, exactly placed on the perfectly positioned coffee table.
Well, I read that book from cover to cover and vowed to do the exact opposite of everything it suggested. Whatever that book said, I’d do it, wrong. Shui Feng I called it, and by the end of that first day, I’d taken great joy in killing every one of her plants. Before going on to de-harmonise my belongings back into chaos and clutter. It was my apartment again. How it was before she arrived to turn my world upside down. At night I’d get drunk and play the flute, badly. Embracing Shui Feng principles I’d ensure every note was off. My twisted music was beautiful, a perfect voice for my new contrarian attitude.
A casual observer could be forgiven for thinking my apartment had been burgled. But to any practitioner of my new dark art, there was method in my madness. Not one object aligned with another, and that was not by accident. It took hours and a keen eye. Not to mention a protractor and a lengthy piece of string. No matter where you sat, you’d not see an entrance or exit. I cracked every mirror and ensured every tap dripped. Out with the pastels and mediocre shades of beige. Black became my new colour palette, and I redecorated throughout. I moved my bed in front of the window and made the entrance to my apartment as unwelcoming as possible. Much to the annoyance of the neighbours, who claimed it looked the entrance to hell. I rather liked the splash of red paint and toothy splintered door.
I took all the cutlery in the house and scattered them amongst the sofas and bedding, taped knives to the edges of doors so I had to twist and limbo around the apartment. I tuned every speaker either to deathrock or new age jazz to ensure a perpetual discordant din. A cacophony the neighbours added to with their constant pounding on the walls. Every night I’d perform for them such symphonies of incongruity on my flute until my fingers bled and my lips were raw.
Within a week I had turned my apartment into a Shui Feng temple. I was a true convert, a disciple of this new evil power. I felt it in every room, a growing darkness that permeated everything, and it drove me on. There was however only so much chaos I could create with what little she’d left me so I would go to boot sales and buy odd bric-à-brac. Anything as long as its colour, shape and angles complemented nothing else I’d hoarded. Within a month the apartment was awash with negative energy. So many strangely angled items, packed in so tight that even the very fabric of space struggled to cope with all the degrees. Fissures formed. Cracks in reality through which I glimpsed a tantalising universe of dark bubbling chaos.
Weeks turned into months as I rearranged the objects around the apartment, each tiny change widened the cracks. It was a cosmic Rubik’s cube whose permutations exacted a terrible price. I rarely ate as food would spoil quickly within the apartment. I never washed, the taps having long rusted stuck and hardly slept. It would not let me. I was so close. Finally, through torturous trial and error, playing a melody of madness, I ripped open a crack large enough to reach a bloodied fist into the malevolent maelstrom and touch the face of God. Or Mike, as he liked to be called. It didn’t take long for the police to arrive. My next-door neighbour, Mike, showed them the hole in his wall. It only took one look into my apartment for the police to whisk me away to my new home in this asylum. I’ve been here a while now, far from my dark temple.
I’ve kept myself busy in the asylum. I’ve collected so many things and I’ve positioned every one just so within my cell. They even let me keep my flute, and much to the joy of the other inmates, I practise every night. One day, one day real soon, when I’ve accumulated enough chaos in my confinement I’ll play my flute and open that dark rift again. But don’t worry this time I’ll make it large enough for us all to go through.