Three a.m. every morning. She always visited. She had to – silent and forlorn in the shadows. He could hear her creep along the dark halls: those blood-splattered corridors that she’d been dragged down by a death-cord wrapped around her neck. He could feel her pass by him, could see the candles flicker and the curtains sway back as she took her seat.
If only she could leave her violin alone there might be some peace, but it was the thing that still tied her to this world. He knew this, and he used it.
Maybe it was guilt that made him put the delicate instrument out night after night, summoning her to draw fierce catgut across rusting strings. Maybe it was his way of giving her the freedom to express: to pluck out each emotion, replaying the terror and betrayal with notes and tones that narrated her own story.
Perhaps he was punishing himself for what he had done by repeatedly listening to her pain. But most likely he was pretending that she was still alive, giving him a private concert at his bidding. He was delusional after all.
Lately the sound had been sad and eerie – the kind that could cut through a soul, already lacerated and broken, but this early morning was different. Linn’s spirit had been growing angry. On her way in she had slammed doors and thrown chairs, even ripped a curtain from its rings, and she certainly had refused to sit. She chose to stand. It would give her music more power.
Her husband didn’t mind the violence. It was comforting just knowing that she was there, invisibly shackled to him and his darkness.
This was Linn’s last visit however. The bruises and blood were fading and the burn around her neck had lost its terrifying command. She was reclaiming herself. She had learned a lot in the spirit world. She was tired of being his ghost, of being called involuntarily to haunt him night after night. She wanted to have done with it, with him.
Strongly composed, she drew the bow deliberately across the strings as she would a knife across his neck. Deep, dark and mellow quickly gave way to frenetic sawing and screeching – an abrasive violence of notes that bespoke Linn’s fury. Gone was the demure, shy victim.
One last drag across that old violin and she snapped. She flew at him, lashing the bow hard across his face – the force sending him off the back of his antique Hitchcock chair. She jumped after whipping and beating him until the wooden weapon broke on his cheek leaving flesh ripped and dripping with blood.
The startled look in his eyes made her happy. She only wished he could see the victory in hers. Crazed with the need to be free she bashed the violin over the chair, breaking it in two. She dropped to the floor, knees on either side of his trunk and jabbed the half she still held under his chin, digging the splintered wood in deep.
“Alright, alright,” he yelped.
“Release me,” she commanded, jabbing harder.
He couldn’t let her go.
She twisted the violin, breaking his skin. She pushed it hard.
“Release me, or you’re coming with me.” She hissed.
As shards cut through muscle and tongue, he threw his hands up in surrender.
“I promise. I’ll leave you alone.” He yelped.
“Please.” he started to cry.
Numbing and peacefully ascending she dropped the instrument and quietly floated up off the floor, showing herself to him for the first time since her death. She was beautiful. The spell had been broken. She was free.
“I love you,” he said.
This made her happy, for the most sadistic thing she could do was to prevent him from having her.
She laid back on the soft air in a deep peace and floated over to the window – out and up towards the clouds…