Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
Damasu was sitting atop his bike, peddling home on this unusually pleasant day. It was late autumn, and one would expect it to be far colder. But this morning, when Damasu awoke, the sun was shining brightly, and the air was warm. So, he decided to ride his bike to and from work. He probably wouldn’t get the chance to again for a while.
He had, however, managed to get himself lost in a seemingly unfamiliar part of town on his way home. Despite living here for three years, Damasu had never taken the time to scope out the entire town; who has time for that? No matter, though. He’d finished work at 2pm, and there was still plenty of daylight.
Damasu peddled along for a while longer, enjoying the sun’s warmth. The town wasn’t that big; he’d find the right path in no time. However, after half an hour of no recognizable buildings or streets, he was becoming frustrated.
He came to a stop and planted both feet firmly on the ground. Damasu glanced up and down the neighborhood, but all he could see was a couple of generic houses. No one was on the street, but that was to be expected; everyone was probably still at work or school.
Grunting, Damasu combed his fingers through his hair, and muttered to himself, “Fucking hell…”
How could I get so hopelessly lost in my own town? Damasu questioned himself.
Damasu huffed again, before recalling his cell phone. Now, that would be of some use. He dug his hand into his right jacket pocket, retrieving a small flip phone. He’d just call someone, and get them to pick him up. Maybe David from work.
Damasu flipped open his phone, and scrolled down to David’s contact, and clicked the call button. He raised the phone to his ear, impatiently awaiting the dial tone to appear. After a moment, though, he heard nothing. Damasu looked at his phone, to ensure that he’d clicked call. He did indeed hit the call button, but a small message had appeared. To inform him of one thing…
Damasu cursed under his breath again. This was getting annoying. Perhaps he could just knock on one of the houses and hope somebody was home.
Just as he was thinking that, his phone’s screen suddenly turned black. Great, now it was flat, too. Probably didn’t matter either way, though.
But that’s when he heard something. A faint, melodic noise. Peaceful and pleasant, it almost seemed unnatural. Damasu soon identified the elegant sound of a flute. It was pure and untainted, and flowed smoothly as though the player had practiced this song for their whole life, and had perfected it to such a degree that Beethoven would envy it.
Well, at least that meant someone else was in the area. How fortunate Damasu was, indeed. Stepping off of his bike, he followed the calming sound. Ah, what a delightful song, Damasu thought as he strolled towards it.
He came to a stop in front of a wide paddock, randomly dumped in the middle of all these houses. There was no fence, so it mustn’t have been a private lot. The paddock contained a single hill with a tree atop it, and a small playground in the right lower corner. Surely a playground would have a fence, Damasu noted, but quickly brushed this off. The sound was coming from atop the hill, and that’s where Damasu needed to go.
As Damasu approached the hill, a chill ran down his spine. It suddenly got a little colder… Damasu looked up. A cloud had passed over the sun for a brief moment, but that couldn’t possibly make it suddenly turn cold. But, Damasu just shrugged his shoulders and continued on. It’ll be winter soon, after all.
After dropping his bike at the base of the hill, Damasu trudged upwards. It was somewhat steep, but it was not a very large hill. He crossed his arms over his chest, in a futile attempt to keep warm from the sudden chill.
Damasu made it to the top of the hill. The tree was bigger than he originally thought, and was bright with orange leaves. However, not a single leaf could be seen on the ground. And the tree seemed to be full… This was odd; the tree should have far less leaves this late in the season. But, Damasu was soon distracted.
His attention was caught by a wood and rope swing, dangling from one of the branches. On the unmoving swing, sat a young, pale girl—8 or 9 years old, Damasu guessed. She wore a clean white dress that ended just below her knees, and around the waist, a thick black ribbon was tied. She also wore little black shoes, mid-calf high white and black striped socks, and a black headband sat in her hair. Her eyes were a bright blue, and her hair was unnaturally light… White, in fact.
The melody that had filled Damasu’s ears came from the small black flute held in the girl’s hands, which appeared to be made of ebony. She elegantly played it, her fingers gently gliding over the holes like an expert. Damasu couldn’t help but allow a smile to cross his lips.
He slowly began to approach the girl, when she suddenly stopped playing the flute. She turned her head around to look at him, her face blank, and simply stared at him. Damasu gave his politest smile.
“Hello, little girl.” Damasu nodded to her. “You’re a very good flutist for your age. What’s your name?”
The young girl blinked at him for a moment, her expression refusing to change. In a high, sweet little voice, she responded, “My name’s Myst, mister.”
Damasu continued to smile. “That’s a lovely name, Myst. I’m Damasu.”
Myst still didn’t return the smile. There was a long pause of silence between the two, and just as Damasu opened his mouth to ask for directions, Myst suddenly interrupted him.
“Won’t you push me on the swing, mister?”
This caught Damasu off guard for a moment, causing him to hesitate and drop his smile. “Uh, well…”
“Please?” Myst asked again, a light tinge of forcefulness in her voice. But, Damasu didn’t notice that. She was a young girl, after all.
Damasu shook his head slightly for a brief moment to clear his thoughts. He could spare a few moments for the sweet flutist. His smile returned, and he nodded, “Sure.”
The young girl turned her head around again as Damasu approached her. He stood behind her, and began to lightly push her back, allowing her to swing gently. As he pushed her, Myst began to play her flute again.
The same, elegant melody. Damasu let out a relaxed sigh, indulging in the sweet music. The peacefulness and perfection of the way it was played was simply beautiful. Damasu closed his eyes, still pushing the young girl on the swing. The tone was so soothing…
Damasu failed to notice any time passing. Only a few minutes, he had told himself. But, he’d been there for three hours, pushing Myst on the swing. She’d played the same melody, over and over again. Damasu was too deeply consumed by the sound of the music at this point to notice his surroundings.
The scene of the setting sun around them began to melt away. The sky dimmed into a dark grey, and the sun seemed to simply disappear. The tree that Myst and Damasu were beneath was suddenly stripped of its leaves, and became bare, and the bark shriveled into an ash grey. The houses vanished. Instead, the hill was simply surrounded by graves.
Damasu didn’t notice, though. His eyes were still shut, and all he knew was the scene of the two of them, atop that hill in the warm sun.
Until a pain struck his chest.
Damasu let out a gasp, and suddenly collapsed to his knees, his breathing now harsh and ragged. The swing promptly stopped, right before Damasu’s hunched form. The music had stopped, too, and Myst was very still.
Damasu looked up to Myst, still gasping. He couldn’t understand the sudden pain he was feeling, and failed to notice how the scene around them had changed.
“M… M-Myst?” Damasu choked out, desperate for aid.
Myst didn’t respond for a moment. But then, she suddenly tucked up her legs, and without moving her body, she slowly turned around on the swing until she was facing Damasu. Her feet dropped back to the ground, and she looked down at Damasu, with a sweet and gentle smile.
“Number five hundred and sixty-two…” Myst sung in an elegant, velvet voice that still retained her high-pitched childish tone.
Myst raised the black flute to her lips again, and began to play a far darker tune than the one before. It was more sinister, and grinded against Damasu’s ears like broken glass. The song almost seemed like it was a spectral being, suddenly haunting him.
Damasu began to choke again, coughing and spluttering. He fell onto all fours before Myst, his coughing becoming more violent. Myst’s eyes briefly flashed a dark red, and she continued the song. The song seemed to pick up, becoming somewhat faster and more excited by the events occurring. Damasu’s coughing got worse, and his chest tightened painfully.
A strange, blue mist began to leave Damasu’s mouth. The mist snaked its way out slowly, before suddenly being sucked into the end of Myst’s flute. She took a deep breath, sucking in the new soul she had harvested. Damasu’s strength was fading…
When the last of Damasu’s life was sucked from his body, he collapsed to the ground, motionless. Myst stopped playing her flute, and stood up from the swing. She smiled down at Damasu’s corpse, still kind and sweetly; but now it almost looked malevolent.
“Now you can listen to my music…” Myst’s sweet young voice squeaked, pleased by this.
Credit To – Shade Anonymous