“Name?” the man sitting across from my asked.
My mind had been wandering again. The man looked at me patiently.
“Name?” he repeated again.
“Edwin,” I replied. “Edwin Stroud.”
The man pursed his lips slightly as he checked the papers in front of him.
“Occupation?” He asked.
“Musician,” I replied.
His eyes looked up from the papers.
“S-sorry?” he said.
“Musician,” I repeated, smiling innocently.
“Hmmm, musician.” the man replied. Patronizing? Maybe just a bit. I was finding it a bit difficult to concentrate.
“Well, Mr. Stroud, why don’t you tell me about your ‘music’.”
The man was definitely patronizing me now. I wasn’t sure why. I wasn’t even sure who he was.
I struggled to focus my thoughts back as far as I could.
“It’s kinda strange. When I was a child, I suffered from extreme melophobia. You know what that is?”
The man nodded. He was looking at me very intently, not looking at me so much as looking into me.
“Well, all through my childhood, I had this fear. I would freak out if I heard music. Any kind of music. Do you know how difficult that is? How hard it is for your family? T.V. with the sound off. We used subtitles. No kids parties or days out, I was homeschooled, because I would just go berserk at any tune. I had panic attacks; music sounded like dragging nails down a blackboard. It had a physical presence, stifling me, battering me with its rhythm. I guess my home life was pretty stressful; My parents started drinking a lot. I can’t blame them, who would want a child to ruin their life. A child that, by one way or another, you love unconditionally. Yeah, I guess it was tough. Anyway, as I said my parents used to drink quite a bit, and I’d hear them shouting as I would go to sleep. That became normal. No lullabies, just tension and anger and fear.
One night, I remember, we did our usual bedtime routine. Trying to give my father a hug, him not being able to look at me, and me hugging his leg, his whole body tensed as though it took all his willpower not to lash out at me. My mother, smelling of raw alcohol, smothering me with sarcastic cooing and forced affection. I went to bed, and the usual nocturnal arguments began. They soothed me. Then I heard something, I guess it was music. I was half asleep, but the music seemed beautiful. I soon fell asleep, and the music was just a memory.
The next day, I asked my father about the music he was playing last night. He said that he and my mother had decided to split up, because it was a ‘self-destructive’ situation, that her drinking was way out of hand, and that he had put some music on after she’d gone, I guess it was a kind of parting ‘fuck you’. He never played that song again.
I figured I was over this phobia, but after never hearing music as long as I could remember it took a huge amount of willpower to actively seek it out, do go against everything that my brain was telling me not to do, like skydiving or bungee jumping. I remember I must have been about twelve, my dad was out and I turned the TV on. I turned the volume up slowly, tentatively. The saccharine advert jingle shot like electricity down my spine, it sounded discordant, metallic, it was jarring in its ferocity. I couldn’t move. I wasn’t over it. I started to panic, I collapsed on the floor. My father found me about an hour later, in the fetal position, rigid with fear and covered with sweat. We got rid of the TV.”
I blinked, the memories fading fast, and I was back in the room. The man was still staring intently at me, the fluorescent lights reflecting in his glasses. He pushed them up the bridge of his nose slightly and leaned forward, almost imperceptibly.
“Then what?” he said.
As he finished the sentence, his mouth curled in the corner as if he was somehow humoring me by listening to this story.
“By the time I was fifteen, my dad was hardly around. He would be out drinking all the time, and doing whatever else he did now that my mom had left. I found I could go out at night, There was less of a chance of idiots with loud car stereos, or TV noise, even people singing used to make me feel weird. So my dad would be out, and so would I. I was pretty much nocturnal, I would sleep in the day, and used earplugs in case the local ice cream van came round and sent me over the edge with its tinny, feedback-like howl. I would casually observe people from the safety of the darkness, Not like a peeping tom, I’m not a pervert or anything, I’m nothing. No-thing.
I should say at this point, that where we lived was not far from the edge of town. About half an hours walk away, and I used to head out on my own, in the dark (doesn’t that sound crazy nowadays?) and just listen to the night sounds. One night I was out laying on my back, looking at the stars when a car drove past and stopped. It was about a quarter of a mile away, I would guess. A man got out, and I could hear the music again. It was sublime. I wept, the melodies were incredible. The car drove off, but the singing remained. I walked towards where the car seemed to have been, but the music had stopped. I was alone in the silence again.
I decided to carry a tape recorder with me, just in case I heard it again. I mean, I couldn’t listen to most music, but this was somehow different. It didn’t terrify or smother. It comforted, it soared, I had to find it again. It was a few months later, I was heading out on my usual night time walk when I heard it again, it was somehow different than before, quieter too, but still good. I took out my tape recorder and hit the record button, hoping it wasn’t too low to register on the rubbish built-in mic. I wandered around, trying to find where it was coming from, but it just seemed to hover on the air. I looked around, but my only other witness in this search was an old dog resting under a bush. But before I could trace it, it was gone. Over the next few years, I managed to record some more tunes, but they were so rare and fleeting that I started to treasure each cassette, and hid them away from my father in case he smashed them like he smashed all the records when I was young. This was my music.”
“So you hid this music from your father? Why was that?” The man didn’t even seem to be blinking now. He was completely emotionless.
“Yes,” I replied.
“He wouldn’t have understood. All these years of not having music in the house, then finding my cassettes with beautiful music, it would have been too much for him. He got angry when he was drunk, and he was usually drunk.”
“I don’t think that’s the reason,” said the man. “Is it?”
These last two words were very deliberate. ‘Is. It’. Maybe he thought I was lying about my father. Maybe he thought I didn’t have these wondrous tapes hidden away.
“We found your tapes,” he said. “There were lots of them.”
I knew I wasn’t lying.
“When did you start making your own music?”
Again, the sarcastic tone. I didn’t understand why he was patronizing me.
“You know, it took a long time to figure it out. I was having to make do with finding these songs just floating on the air. They didn’t happen very often, but I would treasure them when they did. Then I found out how to make this music myself. It was not as hard as you’d think. The tricky part was finding musicians up to the job. Like they say about stories, everybody has one good one in them. Some have more than one. The trick is to get them to make music for as long as possible. That was where I needed to study, to tease these songs out of the chaos of thought, to write longer songs. At first, like any musician, I was clumsy, hours of work might only produce a few chords, maybe the beginnings of a melody. I did learn, though, and became more productive. The songs started to flow, and I began to fall in love with music. Because of my condition, I could only work with one musician at a time. I would record what they had to offer, then move on. I would mix the separate recordings together to make whole songs. I had to travel around to find people to work with, and I found talent everywhere.”
The expression on the man’s face seemed to change for the first time. He still looked ‘into’ me, but now he didn’t like what he saw. He was done humoring me now.
“You know, we also found your recording studio….”
The statement seemed to hang there, unfinished. Was he waiting for me to add something?
“Really? Impressive, isn’t it?” I replied, and smiled again, hoping to diffuse the tension that was quickly rising in the atmosphere.
“You were certainly busy,” the man replied through gritted teeth, directly to me, before turning to speak into a tape recorder. “For the record, I am showing Mr. Stroud the photos we took at his recording studio.” His tape recorder was just like mine.
He placed one photo after another on the table in front of me, all taken in a darkened filthy room. In the middle of the room was a sturdy wooden chair with leather straps hanging from the arms and legs. There was a dark patch on the floor. A microphone hung at about head height in front of the chair. One photo of a small tin containing teeth of various sizes. One photo of a severed finger. One of a metal table with various tools. One of a tape recorder.
“And now, the musicians,” he said.
The photos were falling faster on to the table now, as though the man didn’t want to even touch them in case he was somehow tainted by them. Photos of bloodied bodies, people of all ages, brutalized beyond recognition.
“This poor bastard,” he said as he threw the last photo down. “This poor soul lasted for three days after we found him. He died the day we got to you.”
“Ah, yes. He was very resilient,” I replied. “I had a week’s worth of music from him.”
I smiled again. The man looked at me and I could see his jaw tense.
“Take him away,” he said.
Two large men walked in through the door and hoisted me to my feet.
“It’s such wonderful music,” I said. “Beautiful, beautiful music.”
I was dragged down the corridor back to my room. I fell asleep to the sound of music drifting down the corridors.
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69 thoughts on “The Musician”
This is fantastic. The music was crying/howling/screaming. It all makes sense now. What a great pasta.
Yasssss this is realllllly good
Thanks, I’m glad you liked it!
This is like an episode of criminal minds, instead of torturing people for their screams, the killer drained their blood for painting.
Would love for you to rewrite this piece. It seemed too rushed.
What a great story. Not like the other stories that have a boring part this one is unique. Very fascinating until the end of it.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Hello Gregg. They’ve finally put up our version of your story on ‘Let’s Read’. I did it with another youtuber called Dr. Creepen van Pasta. Here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aAlt34Sing
By the way I didn’t choose the video in the background that was the uploader’s choice. I thought it was a peculiar video to put with it.
Thank you for the link! This is the 6th (to my knowledge) version of this on YouTube, and I’m being absolutely honest, it’s my favourite one. GOOD JOB :)
My sister showed me this one, it was wonderful!
Thank you very much. I’m glad you liked it :)
I really enjoyed this pasta. It’s different from anything I’ve read on here and it’s well written, I quite liked this.
Thank you. I’m glad you liked it.
I really love this story. It’s different than anything I’ve read on here thus far and I enjoyed it. :)
Great Pasta!! was really confused at first, but the ending was a good surprise!! Very well written :) Keep up the good work
I will try to. I don’t often have the inspiration though. Thanks for the comment!
Me too. I’m glad you liked it. I tried hard to make it as original as I could. Thanks for the comment! :)
I really like the originality. Would love to see this in a series
You mean what happens to Edwin after his incarceration, or a series based on weird Psychos? I’m glad you like it :)
Particularly this character but a series would be a sensational idea!
I think what helps makes this so creepy, is knowing that somewhere in the world there are people that actually think like this. This has definitely become one of my favorite pastas.
Thank you. I really tried hard to keep Stroud as normal as possible. After all, he thinks he’s fine, so I really played down the first part of the story, and kept any references to murder or violence out of it. The part with the car was originally a bit different. A man and a woman get out of the car, then the music, then the man gets in and drives off. I had written it so Stroud couldn’t actually see what was going on, but I figured “two getting out, one getting in” was a pretty massive clue, so I edited it right back to keep it as ambiguous as I could. I guess it worked ! :)
Thank you. I think I’ll have to start on another one soon then!
You are very welcome! Do you have any other pastas I could sample?
No, not yet. This story just fell out of my head on to the keyboard one day. I deliberately tried to write a story that was “not your average pasta”, and I think I succeeded. Inspiration is the problem, but after all the positive comments, I think I need to get inspired again soon! :)
Now THAT is a plot twist! Well done OP! Please share some more!
Lol, I guess there are those out there who would compare Sublime’s back catalogue to the sound of people being murdered! :)
So you knew the music was the sound of pain?
Damn! I didn’t even think of that! Makes it a whole lot more clever
This is one magnificent story. Best one I’ve read in a while. Only thing that got to me what the lack of question marks where they were clearly necessary. Rhetorical questions still require question marks. I spotted at least three cases where question marks were missing. Everything else is perfect though. A nice reveal. The first person POV makes us completely unaware of the insanity present the whole time.
Fair enough. TBH I hadn’t noticed, and therefore I place the blame squarely at the feet of my proofreaders :) I’m glad you liked it though. All these positive comments mean a lot. Thanks!
I’ve read and heard scarier stories.
Thanks, it means a lot. I wasn’t sure how it would be received on here, or even if it would make the crappypasta page. These comments have really blown me away.
Cool, will do! :)
I like this story. I also like bunnycats because the little kitty that lives at my house is a bunnycat. He refuses to eat carrots, though.
Well thank you smelly Johnson.
Ah, thanks! No wonder my alternate picking is slow and painful.
Yeah, you need a fair bit of lead in your pencil for sweeps too!
Thank you. I’m glad you liked it. It’s interesting to hear other people’s impressions of this. TBH, I preferred the start of the story, and I had to drag the clichés kicking and screaming out of the end, to try and keep it in line with the beginning. :)
Called it halfway through!! Pleased with myself haha
Wow I didn’t see that coming somehow lol, I guess I don’t read these often enough anymore. Good one and really brought a chill down my spine.
To Gregg Stockdale the writer.I absolutely loved the story. I have a creepypasta narration channel and I was wondering if it would be okay with you if I narrated your story on my channel
I have sorted out some earlier audio issues and believe that I could now do the story justice.
I would be very grateful indeed.
I tried to keep it as ambiguous as I could, because I wanted the ending to have that “punch” when all the pieces fall into place. In one of the original edits, I did describe more situations when he heard the music, but it seemed to be overdoing it (the dying dog under the bush nearly got taken out, I wasn’t really happy with that bit but left it in as another clue). I also had a version when the interviewer lays one of the tapes, but I thought it was a bit gratuitous. Edwin never thought there was anything wrong with what he did, which was why I only ever described it as music, and why he couldn’t understand why the interviewer didn’t like him. Glad you liked it BTW.
10/10!Really loved it.Such s unique plot.
Music is death.
And death is metal *plays sick rift*
It was his mother’s murder. Who knows what happened, or how his father disposed of the body. :)
Thanks. I’m glad you liked it. :)
Wait… did his dad murder his mother?
Yoooo I’m high as a muthafucka and this pasta made me trip out ahaha. Damn one of the tastiest pastas I’ve had (or should I say munchies) with a superb plot. I also loved the personification of the characters and I love how this pasta makes you think., brilliant stuff. Solid 10/10 from me fam
So does that mean his father killed/hurt his mother?? This was a great read, so creative. I caught on eventually but it was still so original, and fun to read!
That makes so much sense. I guess I’m a little dense after work when I read these lol that makes this pasta even more satisfying! This really was a brilliant pasta with a super original idea. Bravo, sir. Please find some more inspiration, I would love to read more from you.
I saw it coming when I started thinking about how seemingly randomly the mother disappeared. She just up and left one night, without ever saying another word to her son? Nah, it was obvious the father killed her. Also it was pretty obvious the “man” was either a psychiatrist or an investigator. My only real gripe with this was the predictability. 9/10 I’ll say.
This was actually really original in its setup? It’s a really well-detailed and intriguing approach to this kind of story, and I was hooked the entire way. 10/10!
Thank you. I deliberately tried to write a story that hadn’t been on here before. I had the beginning and the end fully formed in my head, it was joining the two together that took a bit of time (I say a bit of time, I think the whole thing took 2 hours in total, and I’m not the fastest at typing!) I’m glad you like it though, it means a lot. :)
The ending came way too fast. I would have liked a little more from it, like why he didn’t remembering anything(ex. why he was there or who that man was), but wasn’t surprised when he saw the photos. Why was he torturing the people? All in all I thought it was a very well written story with an interesting concept. You have a great style and really not that many errors. Keep writing!
His torture would make the people make “music” I.e their screams. Screaming was music to his ears, the fucking psychopath. So, he decided to make the “music”.
He’s insane, and he’s being interrogated. The man is a police officer or detective I’m assuming
This was fantastic! I’ve been really searching for a satisfying pasta, and was delighted to have found one in this story! Will read again!
Had to read at least one pasta before bed and the musician did not disappoint! Very creative!
I really liked this pasta! Please keep writing!
I don’t get it, But high-rated it anyway because I’ve a feeling it’s a good one.
His so called music is of people getting tortured and he enjoys it
If you don’t get it, why did you give it a good vote? I mean, it’s a great story, but don’t go with the flow for the sake of it.