The Cursed Piano Shop on Elm Street
Amy had always loved pianos ever since she was a little girl. Her mother would take her to a music store near their house, and Amy would spend hours there, trying out different pianos. She loved the smell of the wood, the sound of the keys as she pressed them, and the sense of control she felt when playing music. It was a way for her to express herself and escape into another world.
As she grew older, she took piano lessons and became more skilled. She would often perform at school recitals and local events, earning praise from her teachers and peers. Her love for music and piano continued to grow, and she eventually decided to pursue it as a career.
After graduating from college, Amy moved to a small town near the countryside to work at a music school. She found a cozy little apartment and enjoyed the tranquility of the countryside. One day, as she was walking around town, she noticed an old sign that read ‘The Cursed Piano Shop on Elm Street’. Curiosity piqued, she decided to go in.
The shop was dimly lit, with a musty scent that filled her nostrils. There were rows of old pianos lining the walls, some of them in a state of disrepair. At the center of the room was a grand piano, bigger than any she had ever seen. It was covered in a thick layer of dust, as though no one had touched it in years.
Amy approached the piano, drawn to it by an unknown force. She felt a shiver run down her spine as she ran her hand across the black lacquered surface. She sat down on the bench and placed her fingers on the keys. They were icy cold, and she wondered how long it had been since the piano was last played.
She began to play, her fingers dancing across the keys. The sound was muted at first, but as she played more, the notes came alive and filled the room. She closed her eyes and let the music take her to a place of serenity.
When she finished playing, she heard a voice behind her.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
Amy turned around and saw an old man standing behind her. He was tall and thin, with piercing blue eyes and a gaunt face weathered by time. He wore a black suit and a white shirt, which seemed out of place in the dusty old shop.
“Whose piano is this?” asked Amy.
“It belonged to a family who lived in this town long ago,” the old man replied. “They were cursed, you know. The curse of the piano. They say anyone who plays it will suffer great misfortune.”
Amy chuckled. “I don’t believe in curses. I think it’s just a myth.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be so sure,” said the old man, a dark look in his eyes. “But please, keep playing. I haven’t heard music like that in this shop for a long time.”
Amy felt a sense of unease but decided to ignore it. She closed her eyes once more and began to play, the music rising and falling like a wave. She was so lost in the music that she didn’t notice the cold breath on her neck or the figure in the shadows.
Until it was too late.
Amy froze as she felt a cold breath on her neck. She turned around, thinking it was the old man, but to her horror, she found herself face to face with a pale figure – a little girl, no more than ten years old, dressed in a puffy white dress.
The girl’s eyes were vividly red, and her hair was dark and tangled. She stood motionless, her eyes fixed on Amy. For a few moments, Amy couldn’t react. Her mind was numb, her body frozen in fear.
As the figure stepped closer, Amy’s heart started racing. Her palms were sweating, and she felt a lump in her throat. She couldn’t scream, couldn’t run – she was paralyzed.
The figure raised its hand, pointing to the piano keys. Amy took that as a sign and gradually started playing. The ghostly figure watched her, and as she played, Amy could see the girl’s eyes dimming.
When the music ended, the ghostly figure vanished. Amy sat there, quivering, still too stunned to move. She had always been skeptical of ghosts and the supernatural, but now she was convinced that they were real.
She turned around to ask the old man what had happened, but he was nowhere to be seen. She was alone with the piano, the cursed piano that had brought her face to face with a ghost.
Amy left the piano shop in a hurry, running down the empty streets. When she got home, she fell into bed and tried to make sense of what had just happened. She knew she would never forget the face of the little girl in the white dress or the feeling of being watched.
Days passed, and Amy tried to forget about the incident. She threw herself into her work at the music school, teaching classes and holding recitals. But every time she passed the cursed piano on Elm Street, she felt a chill run down her spine. She started avoiding the street altogether, taking a longer route to work.
One day, as she was walking home from the music school, she heard the sound of music coming from a nearby building. She hesitated at first, not knowing whether to investigate or continue walking. But the sound was so captivating that she decided to take a look.
She followed the sound to an abandoned building, at the end of an alley. The door was ajar, and as she pushed it open, she was struck by a familiar musty scent. It was the same smell that had filled the cursed piano shop.
The room was empty aside from a dusty old piano, lying abandoned in the center. Amy slowly approached it, her heart racing. She sat down on the bench and placed her fingers on the keys. And just as before, the keys were cold to the touch.
She felt a sense of familiarity as she began to play. The sound was muted at first, but as she continued to play, the notes slowly came alive, filling the room with music. She closed her eyes and let herself be transported to another world.
When she finished, she heard a voice. It was the voice of the little girl in the white dress.
“Thank you for playing,” said the girl.
Amy turned around, but the girl was nowhere to be seen. She knew then that she had not been imagining things. That the piano shop on Elm Street was indeed cursed, and the curse had followed her to this abandoned building. And she also knew that she couldn’t escape the curse, no matter how far she went.
Amy couldn’t shake off the unease that had been gnawing at her since her encounter with the ghost. The idea that she had somehow summoned it was impossible to ignore.
The haunting melody of the cursed piano would not leave her mind, no matter how much she tried to forget it. She started seeing shadows everywhere, always feeling like she was being watched.
One day, as she was walking back to her apartment from the music school, she felt something brush against her leg. She froze, thinking it was a rat or a snake. But when she looked down, there was nothing there. Just the empty street, the fading sun, and the sound of distant music.
She shrugged it off and continued walking. But the feeling lingered, like a cold hand on her back. She quickened her pace, almost running towards her apartment. When she finally reached it, she locked the door behind her and sat on the couch, her heart beating fast.
She was startled when she heard a knock at the door. She got up and peered through the peephole. It was the old man from the cursed piano shop.
She hesitated for a moment, wondering how he had found her apartment. But the sense of unease had never left her, and she felt like she needed answers.
She opened the door, and the old man greeted her with a smile.
“May I come in?” he asked.
Amy hesitated but eventually let him in. The old man looked around the room, his eyes scanning every corner. He then sat down on the couch opposite her and looked into her eyes.
“I know you’ve been experiencing strange things,” he said. “That piano, the one you played – it has powers that go beyond time and space. It’s a portal of sorts, a gateway to the other side.”
Amy was taken aback by the old man’s words. She didn’t know what to believe, but deep down, she knew there was some truth to them.
The old man continued: “The ghost you saw was a victim of that curse, just like others before her. It will follow you, haunt you, until you break the curse.”
“Break the curse?” asked Amy, confused. “How do I do that?”
“That’s what I came here to tell you,” said the old man. “There’s a way to break the curse, but it’s not easy. You have to play the cursed piano in the presence of the ghost, and you have to play a specific melody – the melody of sorrow.”
“The melody of sorrow?” asked Amy, her mind racing. “Where do I find it?”
“That’s the tricky part,” replied the old man. “The melody of sorrow does not exist in this world. You have to find it in the other world, the world beyond the cursed piano. You have to find a way to enter that world and retrieve the melody.”
Amy listened in disbelief, wondering if the old man had gone mad. But there was a sense of sincerity in his voice, a sign of deep truth that resonated with her.
Without a word, she got up and walked towards the door. She needed to think, to process everything that had just been said.
The old man got up as well and looked at her. “Be careful,” he said. “The curse is real, and it will follow you until you break it.”
Amy nodded, and the old man left, leaving her alone in the quiet apartment.
Amy knew she had to face her fears, to confront the curse head-on. She had to find a way to enter the other world and retrieve the melody of sorrow. And she knew that it wouldn’t be easy. But she was determined to break the curse, to free herself from the haunt of the cursed piano shop on Elm Street.