In October 1867, a man was found wandering in the Donaldson’s yard. He was incoherent and very sick. He never was able to tell them who he was. He died October 4, 1867 and was buried in the Donaldson’s plot in The Ladonia Cemetery.
Someone write this short story please.
I’m on it, Mulholland folks.
I’ve been waiting for a proper Halloween prompt, and now I have it.
Madeline sobbed when she sat down at her piano that day. She did her best to play a Bartók concerto while tears rolled down her bony cheeks and splashed onto the old keys.
She hadn’t cried so hard—or at all, for that matter—in the two years of forced seclusion in her 16th floor apartment. It made her feel weak and sentimental, and there was room for neither emotional fragility nor useless nostalgia in Madeline’s world. Both would lead to carelessness. Carelessness would lead to death, or worse.
When she’d finished playing the concerto, Madeline went down to the 15th floor—or “the closet” as she liked to call her ersatz storage area; the 14 remaining stories below being her safety buffer—to gather foodstuffs for the evening, along with a bottle of cheap Spumante and a fresh box of matches. Also, an ax.
It was the end of an unusually warm Indian summer day (was it still October? November already? She wasn’t really sure.) and the western sky over Central Park was ablaze with the reds and oranges of a hazy sunset.
It would be time to shut the windows soon, but first she looked out at the things that now inhabited land and sky. Madeline had given whimsical names to some varieties: Purple Streamers, Blue Sparklies, Skitters, Sliders, Yellies, Pokies, Chum-heads. A few of them were mostly harmless. Some were merely annoying. Most of them were lethal, especially the nocturnal ones.
Before locking up and starting her evening fire, Madeline sat at her piano for the last time. She’d wanted so badly to keep it forever, as a touchstone to her past. It was the last tangible piece of her old life. The last physical thing that kept her connected to who she used to be, and where she came from. But winter was approaching and combustibles were getting scarce. She knew the piano was more valuable as firewood than as a cumbersome heirloom.
The piano itself was an old Bösendorfer that had first belonged to her great-grandmother. It had remained undiscovered and untouched, remarkably, in a basement apartment in the Warsaw ghetto until after the Second World War. Madeline’s grandmother was the only member of the family to have survived Treblinka, and when she’d emigrated to America she took the piano with her.
Madeline decided that Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star would be a fitting final piece for the piano; the first song her grandmother had taught her to play.
After the last notes faded into the air, Madeline took the axe and began hacking at the piano. It had survived one Holocaust, but would not survive another.
I know you’re sitting there scrolling through Tumblr and thinking to yourself, “You know, I’m rather disappointed that there is not nearly enough vintage typewriter porn on my dash today.”
Well, I am here to remedy that for you, with this image of my venerable 1950 Smith-Corona Silent, which I am actually using this morning to write a r̶a̶n̶s̶o̶m̶ ̶l̶e̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ thank-you note.