[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] Record Deal with a Demon

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY.

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.


Violet behind the curtain of the stage, inspecting her violin one more time. Well-polished, well-tuned…everything was in place. And of course it was – this was Violet after all. The violin prodigy! If Foreligis had been more connected, she would be better know – but it was fine. At least her home, the large city-village of Aurum, had enough space for her…supposed. 

She turned to the mirror that stood beside her, posing with her violin. Her purple hair rained down her shoulders and she gently brushed it away to brush it off from one of her many precious violins. Excitement almost immeditately bubbled up through her stomach and into her heart. Soon it was circulating into her system, transforming from nervous-excitement to pure energy. She lowered her violin and her bow, smiling widely in the mirror in front of her – she was ready to perform. 

“…um’s prodigy, VIOLET BAUM!” 

Applause thundered so loudly, the whole stage shook underneath Violet’s feet. This served only to cause her steps to lighten even more as she placed her violin on her shoulder and began to play intensely for every person in Aurum, even if they weren’t attending. She stepped out in almost a skip, quickly silencing the outdoor concert hall. She swung her body in time to the music, dancing along with the sound she produced with just herself, the bow, and the violin. 

She stepped along the stage, allowing the flow of her dancing to energize her very core. The audience began to clap again, adding an additional layer behind her. She giggled to herself, remember the brief thought she used to have when she was just a young child – the very annoyance at the clapping before she was done and how distracting it once seemed that they would be clapping along with her music. But now they’re a part of my performance.

CREEEEAK

Violet’s gut pinched at the sound of creaking from around her. Tension hugged her upper arms, but she kept on playing anyway. It’s nothing, ignore it. She told herself, mentally pushing herself back into the music. She took a few steps towards the back of the stage, walking backwards to amp up a powerful, speedy performance. The crowd cheered, yelped, and clapped. She began to spin around and around, swinging her head.

CREEEEEAK CREEEEEEEEEEEEAK CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK

The stage and its surroundings moaned once more. Violet’s gut pinched and twisted again. Although her face was smiling, internally, she was starting to get really angry. Her ears moved from the music to the unharmonious creaks of the stage. How dare you! she spat in her head as she continued to smile and play on the outside, hoping underneath no one was going to notice her anger. You’re messing up my rhythm! 

CREEEEEEEEEEEEEAK CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK

Up from her stomach shot up a single word to her head: DANGER. 

CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK

And what did she do? Attempt to push it down – she was at the best part in the song! 

CREEEEEEEEAK CREAK CREEEEEAK CREAK CREAK CREAAAAAK CREAK

She began to slam her foot to the ground to each note that she played, banging her head in the air as she did so. The audience clapped along. Her notes became hire and she turned around, looking up at the ceiling with her up body, leaning her head back. Normally, she’d look briefly at the audience, but that obnoxious creeeeeeaking caught her attention instead. 

Her eyes watched as the creaking metal above her swayed violently. 

Her gut shouted to her DANGER, DANGER, DANGER! 

Her eyes widened, watching everything become unhindged and then…

CRAAAAAAAAAAAAASH! 

Screams came from behind Violet, but she couldn’t see where – on top of her was metal and wood. And in her. 

Pain shot through her body as soon as she registered the sudden shock of the stage collapsing on top of her, pinning her down during the height of her performance. She attempted to move her hands only the slightest bit, but they clearly had the worst pain of all. She let out a shrieking crying: “MY HANDS! MY HANDS!” 

Warm tears ran down her face. I’ll die without my hands! 

She had no idea how long she had been under their sobbing, but she could finally see light once more and the semi-unfamiliar faces of Aurum’s assistant doctors and disastor relief, plus her parents. 

I must look horrible, she thought, looking up to her parents from the ground, upside down. One of her mothers turned to the other one, buring her face into her chest. Violet started to cry once more, her trembles causing the pains around her body, especially her hands, to worsen. 

***

Violet sat back against the wall, looking at her unmoving hands wrapped lightly with bandages, covered by mesh gloves, Tears welled up in her eyes. Can’t they just give me physical therapy already? I’m craving to play again. She lifted her arms, watching hands limp over. She threw her head back and looked up at the ceiling. Beside her, her mothers chattered in hushed voices. She rolled her eyes, ignoring their words she could barely make out.

She side-eyed the clock. It’s been 10 minutes. She leaned forward and let out a big sigh. Her head began to throb. She lifted her arms up and squeezed them at the side of her head. However, the pain just got worse – the memory of the fact she couldn’t use her hands pressed against the walls of her mind. 

“Sweetie, are you alright?” asked one of her mothers. 

“I will be,” replied Violet. 

Clack

She looked up in a hurry, causing the headache to pound harder. Her face lit up, seeing the doctor with the most solemn expression Violet had ever seen on anyway. Her gut slowly started to twist. If it hadn’t been for the headache, she would have shoved it away.

“Dr. Cole!” exclaimed Violet’s mothers, Tahlia and Jayda. 

Dr. Cole raised her chin a bit more and hugged her clipboard to her chest. Violet leered at her unintentionally thanks to her headache, noticing Dr. Cole bitting her lip slightly. She watched Dr. Cole’s chest expand and raise as the doctor took in a deep breath. 

“After looking over everything, we have determined that…Violet…will never be able to use her hands again.” 

It was as if Violet’s throat dropped into her stomach and liquid in it splashed up to her eyes and she CRIED. Her head threatened to explode with each blink of her eye. The sobs from Tahlia were even louder than her own. It was like a symphony of out of tune instrumnents. 

NO! shouted Violet inside of herself. She attempted to shout it out loud, but her throat seemed to be stuck in her stomach – the only thing she could let was wail mixed with a groan. 

“Physical therapy won’t help?” asked Jayda, allowing Tahila to cry on her shoulders once more. 

“No,” replied Dr. Cole.  “I am so sorry. The damage to her hands is too severe.” 

No, no, NO. No. NO. Why did this happen to ME? Did I do anything WRONG? 

Violet leaned over into her knees. Her headache pounded louder and louder – to the point she couldn’t help but grab her head with her arms. She felt the warm hand of the only mother of her’s that wasn’t sobbing, Jayda, on her back, rubbing it. The warmth distracted Violet’s mind briefly enough to stop the pressure in her head. However, it couldn’t stop the pain that had her wanting to tear her own heart out. 

My life has no meaning to it – I no longer have purpose. 

***

Violet looked up at the dark brown, log ceiling from her bed, where she laid sprawled out. Her eyes glanced over at the numerous bed sheets spread across her walls and the little peaks of what was under them – her violin collection. Her stomach clenched. The pain shot up through her heart and into her eyes. She flipped over quickly, turning to the dark brown wall beside her. Her shoulders twitched and her eyes stung with the salt water that trickled down her face and onto the bed. 

“–don’t get rid of them!” 

“….can’t….see…hurting” 

SOB 

CRASH

Violet pressed her wirst against her ears. Her tears stopped stinging her eyes. Even though they stopped stinging, she was sure her eyes must be bloodshot red. 

“I wish I could use my hands again…” 

I want them to stop fighting…I want to play! 

“I wish I could play!”

“I WISH I COULD PLAY!” she shrieked. 

The house suddenly seemed to become completely silent. She couldn’t hear the mumrmurs of her mothers fighting anymore. 

*** 

Violet woke up, her room completely dark. She sat up from the bed and used the palms of her hands to turn on her lamp. She turned her body and faced her covered violins. She slowly got up from her bed, lightly walked with her feet, and walked over to them. Using her wrists, she carefully grasped the edge of the bedsheet covering and lifted it up and off from her collection. She walked from left to right, allowing the sheet’s corner to drop to the floor. 

She had 22 different violins in different colours with only some slight shape variation iin very much a cosmetic way. The violins looked in presetine conditions, other than the stands they were on, which had some slight dust at the bottom that had accumulated over the month and a half Violet had been unable to play or take care of them. 

She lifted her arm and gently moved her hand over the violin closest to her. She couldn’t feel anything. She fell onto her knees and began to sob quietly, as not to disturb her mothers. Her head clonked forward onto the violin. 

“I just wish I could play you all again…” 

CLACK

A sudden chill ran up Violet’s arms and down her back. Without a single hestiation, her head whipped to her window. She froze. 

Partially illuminated by the lamp sat a perch creature on her window sill. She could only guess it was twice the size of it. It appeared to have a bulky, human-like body, but with feet like a hippo and hands like the hind legs of a platypus. It’s face was almost square with a large, round lower jaw, two large lower canine teeth jutting outward from it, and glowing blue eyes. It’s skin appeared to be green-gray, but Violet couldn’t be too certain. 

The light in the creature’s eyes faded into a colour Violet couldn’t make out. Her muscles stopped locking her in place, causing her shoulders to collapse, her back to give up on holding her up,  and she fell to the ground. She pushed herself up as her eyes locked with the creatures.

Pressure pushed against her throat. She opened her mouth to release it, but all that came out was a quiet “Wha?”. 

The creature smiled, its eyes squinting in a way that would make anyone feel uneasy. “I’m here to answer the call.” 

Violet quivered. 

The creature jumped off from the window sill and onto the ground. Violet noticed it’s lion-like tail swishing behind it as it waddled closer to her. 

Oh no, now what? Am I going to die? “Are you going to kill me?” her voice squeaked out. 

The creature gave her a giant, jagged tooth smile. “That wasn’t your wish, was it?” 

“W-what wish?” 

The crreature extended its hand out to its right. Violet followed the line of sight. Her quivering ceased, as did her breath. 

“The violins–––!” 

Violet leaned forward. “Do you mean…?” 

“Do I mean what?” asked the creature, leaning into Violet’s face. 

Huh, he doesn’t smell. 

“A-are you…saying you’ll help me get my hands working again?” 

The creature leaned back. “That was your wish?” 

“Yes!” exclaimed Violet in almost a whisper. Please do not wake up…

The creature lightly balled its fist and flicked it down. Out of thin air appeared a scroll, unravling itself. Violet glanced over, seeing a strange combination of lines. Her lips pursed and she looked up at the creature. “W-who…are you?” 

“Gregreppet, demon,” replied the creature. His words were followed by a friendly enough smile. “Let’s discuss our contract, shall we?” 

Violet shifted her legs and sat up. She wiped a few lingering tears from her face and sniffled. “Are you really going to restore my hands?” 

“Yes, of course, but…not for free.” 

Violet bore into Gregreppet’s eyes. “I’ll do anything.” 

“The best words in the language,” replied Gregreppet. He whipped out a pen in thin air and placed the contract down in front of Violet. He placed a long claw on what appeared to be the first paragraph on the sheet. 

“This section just lets us know what I’m doing for you.” He moved his claw down to the next paragraph. “This says what you are doing for me.” He then moved it down to a third one. “And this just summarixes everything and makes it legally binding.” He then tapped a line underneath all the paragraphs. “And tha’s where you sign.” 

Violet grasped the pen Gregreppet handed her. Her eyes glittered. Her chest lightened and her mind seemed to be racing…racing with grandious thoughts of everything she was going to do when her hands were back. She placed the pen down onto the paper. 

“W-wait!” said Gregreppet. 

Violet looked up, cocking her head slightly.

“Don’t you want to know what the contract says?” 

Violet’s brows furrowed. “You’re just returning my hands to their former selves, right?” 

Gregreppet frowned for a brief moment before grinning once more. “Yes. But don’t you want to know what you’re doing for me?” 

“Does it involve killing people?” 

“…no.” 

“Okay then.” 

“I just will use your body when you’re not using it.” 

Violet rolled her eyes. Yeah, when I’m dead. “Sure, sure. I just want to play!” She placed the pen back onto the paper. 

She began to move the pen, signing with her wrists. As she did, she filt the tiniest pricks on her wrist. She followed her siganture loops and finished it off. The moment she did, the paper and the pen vanished. 

“The contract is done,” announced Gregreppet. 

Violet’s heart nearly leapt out of her chest. She lifted up her hands and attempted to move them and…nothing. Her heart crashed back into her chest and tears began to well up.

“Tomorrow.” 

“Huh?” Violet looked up. 

“Tomorrow your hands will be restored.” 

Violet sighed. Her shoulders relaxed and she nodded. “Okay. Thank…”

Gregreppet was gone.

“You?” 

***

Violet woke up. Her eyes were crusted shut to the point you would’ve thought there was glue on them. She rubbed them with her wrist, attempting to break her eyelashes free. Ugh, I wish my hands were working… she thought. Her fist tightened. 

“Huh?” Violet shot up, despite not being able to open her eyes. She stretched out her hand from her fist and immeditately brought it back to one. 

Herb ody briefly felt cold as disbelief sunk into her body, only to come shooting back up to heat. She trembled, but this time with hope. She broguth her hands to her eyelashes and began to gently grab them with her fingers. She pressed down firmly between her index and thumb, rubbing the crusts from her eyes. 

Her hands.

They were working

She blinked several times, brushing her eyes with her palms. She wiped her face with her bedsheet. As she lowered the sheet from her face, she took a look at her hands that were grasping it. She released the sheet to bed and lifted up her hands. Her wrists were lined with a few scratchesright down the middle that looked like they were drying scabs. Her mind immeditately called forth the prickly sensation she had felt from the night before. 

“The demon…” Violet mumbled under her breath. Her eyes widened, remembering the grayish-green figured that had offered to give her hands back. 

She shoved the covers off from her body rushed over to her covered violins. She picked up the one towards the end of the front row, lifted it up and held her breath. 

Is this real? 

She positioned her fingers on the strings and body in a way to approrpriately play. She placed the bow to the strings and played a single note. 

TEARS. 

Tears flowed freely from her eyes. 

I can play! “I can play!” 

Her body trembled, but she began playing anyway. She might not have played for almost two months, but she was a prodigy – she spent almost her whole life playing violin. There was no way she would forget in two months. 

She began playing fervantly, channeling each and every emotion she felt – the fear from nearly being killed, the anger from her hands no longer working, the devisation from being told that she couldn’t play anymore, the hope from the demon’s offer, the surprise from her hands working, and the joy from her hands being able to play once more. 

SLAM 

GASP

Violet turned to the door, seeing her mothers standing in the doorway. She watched as tears rained down from the eyes. Tahila fell to her knees and covered her mouth.

“How?!” exclaimed Jayda. 

“I don’t know,” replied Violet, still playing. 

“It’s a miracle! She’s blessed! She’s been blessed!” cried Tahila. 

Violet nodded along, ignore the pinches within her gut telling her otherwise. 

*** 

“We finally heard back from everyone,” said Tahila, placing down a handbound book, laid out with a hand-drawn calendar and numerous notes scribbled on the opposite page. Coloured markings stood out among the black ink. “Most were open to resume the previous schedules.” 

Violet’s chest rose. A smile spread across her face and she became lighter. “That is amazing.” 

Jayda whacked her back. “It’s been two months and they were willing to work with us – I think everyone was just waiting.” 

Violet nodded. 

She then noticed that her mothers were staring at her. She cocked her head in question. “Is something wrong?” 

Jayda scratched the back of her head. “I know you’re excited that you got your hands working again, but do you need to be playing  now?” 

“Huh?” Violet looked to her left, noticing her violin placed on her shoulder and her bow playing a tune. Her face went slightly pale.  I…didn’t even realize. She forced a smile. “Oh, I’m just so excited to play again, I just can’t stop!” 

“Well, could ya while we discuss the new concert schedule?” 

Violet nodded. “Yes, o-of course.” She put down her violin and her bow and turned her attention towards the concert schedule. 

Tahila began to go down the list, week by week. It became clear as she went on that she had gotten some replacements and additional shows, giving Violet plenty of time and places to perform. Violet’s toes tapped quietly, listening. Irritation crept up through her arms and into her head. It seemed to increase with each explanation. 

“I think I got it. Just bring me to the place and I’ll play,” said Violet. Her words were rushed. She waved her hand. “I’ll be returning to my room now.” 

“O-okay,” replied Tahila. 

As she walked off, Violet lifted her violin and began to play once more, using her foot to open the door to her room and to shut it. 

*** 

Concert after concert, almost non-stop, both in Aurum and surrounding village cities. If anything, Violet was finding herself going further places than she had ever before. It was her first time in three months that she had more than two days off. 

And what did she want to do? 

Play.

Literally, that’s all she wanted to do.

She sat in front of her mirror on a stool, watching herself mesmoerized by the image of her moving her bow and the sounds the strings produced. I’m so happy! 

CLACK 

“Violet, I made you some food.” 

Violet didn’t respond to Tahila. She could see from the corner of her eyes, from the reflection in the mirror, Tahila placing down a plate of food on Violet’s desk.

“You didn’t eat your breakfast?” asked Tahila, sounding utterly disappointed. “What are you doing???” 

A vein popped out the side of Violet’s head. “I’m playing.” 

Her mother put a hand to her cheek. “But…I…I made you these. And….you haven’t been eating them. I’m starting to get worried.” 

“I’m fine.” As long as I can play. 

Violet lifted up her chest and started playing a more ominous tune. She locked eyes with herself in the mirror, completing droning out the background. She could no longer hear or see Tahila…only herself and her violin. 

*** 

Violet’s eyes were so heavy, each blink threatened to put her to sleep. Her back started to stop supporting her. Her arms dropped down to her sides, numb from the non-stop playing she was so compelled to do. She got off up from her chair and collapsed half her body on the bed. Her eyes blinked shut and didn’t reopen…again. 

The next thing she knew, she woke up neatly tucked into bed, her bow to one side, her violin to the other. Her body seemed to be fully recovered, as it was everyday. She grabbed her violin and her bow and began to play without htinking about anything. 

She stood up from her bed and went back over to her mirror to play once more. 

What day is it? she wondered. Mothers didn’t mention anymore concerts…

Violet stayed fixated on herself and her violin in the mirror. 

There was a knock at the door. Violet changed the tune of her song very briefly – a signal to come in. 

Jayda walked in bringing a huge tray of food. Everything sizzled hot – you could see it clearly in the mirror. Violet breathed in, not smelling a thing. She could see from the corner of her eyes Jayda putting down the tray with a scowl. 

“You didn’t eat AGAIN?!” Jayda groaned. “This has become predictable. Look at yourself! You’ve lost so much weight!”

Violet’s stomach knotted, so she looked into the mirror. 

She saw no difference. 

She still looked the same. 

“Your cheekbones habe sunk, your collarbone is sticking out,” nagged Jayda. Violet stood up straighter, watching her mother come closer to her, mostly blocking her view of the mirror. “I’m concerned. I’m calling the doctor, this is too much…maybe it would have been better if –” 

SLAM 

Violet didn’t turn her head torwards the door, nor could she see who it was. 

“VIOLEEEEEET!” exclaimed a woman’s voice. Violet listneed over her shoulder. She cracked and smile and laughed to herself – it was Galia. Violet continued to play, even has the woman came over, squeezed her shoulders in a hug, and gave her kiss on the cheek.

“Tahlia said I’d find you playing and i’ll be, here you are!” 

Violet nodded. “Yes.” 

“That was such a miracle – you playing once more, after being told that you couldn’t because your permanent hand damage.” 

Violet nodded again. 

Jayda frowned. “Galia, I’m trying to have a conversation with her.”

“Wipe that scowl off your face – your daughter can play again!” 

Jayda placed her hand to her face. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing.” She extended it back out to Violet, who watched from the corner of her eye. “She looks sickly.” 

Galia entered more into Violet’s perephral vision. “Hmm….I guess I can see that.” 

“She’s been playing non-stop since she got her ability back. She doesn’t even eat! She ate more at the start, but now…” 

Galia slapped Jayda’s back. “Oh, don’t worry! She’s a bit excited.” 

“She’s not just a bit excited. It’s been months.” 

Galia laughed.

Violet’s body tensed up and anger rose a bit from her stomach. Her violin’s toned changed matching how annoyed she was beginning to feel. Get out of my way. 

Galia covered her mouth. “Uh-oh, did we make you angry?” she joked. 

Violet wanted to smile, but she didn’t even move. 

Jayda grabbed Galia’s shirt. “Actually, I think we did.” 

“Huh?! You can tell?!”

“She’s always done that.” 

Jayda and Galia left Violet’s line of vision. Violet settled down and the tone of her song changed to something more uplifting. The anger receded back into the depths of her stomach and her muscles relaxed. She even started humming! It’s been a while since I’ve used my voice this much. But there’s not much for me to say when my music speaks for me? 

“Oooh, Jayda, you should lock her window! Haven’t you heard?” 

Violet went cold, listening. The tone of her playing started to change, but she shifted it back to the more uplifting done, trying to avoid drawing attention to the fact she had started to listen.

“Heard…?”

“Those strings of mysterious deaths all had an open window in common.” 

“No, I didn’t,” replied Jayda. She went over to the single window that was unlocked in Violet’s room – the same one Violet vaguely remembered the demon had entered. 

That was a dream though, she thought. 

“Ooo, yeah, you’ve all been occupied going to didn’t villages around Foreligis…but every single place you went had those mysterious deaths! And every single one of them involved an unlocked or open window. Can you believe it?” 

“Hmmm….”

Galia gasped. “Oh yes! They also say haunting, mysterious music plays and otherworldly singing can be heard just before the deaths.” 

Violet’s gut pinched and twisted hearing this. Her throat seemed to drop down into her stomach. Her shoulders tensed up and her body attempted to hold her breath, but she wouldn’t let it. I’m not listening…I’m not listening….she forced her attention back to her playing. Why do I do this??? I wish they’d change the conversation. This is too creepy for me. 

Jayda frowns. “And how do they know that?”

“Witnesses!” 

“Hm.” 

“They all think banshees escaped from over the hill and took up music,” said Galia. She began to laugh. “Can you imagine that?! Music-playing banshee!” 

Jayda shivered. “I don’t even want to think about it.” 

Violet violently shivered. It’s not banshee 

“Oh, Violet, you okay? Your playing sounded kind of shaky there.” 

“Yes! I am fine,” replied Violet. Her voice squeaked. “I’m just a bit cold.” 

Galia patted jayda’s back. “Go get your daughter a jacket!” 

“Sure, sure.” 

“I-I don’t need one!” 

“Are you sure?” asked Jayda. “You’ve become so thin…”

“I’m fine!” 

Violet’s playing changed once more. 

“I get it, I get it.” 

Jayda patted Violet’s shoulder. “Let me check your windows.” 

Violet nodded. A lump formed in her throat as Jayda inspected each window. “No one’s going to come in and kill any of us.” 

Violet truly ran cold, watching from the mirror her mother moving from window to window to ensure that each one was locked. 

***

Am I awake? Violet asked herself. She looked to her hands, watching small silver strings in the light of the moon outside. Her movements were slightly jittery as if she was made from wood. She couldn’t feel anything though, even though it was clear the strings attached to her were moving and her body along with it. 

No, this must be a dream. 

She lifted up the violin sitting on the floor and the bow laying on her bed, standing up. 

Her body turned towards the window Violet could vaguely remember the demon had come through months earlier. The window unlocked with a quiet click and sllid open with nothing in sight that could have opened it. Yes, this must be a dream. She sat back in her head. 

Her body, directed by the strings, jumped out from the window and through the trees and through the night sky. She could see the whole city from where she was flying. If she had been awake, this would have been amazing sight. But as a dream? Is this how the city really looks? she wondered. 

The moonlight illuminated her just enough to make out her figure, but not enough to see her details. The silver strings seemed to disappear higher up in sky, even though they glistened in the moonlight around her. 

She found her feet landing on a tree, just outside of an open window, only a few feet away. She seemed to have no weight to her body whatsoever – if anything, it felt like she could collapse over into pieces like a wooden marionette, while still being held together with strings. What a strange feeling. 

She peered into the window, vaguely seeing her own silllhouette reflected in the mirror inside of the room. Her eyes, which had been obscured by darkness, began to glow a bright blue. Her violin was moved to her shoulder and she began to play. At first, it was a quiet, melancholic tune. Slow, steady, long, and drawing.

And the sound coming out from it was unlike any violin she had ever heard. What IS this. 

After what felt like only a few minutes of playing, an old man appeared in the window. Balding, spotted, and grouchy, He pushed his nightcap out from his face and held onto the sides of the window. 

“You’re the demon whose been killing off people, aren’t cha?” he grumbled. “Well, go away, demon! You aren’t getting ME!” 

Promptly, Violet’s mouth opened and she began to sing. Her violin playing began to speed up – the once drawn out sounds became increasingly shorter. She could almost hear the back beats of a drum in her head, although she was well aware there was none around her. 

Violet watched the old man attempt to shut his window, but stop. She couldn’t tell in the moonlight, but she was pretty sure his face turned pale. He was singing along with the song that was coming out from her own mouth. She had no idea what the song was nor the language, but it flowed from her without a single issue. 

Violet found the silver strings were gently being yanked and she danced around from tree branch to tree branch. Her body was completely light-weight – as she would have suspected from a dream. 

She could see the old man dance along with her. His eyes were opened wide. She could make out the glistening of tears lining his eyes and internal, desperate screaming inside of them. His mouth sung loudly with her words. 

Her song sped up. After one, harsh screech with the bow, the man kilted over. She could see him sprawled out on the floor. Out of his mouth came a stream of golden light. 

Violet seemed to direct the light with her violin playing and into her mouth. She briefly glowed the warm golden color. 

Her otherworldly violin playing faded out. Her arms dropped to her side and she found herself back in the air once more, flying over the city. 

***

Violet woke up, neatly tucked into her bed once more. She sat up, touched her face, and closed her eyes. What was that dream I had? She wiped her eyes with her hand. I feel like I remember it…

She thought for a few minutes, trying to remember the details. The only thing she could remember was the breathing room of wide-open space. But she couldn’t remember what the wide-open space was. It was what she was, at least, feeling within her body. 

Oh! My violin! She whipped to her violin and grabbed her bow. She stood up and went over to the mirror. Her face crinkled slightly. Odd…I usually play first thing. 

Violet looked at herself in the eyes in the mirror, then she looked to her violin resting on her shoulder. Her vocal chords began to vibrate with a tune. Her body shuddered. Where’s this from? 

Slowly, she began to play each note her voice appeared to reflect. She started and stopped after every few notes, correcting them as she went. Each note she played that was correct seemed to make her consciousness fade and the sound of her violin change. This…this sounds so…familiar…

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

Violet’s attention tore away from the song and she played her approval medley instead. In came Tahlia, bringing a small plate of food. “What was with that creepy…um…anyway…I-I know you’re not hungry, Violet, but I thought maybe you could eat a little something today.” 

Violet mumbled a “Mm” at Tahlia who placed the plate down on her desk. “I’ll just leave this here…and take the plate you didn’t eat…” 

Tahlia’s head bowed and she scurried out of the room.

Violet glanced at the food briefly, for the first time in weeks, but promptly turned her attention back to her violin. What was I playing again? 

Violet sat for a moment, playing a tune to match her thinking, but couldn’t remember. 

Instead, she played one of the songs she’s played many time before. 

***

“Please eat,” cried Tahlia. 

Violet kept on playing.

Tahlia was shoving a piece of cornbread into her face, near her mouth. Violet didn’t even move. 

“Please, please eat! You haven’t eaten in months…PLEASE!” 

Violet changed the tone of her playing to a deeper tone. She wasn’t amused. 

“You’re going to die without food.” 

Violet did a hard stop with her playing. She looked at her mother in the eyes. Tahlia flinched. Violet leered. “I would rather die than stop playing.” And then she returned back to playing.

Tahlia wailed. 

The door slammed behind her. “Come on, you’re going to the doctor! We should have done this earlier! Tahlia, grab her arm.” 

“B-but…” 

“She’s not going to budge otherwise.” 

Violet glared. “Don’t touch me!” 

“Too bad – you don’t eat, you’re sickly. You need to go to the doctor! No one wants to book you because you look like you’re at death’s door!” 

Jayda grabbed her arm with the bow, yanking Violet back.

“Hey!” snapped Violet. “Let go of me! I have to play!” 

“You can play when we get back!” 

“I’m not a child, let me go!” 

“But there’s something wrong with you!” Jayda screamed. She grabbed Violet’s chin and held it in front of the mirror. “You’re always looking at yourself! How do you not see it?!”

Violet peered into her own eyes. She looked at the roundness of her face, the smooth skin of her body. What is she talking about? Violet turned to Jayda, looked at her sraight in her brown eyes, and said “there is nothing wrong with me.”

Jayda’s face turned red. “TAHLIA!” 

Tahlia grabbed Violet’s other hand, the one playing the violin. 

“NO!” screamed Violet. 

“Come on, Violet, we got to go,” replied Tahlia. Her voice was small. If the room wasn’t pregnant with silence, Violet wouldn’t have heard her. 

Tahlia attempted to grab the violin from Violet’s hand. Violet began to wing it. “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! Don’t! Don’t move my violin! I need to play! I NEED TO PLAY!” 

Jayda and Tahlia pulled Violet off her chair and dragged her to the door.

“You can keep holding your violin,” stated Jayda. “But we’re going to the doctor!”

Violet’s body trembled. Fiery anger shot up from her stomach and into her throat. She SCREAMED. 

She screamed down the stairs. She screamed each step down the street. She screamed and screamed and screamed. She could tell people were looking at her, but that didn’t matter a single bit. The fact she was embarassing her parents didn’t matter a single bit. “I. WANT. TO. PLAY.” 

Jayda and Tahlia said nothing. 

They rounded a corner. They were close to the doctor’s office. 

Violet screamed even louder, even higher than before.

And then she couldn’t scream anymore.

Her legs fell limp. 

Her breathing ceased. 

Her grip loosened.

Her vision faded. 

“Now she stops…Violet?” 

“Violet?” 

“Oh gods! VIOLET! Violeeeet! Wake up!” 

“She’s not breathing!”

“Get Dr. Cole, NOW!” 

“Violet, hang on!” 

All I wanted to do…was play.

*** 

Violet woke up in pitch darkness. 

Or at least, that’s what she thought she did. But she soon noticed she was standing…and glowing. 

I…what? Her eyes narrowed. I remember screaming and we had just made it to the doctor’s office and…then what. She scanned the room, making out nothing. Did I faint? 

“No, you died.” 

Fear sunk into her body. Cold sweat dripped down her neck. She looked around the room, trying to find the location of the voice. Who…? 

Violet began to walk. She walked straight forward, putting her hands out in front of her. She felt around, hoping she’d run into a wall or a door. Nothing…there’s nothing. Her body trembled. She walked back and forth, finding nothing. 

Where’s the door? Where is the door?!

“There is no door.” 

Violet held her breath, watching as out from the darkness formed a pair of glowing eyes and a saw-toothed smile. A short yelp shot out of her mouth and she stumbled backwards. She lost her footing, falling flat on the ground. She pushed herself up, her face going pale.

Fully formed stared the demon she had met months ago, greeting her with a grin she could only interpret as joyful.

This is bad.

This is really bad. 

I need to get out of here! 

I need to get OUT OF HERE! 

“There’s no way out, Violet,” replied the demon. 

“W-what do you mean?” 

The demon, Gregreppet, extended his hand. “Didn’t I already tell you – you are dead.” 

Violet grasped her skirt as she sat up, looking at the pitch black ground below her. “No…but how.” 

“You starved yourself to death.” 

“No, I couldn’t have…I wasn’t even…I wasn’t eating, but I didn’t look sick.”

“You didn’t?” 

Gregreppet pulled a mirror out from the darkness and placed it in front of Violet. Violet peered into it, seeing herself. She still looked healthy, like she had always been. But then Gregreppet snapped clapped his hands twice. All of a sudden, the image of Violet, healthy as ever, disintergrated into dust. What was left was a skeleton thinly dressed in skin and clothes. 

Violet gasped and backed away. 

Gregreppet laughed. 

“W-what? How? 

“Do you remember our contract?” 

Violet froze for a moment. Gregreppet flicked his wrist. A golden scroll rolled out in the air and Violet saw her name. She could see herself signing it, she could feel herself not caring what the contract itself said – she just wanted to play again. 

“W-what was the contract?” 

“I restored your hands so you could just play,” replied Gregreppet. “In return, you let me use your body when you weren’t using it.” 

Gregreppet motioned towards the mirror. “Which included when you were asleep.” 

“Huh?” Violet gazed back into the mirror. From there, she saw a moonlit demon staring back at her. The demon lifted up a violin and started to play and sing. 

Violet found she couldn’t help but hum along. 

Her eyebrows raised. She placed her hands over her throat. Her mind picked through her memories – her slow violin playing, the humming of the tune, the almost loss of consciousness, the deaths from the open windows, music-playing banshee, and…the dead old man. 

She slowly turned to Gregreppet. “Are…you saying…that is…me?” 

Gregreppet’s grin grew larger. 

“Thanks to your travel schedule, I got a sampling of many different souls. Each one was more delicious than the last. I would control your body through my silver strings.” 

Violet gasped, watching the strings on her body reveal themselves. She looked up, seeing that they seemed to disappear the higher up they went, just like the ones she saw in her dream. 

“I’d take your body and your violin, soar through the air, and find open windows or unlocked windows and having you play a tune from the depths of my home. It fueled your body and I got new puppet pieces to tinker with!” 

Gregreppet laughed. Violet shuddered.

“I didn’t think you’d partially wake up one night though, that was a treat. That old man’s soul was delicious and perfectly aged.” 

Violet covered her mouth. Her stomach churned. 

‘Go away, Demon!’ 

The old man’s voice echoed in her head. 

I’m…I’m the demon. 

She began to cry. “I killed him?” 

“No. My music did. I just used you to do it,” replied Gregreppet. He smiled even wider. “I’m impressed you remembered it.”

“T-that wasn’t a dream?” 

“No.” 

“Now…” 

Gregreppet faded rapidly into the darkness. Violet jumped at the sudden disappearance, only to feel her arm begin tightly grabbed. “You get to come with me.” 

“No!” yelled Violet. She pulled, attempting to yank her arm away. “I didn’t sign up for this!” 

“But you did!” 

He pulled the contract and placed it near her face. She watched the letters start to morph from an unfamiliar language to the one she knew so well. 

‘Use for any purpose…in return for hands just to play…’ 

Violet only caught glimpses of the contract, but the little bits she did read sent her even deeper into a panic. She kicked and pushed and bit. Yet, Gregreppet didn’t even budge. 

“I would tell you to read the details next time, but you don’t have a next time.” 

“L-let go! Let go! LET GO!” Violet violently stomped Gregreppet. 

“Good-bye, Violet.”  Gregreppet’s clawed hand wrapped around her leg that had been fiercely kicking him. 

Violet gasped. Her leg was quickly turning to colored wood in numerous pieces. The lilac purple light that transformed her legs rippled over her body at such a speed, Violet wasn’t even able to get out another word. 

Violet’s now-wooden body collapsed to the ground, her eyes staring up empty, but full of life. 

Gregreppet let go over her leg and flicked his wrist up. The silver strings hanging in the air rippled and the marionette Violet stood up. 

Gregreppet placed a wooden bow in one hand and a wooden violin in the other. Her grabbed the marionette Violet gently by her wooden chin and grinned. “Hello. Welcome, Violet.” 

Inside the glass eyes of the puppet made from the transformed Violet was the last reflection of Violet’s existance, receiding further into the depths of her wooden cell. A single tear drizzled from her glass eyes. 

Someone, help me. 

***END***

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