Effervescently the notes from the organ rose toward the ceiling of the gallery and quickly dispersed. The music seeded every inch and every corner with its melodic fluidity. With masterfully crafted strokes of the keys the entire hall seemed to dance in time and rhythm as the music was sculpted. The paintings were given life in the forms of swaying fields of green and gentle rows of soft, fluorescent clouds. Statuettes of knights stood proud against the beautiful anthem and carvings of elegant maidens were made to blush as the ballad brought out their true beauty.
The centerpiece of this extraordinary musical number was so graceful in its design when juxtaposed to the exquisite taste of the previously mentioned theme of paintings and sculptures.
Crafted with hard woods in the very middle of the gallery was a large, thick table. It was ancient; much older than perhaps any other single object in the great mansion. Twisted, gnarled, knots gave the piece a very elderly and uncomfortable feel. Cracks and crevices, both unnatural and man-made, decorated and yet defaced nearly every facet of its ancient visage. The only finish given to the wood was bestowed upon it by years and years of violent use. Every tint of the color red could be found on at least one sliver of the timber. Some blotches faded to a near transparent pink, others as deep and strong as a newly dismembered limb. The original crafters unapparent choice of color served to truly lift the image of this simple table to a pinnacle far beyond that of its company in the gallery.
Placed atop this butchers altar was another work of art. This one was not crafted by the hands of man, but by the love and kindness of God. A young girl, not quite twenty years of age, was laid sprawled across the table, her ankles and her wrists all bound to their respective corners on the table. She was a gracefully shaped woman, beautiful in every way. Her eyes were hidden under a perfectly white fold of cloth, stained only by tears. Her hair, which cascaded off the edge of the table, matched various spots of the altars stain it was a mesmerizing auburn color.
The Auburn-haired girl murmured misshapen words and deformed sounds of grief as she writhed weakly on the table. Her mouth wrestled in vain to open, but shackles had been sewn into her luscious red lips.
This dreadful exhibition of elegance and beauty was suddenly given silence. The artisan behind the living ballad played the last crescendo and let the final note ring out in an eternal punctuation.
As that last tune echoed throughout the architecture of the gallery, the Tall Man at the organ rose from his seat and spoke, Ballares le Morte, my sweet
The Tall Man turned quickly on his heels and spread his arms wide as he inhaled deeply through his nostrils. His head lulled to one side as he savored the breath. It seemed as though he could smell the masterpiece he had heard only moments before. The Tall Man emitted a very soft sigh of content as he walked toward the Auburn-haired girl restrained before him.
Comment allez-vouz, ma colibri? the Tall Man asked as he swooped down near the Auburn girls head and looked down at her as though he was peering straight through her blindfold. I do hope you enjoyed my composition as it was written specifically for you and specifically
for this occasion.
He pushed himself away from the table and spun around as though he could still hear the ballad and he was enthralled in its musical whims. He hummed the notes aloud as he floated along with its tempo to a small white bag near the organ. Snatching up the bag, the Tall Man returned to the Auburn-haired girls side and began to empty the contents of the bag, setting them up in perfect rows in a very meticulous manner.
I do hope youre enjoying our time together my little hummingbird. The Tall Man smiled as he made sure his many scalpels and blades were arranged in order from smallest to largest. Im a bit of an artist
he chuckled, If you havent guessed already
He put his face down near the Auburn girls ear so their cheeks were touching against each other. Aside from music, however, my real forte is sculpting
The Auburn-haired girl shuddered and whimpered helplessly as the Tall Man stood back up. It seems the serum has sunk in, my dear little hummingbird
the Tall Man spoke as he took out a small key and unbound the Auburn-haired girl. The toxins have, as Im sure you know, rendered your body useless
.now the fun can begin
He smiled. I know you cant understand a word Im saying, but, this is just as much fun for me as it looks to be
As the Tall Man unlatched the last of the girls shackles, she jerked quickly away and her hand managed to find one of the silver utensils displayed perfectly by her side. Swiping blind the scalpels bladed edge caught the Tall Mans face by pure chance. The Tall Man let out a guttural sound of surprise and pain as he turned away, falling to his knees. Before the Auburn-haired girl could do anything else she felt her body begin to tense; her limbs started to shake and spasm as she tried to move. The bloody scalpel slowly slipped from her grip, hitting the table and then clattering to the floor inches away from the Tall Man.
Cest joli, ma chère
the Tall Man whispered as he removed his hand from his eye. His palm cupped a small pool of blood which quickly soaked through his now stained white gloves. He made a fist out of the hand, splashing the red liquid all over the floor and his white coat. He tightened his fist as he rose to his feet then he quietly started to chuckle. He turned around toward the Auburn-haired girl who sat up, frozen in place, still shaking slightly.
It seems youve ruined my eye, hummingbird
he spoke gently as the chuckle escalated into a full on laugh. A fierce little thing you
He bent down quickly and snatched up the scalpel from the floor.
Tears slowly began to stream out from under the Auburn-haired girls blindfold.
Ne pas pleurer pour moi, ma chéri
the Tall Man whispered to her as he neared closer, gently laying her back down on the table.
The Tall Man gripped the scalpel tightly in his fist, more like a knife then a utensil. He then cleared all the rest off the surface of the wood with one quick swipe, letting them all clatter to the floor.
My eye may be ruined
but I know where to get a replacement
he hissed as he sat on the table next to the helpless Auburn-haired girl.