February 17, 1910


What music moves the Devil?

On February 17, 1910, the citizens of Cross found out.

At 3:03 in the afternoon, the Boston to Cross train rolled into the station 66 minutes late. Only one person stepped off the train; all the other cars were empty. There were no ticket collectors or valets. Nor was there a brakeman or engineer.

The one rider was an older gentleman, with ragged clothes and a hurdy-gurdy held in his large, violent looking hands. He seemed to smile benevolently and leer all at the same time beneath his mustache. His eyes darted around, never fixing themselves on anyone or thing for more than a moment or two, but for those who remembered him, the look was too long and too much.

When he walked out of the station, the birds stopped singing, and the animals went silent.

According to witnesses, the man grinned lecherously at all who laid eyes upon them, and in a large, penetrating voice, he asked in Latin, “Does anyone here have sympathy for me?”

Before a reply could be given, he began to play.

No one can say what the song was, or what it meant, nor can they agree as to what the tune was. Each person remembered the rhythm differently.

They all could agree, however, that it was the most horrific sound they had ever heard.

Men and women collapsed to the street, clutching their hands to their ears, screaming. Mr. Danforth Waterly rammed his head into a brick wall until he split his skull open. Inspector Miles Welch fired five shots at the musician, and when nothing happened, he turned and killed Margaret Ann, Miles’ wife of 30 years.

Pleased, the musician followed the road out of Cross, leaving death and madness trailing in his wake.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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