7:29 AM January 1, 1931


I told him not to play it.

Professor Asa Bruchac taught music the first two years the Cross branch of Miskatonic was open. His skill at the piano was undeniable and remarkable.

His morals were not.

His foul temperament and his peculiar tastes left much to be desired.

Like most of those employed by the university, I spent a fair amount of time avoiding them. Two years ago, however, I learned of the school’s acquisition of a large book of music. The volume had been compiled in the 18th century, and I remember my father speaking of it with the Coffins, back before the longevity drained from that family line.

There were songs in the book that best not be played. Music that could tear flesh asunder and grind bone to dust.

I suspect the learned folks at Miskatonic wanted to see if those rumors were true.

As much as I disliked Bruchac, I went to the university and paid him a visit. I told him about the dangers of the book and how it would be best if he didn’t play a single song from it. He sneered at me, of course, and informed me he would be playing that evening.

I decided not to go too far from the school.

Crossing the street, I settled down in a patch of woods, lit my pipe, and waited.

The afternoon passed and settled into evening. A dozen or so guests arrived at the university’s small conservatory. As the doors opened and closed, I could hear the faint sounds of a piano being tuned.

At seven o’clock, the last of the guests arrived, and a few minutes later, the conservatory trembled.

It didn’t last long. Perhaps ten seconds. Perhaps less.

It was long enough to bring the building down.

I was the first to the rubble, and I managed to pull three survivors out before students from the school arrived. Together, we saved six and recovered the bodies of all save Bruchac. He’d been crushed by the largest piece of the conservatory, and it would take far longer to retrieve his remains.

As night closed in, I slipped off to one side and found the book I’d told him to leave be. It was large and ungainly, but I bound it closed and carried it home.

There are some songs that aren’t meant to be heard.

#books #horrorstories #supernatural

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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