Fri, 20th Jan 2012 | MasterSignwriter | Created on: originalshorts.com | 4,555 Views, 5 Nods.

Swan Song - A short Story

I'm a musician, I just sing songs.

That's what I keep telling the detectives interviewing me. But that's not what they want to hear.

They want to know why the only common link in 128 unexplained deaths spanning over the last two decades is me. They think they're being very clever.

The one thing all these dead people have in common is that I was the last person they heard sing.
Ok, so I admit it, I am partly responsible.
But I didn't lay one finger on them, I didn't murder them, they just listened.

This isn't the first time I've sat in this dingy shit hole of an interview room either, the faces change and get younger but the grey walls, the wooden table and the plastic coffee cups haven't altered in 20 years.
The police have called me in with every enquiry.
CCTV and eyewitnesses have always placed me right at the scene of the crime.

'Come on Reece, the games up. Just tell us how you did it.' says the suited pit bull in front of me,
'128 murders, and you're at the scene of all of them, this stopped being coincidence after the second one'

'I'm a musician, I just sing songs' I repeated for the thousandth time, 'Are you going to charge me with anything?'

The officer gets up and leaves, knocking the chair to the floor in frustration.

Folk music, that's how this all started.

Its my passion. It's the music of the people, the worker, the slave, the ordinary man.

Trends come and go, but folk music is so soaked with its own culture that it remains a vintage, unchanged but growing more sublime with age.
From the Andes to the Wicklow mountains, a nations people have found common ground through joining together in their music.
Its music is power to those without.

I never wanted this. All this power. It just happened.
Me and Rusty, we'd been playing the local pub circuit for years, becoming a regular faces.
Me on Guitar and Rusty on fiddle, we would play anywhere.
The joy was in the playing, not who was listening.

But all of that was about to change.

Hungarian folk, the sound of the Roma People, that's where this all came from.
Verbunkos, it means Gypsy Music.
Id gotten hold of some ancient traditional songs that I wanted to use in my next set.

We'd spent the evening rehearsing and drinking Rum, we'd nailed 3 or four, and Rusty was getting a bit worse for wear.
I convinced him to stay a while longer as Id been practicing singing one in Hungarian, 'Szomoru vasarnap' or Gloomy Sunday as it loosely translates, I wanted him to give me his opinion.

Sometimes a song can be lost in translation, the tone of a language when sung doesn't have be understood to feel the emotion.

Picking up my guitar with Rusty finishing of the tail end of a bottle I begun to sing.

sz van s peregnek a srgult levelek
Meghalt a fldn az emberi szeretet
Bnatos knnyekkel zokog az szi szl

Rusty never did get to hear what it meant in English, as his heart stopped beating after the third line.

We all blamed a lifetime of excess, the drinking, the pot, his love of carbs. It was a sad day, which left me without my best friend and no fiddle player.

But alas we adapt, and I returned to my regular gigs as a solo act.
My first night back and I ended the gig with a tribute to old Rusty. Most had gone home, leaving a handful of bleary eyed punters and some bar staff.

I told them that it would be fitting to sing the last song he heard, and begun to sing.

Eight people died that night.
Just dropped where they stood, their hearts frozen.
This when I begun to realise that Szomoru Vasarnap wasn't your every day folk song.

To be sure I had to test it out.
After 3 traffic wardens, a Jehovah's Witness, a gang of Hooded teenagers and a car salesman, I knew.

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can most definitely hurt you.
They could kill.

For the next few years I experimented, with such a power I needed to know its capabilities.
There were conditions for it to work properly

The listener has to make eye contact with me whilst I'm singing it.

Having your back to me doesn't remove the threat completely though, it all depends on distance.

The song has a range of 20feet when not looking directly at me.

1-5 feet a prolapsed colon, kidney failure and sometimes blindness.

5-10 feetArthritis, testicular cancer and sometimes mild autism.

10-15 feet Erectile dysfunction, jaundice, shingles and sometimes measles.

15-20ft Hair loss, fungal nail infections and bronchitis.

The listener has to be the same room, an attempt to sing to the Harpy that is my ex wife down the phone proved this to me.

Turning up at her door later that evening I sung it through her letter box, leaving her incontinent and conjunctivitis.

The song had to be sung in its native tongue, any variations would completely disarm it.

Never sing it to yourself whilst looking in a mirror. Catching my reflection one evening behind the bar, left me missing three teeth and a chesty cough that I just couldn't shift.

Armed with my newly honed skills and a world class weapon of mass destruction, I ventured into the world of contract killing.
Small at first, petty gangland squabbles, and business disputes, jealous lovers.
Within months the right people had become aware of my skills. I had been heard of but no one wanted to hear me.

Despot Leaders, Oil barons, Terrorist Chiefs and politicians led to me travelling the world. Just me, my guitar, a song and a mouthful of death.

Some of the worlds most tyrannical powers have been brought to their knees just by hearing me sing.

Bin Laden, Hussein, Gaddafi, Kim il Jong, all of them impervious to carpet bombing, and armed occupation, but 4 words out of my mouth and its lights out.

Not every hit has proved a success though, some people really don't want to listen, but Tony Blair's impotence, Thatcher's Alzheimer's and George Bush's Eczema are still a legacy of my music.

One that wont be forgotten when the radio gets switched off.

The detective has calmed down and is now sitting in front of me with a smile on his face.

'The reports have come back from the search at your studio Reece, and it turns out your house keeping is not as good as your singing'

He drops print outs of various possessions belonging to my back catalogue of victims, recently planted by CID at my home
A wallet belonging to a Paedophile, an Al Qaeda turban, a gold watch belonging to a reality TV star.

'We've got you, you might as well come clean, it might just make the difference between you rotting in jail or getting out for your 90th birthday'

I'm left with no choice really, they do have me in a tight spot.

'I'm a musician, I just sing songs' I reply glibly,

'Would you like to hear me sing?' ..........


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Wed, 25th Jan 2012
I might need to have mentioned that any similarities to any person living or dead is purely co incidental. Just in case Cols tour doesnt go to well and he decides to sue me.
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Mon, 23rd Jan 2012
Oh how I wish I could sing! Can you teach me guitar BC? I really enjoyed this story, my mind went into overdrive.
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Sun, 22nd Jan 2012
Are all the bodies usually found in a hole ?
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Sat, 21st Jan 2012
So far my my tour has taken in a theatre in Chatham, Kent and a Village Hall in Budleigh Salterton. Tonight I'm in Bridgewater Arts Centre, anyone fancy coming along? Maybe you should check out the newspapers first.
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Fri, 20th Jan 2012
Is your assassin on tour at the moment.
Your next challenge is to write one to make me belly laugh.
I daren't belly laugh at this one, incase, just by reading it I'm effected by it and get the gallopping trots.
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Fri, 20th Jan 2012
I was aware that some of my recent stuff has been getting a little dark, so this was an attempt at something more humerous.
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