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Elise Rose

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He was a middle aged man, crisp for is timely age, with a warped fedora and a slim mouth. When he strolled into the town, hands in pockets and thick, black glasses reflecting the early morning rain, he tugged along a cloud of mystery and tastelessness. He was unaware of the shutters softly closing as he passed, as he hummed a quizzical, eerie song copying the gravidity of the day. Beyond the houses slept a grim and murky lake seemingly composed of death itself, seined with sticky past, in which the weary, lonesome, and troubled traveler took particular connection with as he ventured further in. Coming then to the pub, he fancied himself to a mid-afternoon shot. Men glugging beer. The bartender drying glasses repeatedly. The clink of coins as someone pays for their drink. Piano.

Piano.

As the man turned, the sun highlighting new wrinkles in his brow, he saw an angel in the corner, delicately playing the piano as the sun streamed in through her hair and dress- catching on the dusty air. The way her body moved to the music, was she focused only on the music and her fingers, it all reminded the man of her. Elise Rose. Oh how he and her mother would dance to their young daughter’s tunes as he couldn’t help himself from doing now as the music swelled sorrowfully. But Elise cannot play now; there are no pianos for the dead.

This girl was entertainment for the patrons. They harassed her, petted her, and tore her from her beloved music. This torment they put her through- as if she was the scum of the town, the uncared for and unloved. He would help her. He had to help her. He had to.
•••
The town was silenced. With worry scarring his face, the middle aged man stared into the booth seat, trying to cleanse his mind. The empty square on the floor-where the piano used to sing- untarnished unlike the rest of the wood, screamed at him. The hole here the piano used to be was now dead. And so was she, that forgotten girl. He had taken her out in the sunset, she and the sun could set together. Her frail writs collapsed under the pressure of the handcuffs as he looped around the piano’s leg so she could not escape his rescue. She did not say a word, but watched him heave the piano, and her, to the lake. Behind him, wheel marks and disappear trailed through the gravel and dirt. To the edge. He did not say anything to the girl- saving her from this foul, abusive, violent town was enough said. With a force from somewhere within he shoved the piano over and her delicate white dress followed soon after. She looked up, eyes in curious concern, and she poured into his soul. Her eyes were staring back at him in the booth. He could feel the water droplets still tingling on his skin, the fall was great. And the whole town knew he did it. The bar tender walked over, silent, as everyone watched. He leaned in close to the man, is breath fogging up the black glasses.
“On the house,” the bartended husked, as he placed a revolver on the table.
“ I… I wanted… I needed to save her.” The middle age man whispered to no one.
“ I know” was the bartenders response.




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