The Song of the Nightingale

January 5, 2012
Period D
Tom peered out the window watching the rain clatter against the window sill and roll down the glass pane. “I’ve never been so bored in my entire life,” he said to himself. With his short brown hair and hazel eyes pressed up against the glass he scowled at the horrible weather. It was 6 P.M. on a stormy Saturday night. Tom had no problem with bad weather, but this storm had disabled the power for the entire town. Tom cherished his electronic devices and he often spent his Saturdays playing video games and relaxing over some television. However, this particular Saturday he was trapped in his home with nothing to do but spend time with his family. He dreaded that idea and decided to go search for something to occupy his time. Tom headed up to his room where he was confronted by his Father. “You know Tom, a little time away from all that electronic gibberish might do you some good,” he said.
“There is nothing to do around here; you people are so boring,” he replied.
“Suit yourself, but if I was looking for something to do there is an old box of books stored up in the attic. Your Grandmother put them there many years ago. You might get pulled into some of those reads if you choose to take the time to check them out!” he ended. Tom’s dad left the room and Tom spent a lot of time thinking about what he said. Maybe it was worth a look. Tom decided check out the books in the attic. He climbed his rickety old stair case to the attic. He raised his hand to the handle that had been untouched for years. He twisted the handle clock-wise and the latch remained stiff. He twisted and yanked at the handle and with a loud crack in lurched free. A huge cloud a dust and cobwebs flew out from the room. The house they lived in was over 50 years old and the attic hadn’t been disturbed for at least ten years. Tom navigated the torn up floor boards and entered the attic flashlight in hand. Right in front of him resting on a stool was a fickle cardboard box with a pile of timeworn books. “That’s a little strange,” Tom whispered to himself. “Kind of a weird place to put these books,” he said.

Tom pulled out the first book in the box and took a few moments to browse its contents unsatisfied he threw the book away and repeated the process on a new book. He continued this process until he came across a leather-bound book. The cover was torn and tarnished. When he opened the book he slid his finger across the page quickly and cut himself. “Ouch!” he exclaimed. A single drop of blood fell from his hand and stained a small spot of the page. Tom thought nothing of this and took a closer look at the book. He noticed that the book was entitled “The Song of the Nightingale.” The book was completely empty except for the single drop of blood that had stained the bone white page. It was getting late and Tom decided to go to sleep. He went down to his room and made himself comfortable in his bed.

At around 3 A.M., Tom was awoken to a loud chirping; the chirping of a Nightingale. “What is going on?” he said to himself. He reached for the light, but the power was still out. He grabbed his flashlight and headed down stairs into his kitchen. There lying dead on the ground was his father. His neck was slashed and his body was littered with small jabs, each with small amounts of flesh torn away from his body. Resting upon the body was a Nightingale chirping loudly. In his hand, was the book that Tom had found in the attic. Tom stumbled backward in pure astonishment. He thought of screaming, but he couldn’t bring himself to produce the noise. He collapsed on the ground in agony and shock. Finally, he screamed “Mom come quick!” Much to his surprise no one answered him. “What is happening to me!” he screamed to himself. He rushed up stairs to his parents’ room. Slamming his hands on the door, he rushed in. He shined the flashlight all around the room, but no one was to be found. “What is happening? Why are these birds in my home? Why is my father holding that book I had found? How and why was my father murdered? ” the questions shot through Tom’s mind like bullets blazing past a moving target. He had to call the police. It was the only option. He rushed down stairs into the kitchen and grabbed his phone. His hands shaking from the shock of the event, he dialed the numbers 9-1-1. He pressed call, but the phone did not dial. “Idiot!” he exclaimed. Tom had forgotten that the power was out. He looked over at his mutilated father. His eyes caught the book that he had found in the attic. He reached down and grabbed the book. He examined its shiny leather cover - its feeble spine. He flipped the pages open and noticed his drop of blood. On the page directly behind it was another drop of blood. Beneath it was a poorly written note:

Throughout the night the bird shall shriek

Until the world has gone all bleak.

He recognized the hand writing as his Father’s. He set the book on the counter and searched around for his cell-phone. The darkness of the room engulfed him. Trying his hardest he was only able to see a few feet ahead of him. After searching the house he found his cell-phone. He dialed 9-1-1. He told the police officers his situation and they reported that they would send help as soon as possible. With the power out and everyone calling the police for simple problems and accidents, he had no idea how long this could take. He sat down on his couch and tried to relax. “Just stay calm,” he muttered to himself. Then from the far side of the room there was a small chirp. Again a chirp coming from the room, yet this time it was louder. He shined his phone around the room enabling him to see a few feet ahead of him. As he shined the light he noticed a small shimmer. The chirping now growing louder and more frequent, he got up and flashed the light down where he had seen the shimmer. Lying face up on the ground was his mother. Her eye had been disfigured by the steady pecking of a bird. A deep rend ran across her neck. Crimson red stained the carpet floor surrounding his mother. She was lifeless with no chance of reviving her. Tom fell to the ground and began weeping. Everything he had loved was taken away from him. Across the room, staring directly into Tom’s eyes was a Nightingale chirping loudly. Tom couldn’t stand the pain. The pain of losing his family consumed his heart like fire consuming tinder. He ran towards the Nightingale screaming at it “What have you done!?” The Nightingale flew out of sight leaving Tom alone in the room. He ran over to the book and flipped through its contents. On the page after the one containing his father’s blood there was a new speck of blood. He cried as he saw it knowing it was his mothers. He could not stand this anguish. A pain that was worse than death. Again out of nowhere that chirping that torments him more than the crack of a thousand whips.

He looked up from the book and standing directly in front of him was the Nightingale. It was perched upon what appeared to be a coil of rope. Without saying a word or thinking at all, Tom knew what the bird wanted. He draped the rope around his neck tying a knot tight enough to do what needed to be done. Standing on a chair he tethered the rope to the base of the ceiling. The bird was shrieking louder and faster as if giving its approval of the acts. Tom was standing upright in the chair. He thought of all that had happened and of what had become of his family. With a unyielding thrash of his legs, he displaced the chair beneath him and strangled himself to death. When Tom stopped moving, the Nightingale took flight and left the home.

Moments later the police arrived at the home. They rushed into the home and didn’t see anything because the room was pitch-black due to the power outage. The officers came into the kitchen. As they marched inside the power came back on revealing Tom suspended by the rope hanging lifeless. One of the officers walked over to the table and saw the book entitled “The Song of the Nightingale.” He opened the book and saw three pages, each with one speck of blood on it, one drop of blood for each victim.

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