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The Second Flute

The conductor used his wand like stick, almost as if using magic as he conducted the orchestra. For every note played, he banged his head passionately, making his white wig flop with his every move, showing his shiny scalp. The beat of the music was impeccable, but was soon interrupted by a shrill sound of a flute of key, the pitch making people hold their heads in pain.

The conductor, his wig off center ever so slightly, slammed his baton down with a loud thud that echoed through the now silent theater. The melody was not finished but the conductor had forced it to its end. He furrowed his eyebrows, searching for the one bad note. The one bad note that could ruin his career. His eyes finally lay on the second flute, who was the only one that was not looking around. That one flute would be horrible in competition. That one flute must be terminated. Second flute smiled apologetically, raising her dark eyebrows as if asking, Am I going to get fired? But no, she wasn’t. The conductor smiled, trying to prove to her that he was not going to yell. She sighed, hanging her head in relief, making her long black hair fall into her face. Little did the young women know that what was going through the conductor’s head was far worse than a tongue-lashing.

The practice went on, the women still squeaking each time jumping and squirming as if doing a jig. The range was beautiful, perfect, except that one girl. The conductor had made up his mind, she had to go. But how was the only question. Should he just fire her? No, that was too easy and she had to learn her lesson. Should he maul her? No, too easy to get caught. Should he kill her? Yes, that seemed perfect, just think; the girl would never be able to ruin his career from beyond the grave. How should he kill her? Obviously tonight would be the perfect time; no one would suspect the sweet, old conductor but if he waited and saw her again he might blow his top. Should he drug her? Too easy, too painless. Should he bash her head in? Too messy, takes too long. Should he strangle her? No, he wanted to see the light go out in her eyes and hear her scream for mercy. So it was settled, he would stab her slowly.

The poor young women would not get to finish her life. The young women would never be able to get married, never fall in love, she wouldn’t even live long enough to fix her small tin flute.

The practice ended, and everyone packed their instruments in varying cases and left quickly through the door. The girl was first to leave, her face burning red with embarrassment at her one bad practice. She knew she wouldn’t have any more bad practices but the girl didn’t know the exact reason why. Like I was saying, the girl was first to leave, but the conductor was ready. He dashed out the door and stayed a safe distance behind the girl on the dark, crowded, city streets. It was a chilly night, yet he didn’t feel the cold, he only felt the smile grow on his face with every step he took knowing that her untimely demise was only moments away. The girl walked slower than usual tonight, enjoying the scenery of the city in low lights. They passed the laundry mat, the girl knew that she should do the laundry but she really wanted to get home. There was always tomorrow.

The girl began to sing to herself.

“Tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow.” But you know what? There wasn’t going to be for her.

She finally returned home and unlocked the door to her apartment, the conductor still unseen behind her. She went inside swiftly but the conductor caught the door with his foot and closed the door silently behind him. The woman went into the bedroom, dropping off her tin flute. The conductor walked right into the kitchen as if he had been there a hundred times before and pulled a long steak knife from its small wooden cubby. The woman came back into the living room and the conjoined kitchen where the man still stood, grinning like a lunatic. Wait, not like a lunatic, he was a lunatic. Before she could ask him what he was doing here he lunged for his prey.

She stumbled backwards, falling into her beautifully made metal harp. If fell to the ground with a clatter, along with the girl who shouted for the man to stop in her French accent. He didn’t. Slowly, he plunged the knife into her abdomen ensuring her a slow and painful death. He did this repeatedly until her body had gone limp and the light had left her eyes replaced only by frozen fear. The man smiled, feeling a great feeling of pride that was quickly replace by dread. He took in the scene, the fallen harp, the many other pieces of furniture coated in blood and turned on their side in the struggle and then the mangled body.

What had he done?



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