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I Found It in A Baby Blue Trash Can
I found the damned thing yesterday. I was coming home from work and I was almost home before I found it. I would of never discovered it had I not taken that cursed turn at Elm Street.
It was in a baby blue trash can, that much I can recall. It was in the in trash can, and it was at the very top, it was the last of its previous owners things to be thrown away. What really caught my eye was the bulging horn that protruded from the very tip, making it obvious for any to see.
The garbage can was at the edge of the persons driveway, and the street that I was on was not busy. So I parked my car on the side of the street, and went to examine the strange object more closely out of my curiosity.
When I got out of my vehicle, I approached the garbage can with caution, why I did so, I had no idea at the time, but I would know why I did much later, I was surprised at what I saw in the trash can. The object was a phonograph, you know, on of those old machines that play those thick records.
I looked side to side, to make certain that no one else was watching me. Then I lifted it out to examine it for any damage. It was to my delight that the phonograph had received any serious wounds, it had a few scratches on the wood (it was mahogany), but other than that, it looked in prime condition.
At that moment, I had a sudden desire to take the phonograph with me. Why not? The phonograph was in the garbage after all, no one would miss something that they deep sixed would they? I knew if it was me, I certainly wouldn’t.
I took the phonograph with me. Why I did, I can only say that the thing called to me, not in a real voice mind you, but I felt like I needed it. Suddenly it was like my life would be incomplete if I did not have the phonograph.
So when I arrived at my house and brought the phonograph inside, after a while, I found that I needed to crank the thing up for the turntable to work. I wanted to get some records for it, but the only place that I knew that still carried the thick records was the thrift store on Miller street. And that had been closed for at least two hours since I got home.
But it would become more troublesome than just not having records with it, it would be become way more troublesome.
I went to bed at ten thirty. I usually don’t stay up that late, but I was polishing the wood and the horn on the phonograph with a fancy polish I had bought a day or two before for my furniture.
After I did so, I finally went to bed. But I had a difficult battle trying to fall asleep in my bed, all of a sudden it felt lumpy, and hard. I had a little anger at this, the mattress was only two months old. It was supposed to be one of those â€˜medical’ mattresses that help you sleep. So far I hadn’t, and I was beginning to curse the name of the salesman who had sold the mattress to me.
I finally thought of getting a glass of warm milk. In times past that had helped me drift off into dreamland, and I was confident it would do its job again. So I went to my refrigerator, poured myself some milk, warmed it, then drank it up.
Then after two minutes of getting â€˜comfortable’ in my bed, I slept.
The noise was at first hardly noticeable. It sounded like a pesky fly, I did not really give it any attention to it. I was asleep when it began, so I interpreted it into my dream. It seemed odd (when I was dreaming), to dream about hearing a fly.
When the noise became a human voice, that is when I awoke. I sat up straight in my bed, thinking that there might be someone else in my house. I sat up for a long ten minutes (it had to be ten minutes at least), then I laid my head on my soft pillow again.
“COME!” shouted a voice, it was demanding and full of authority.
My body shot faster than any bullet ever could of done. I was alert, there was no question that someone was in my house in my mind. I climbed out of bed slowly, being careful to make the bed and floor boards be as creak-free as possible.
“COME!” the voice shouted again.
I shook my head, trying to see if this was some dream, I even pinched myself several times, after that, I was sure that it wasn’t a dream. I moved to the garage, for there I thought I heard the voice project from it.
I opened the door to the garage, my heart pumping furiously. The person could be in here, I thought. And that was a very serious thought, if you think about it.
The garage door swung open at my command, it showed nothing but darkness behind it. For a moment, I was as still as a statue because of the fear I felt of who might be in that darkness. But with instinct I broke out of my statue and flipped the light switch. In an instant warm, yellow florescent’s flickered to life.
I stepped into the garage. I inspected the garage carefully, not a soul was in it. Obviously, whoever was shouting â€˜COME!’ was not in the garage.
I was heading out of the garage, heading to search the house when I heard, “COME!” The voice had made itself heard again, but this time I knew where it had come from. It was behind me.
I turned on my heels sharply. Dead of ahead of me was my newly acquired phonograph, the one I had polished vigorously just hours before. I saw that the needle of the phonograph was set in its playing position on the turntable, and
He turntable was spinning.
I noticed that there was no record on the turntable, and I heard some soft piano music coming from it, it was operating without record on it. It was beginning to freak me out. This was the kind of thing that happened in a science fiction novel, why was it happening to me?
“COME!” the voice cried, this time I knew it from the phonograph.
I was freaked out, and what else should I be, calm?
“Come to what!” I replied to my own amazement (I did not think I would be talking to a phonograph).
“COME TO ME!”said the phonograph, its old voice crackling like a record does when it is played.
“Why!” I retorted.
“Because,” the phonograph said. “I have something to tell you.”
I inched towards the phonograph.
“What do you have to ask me?” I asked.
The phonograph let out a few cracks and hisses, and the piano music volume.
“Just come closer.” The phonograph commanded, that was the first time it spoke in a soft tone to me.
Then I got some common sense thrust into my mind, I stopped moving in the direction of the phonograph.
“No,” said I. “You can tell me whatever it is you want to say to me right here where I am.”
The crackling of the phonograph turned into a static tone, the piano music that was waltzing from the horn changed to a symphony of dark notes. In this way I knew that the phonograph was growing angry. It expressed its feelings through the voice of music, and since the music was dark, I knew I was in for it.
“NO?” demanded the phonograph. “How dare you say NO to ME, how DARE you!”
Suddenly, I felt cold. The florescent’s that lit the room exploded, leaving the room as black as the abyss. The room seemed to have a wind in it, and my bare feet turned into blocks of ice. I held my arms to my chest, shivering, trying to warm myself in any way I could.
“What are you DOING!” I yelled into the darkness. “What do you want from me?”
The dark notes changed into a single violin, singing with its small yet powerful voice, and then the phonograph spoke, “I want to live again. I want someone to take over. I want you. I want you and only you.”
I lifted my freezing feet from the cold, cement floor, stumbling towards the door, the only beacon of light that I could see, and it had seemed so far away. Step after step, I went to the door, against the wind and the biting cold that the phonograph had conjured.
I was to the door when the wind blew the door shut, encasing me in complete blackness. I tripped and stumbled blindly trying to go in the direction I thought the door was in. Instead of finding the door, I ran into a wall, and fell backwards onto the cement.
Accompanying the now shrill sounding violin was the phonographs voice, its was its laughter. I screamed, I screamed like a little girl, I screamed with all that was within me. I screamed because at the time, that seemed like the only logical thing to do.
“Are you afraid?” inquired the phonograph. “Are you afraid for your life?”
“Yes!”said I. “Of course I am! Just stop this! Make it all stop!”
“You would like that wouldn’t you?” the phonograph said.
“Yes I would.” I agreed.
The violins lengthy solo was cut off, as if on cue.
“I have a problem with that,” the phonograph stated. “A very big problem. You see, as much as I would love to stop and let you go, my heart says continue, and my flesh yearns to live again. And you can see that I am not about to stop. No sir, I am just beginning to take over you.”
I felt something tingly start to crawl up my feet and go all the way to my head. It was a hellish sensation, it was both pleasurable, and painful, it tickled and then it burned. I knew that the spirit, or whatever it was that was inside the phonograph was taking over.
I would not let that happen. I would not let it win. For I would conquer it, it would not live in my body while I still drew breath from it. It would not prevail.
“OUT!” I cried,(but it sounded more like a muffled whimper).
At that the tingling paused as if mocking me, then it begain to tingle and burn even the harder.
“OUT!” I cried again.
“OUT!” I yelled.
The tingling became weakened for a moment.
“OUT! OUT! OUT!” I yelled to my maximum.
Then the tingling came out of me roughly, as if it were being pulled out with a team of mules. Then I lay on the floor, panting, sweaty, and cold all at the same time.
The cold in the room became warm and normal. The door that had been closed by the phonograph was now open, and I could see the faint light come from it. Realizing that it was over, I found the strength to get up.
In my state of mind, I practically ran to the door. After I did, I slammed the door behind me and locked it without a hesitation in my thoughts.
I have to be losing my mind, I thought. I have to be, a phonograph cannot come to life. A phonograph cannot posses people. And if this is real, it had to one sick ordeal.
I stood before the door for several minutes, contemplating if I should stay in front of the door all night, or if I should go back in the garage and smash the phonograph to pieces. I wanted to so bad, I wanted to take a nice oversized sledge hammer and begin crushing the ancient machine to woody pulp, but I resisted that strong temptation.
Instead, I inserted a kitchen chair in front of the door for safe measure, then not knowing what else to do, I fixed myself a pot of coffee. Then I stayed up the rest of the night, drinking black coffee.
That was yesterday. After staying up last night, I think I know what I am going to do. Im going to destroy the phonograph. Even though I had a few short hours, it has caused me enough stress and torment already.
I had thought that all the events that took place last night were a dream. But when I re-entered the garage, (this time, armed with a hammer and flashlight). I saw that the remains of shattered light bulbs were on the ground, and that there was a little pool of blood where I had landed on the floor. I had felt my head, and I could feel a sore, scabbed spot.
My God, I thought. This thing actually happened.
So I loaded the phonograph into my car and drove off to a nearby lake. But I am not just going to dump it in their, because someone else will find in its whole state. No, I am going to smash it with a sledge hammer, then dump into the lake. Forever it will it stay, well, at least until I am no more, that way I will never have to listen to it again.
“Where are we going?” It asked. “I can sense that I am moving, where are you taking me?”
“Somewhere.” I replied.
“I know that,” said the phonograph, annoyance in its voice. “But where specifically are you taking me?”
“Somewhere.” I replied again.
“Answer me.”The phonograph said demanding, its stylus was back on its turntable, and the turntable was rotating.
“I already have.” I said.
A blast of horns, strings, and flutes came from the phonograph, it was angry.
“Quiet down.” said I. “I should of left you to rot in the dump. I curse even picking you up out of that trash can. If I hadn’t of saved you, you wouldn’t even be here, so shut up goddamn it!”
“You are going to eat those words,” the phonograph said with venom. “I will make sure I take over you. You were lucky last night, but once I get a hold of you, you will regret ever uttering those words.”
“We’ll just see about that.” I said, then stomped on the gas pedal with full force, the car responded in turn by speeding up dramatically.
The phonograph continued to play its sour music all the way to the lake. When I was at the lake, that is when the real battle began.
I opened the back car door, and lifted the phonograph from its temporary seat. It continued to play music while I did so.
“What are you doing?” the phonograph asked, with a hint of nervousness in its voice.
“Doing what your previous owner should of done long ago, I am going to destroy you.”
“NO!”It yelled with rejection. “NO! NO! NO! You are not, that is it, I am going to live in you NOW!”
The dreaded tingling, burning, feeling came back to me. This time it was stronger than ever. I paused in my walk towards the lake, the phonograph had taken control of my legs. No matter how my mind said â€˜move’ to my legs, they just would not budge.
“STOP IT!” I screamed. “STOP IT RIGHT NOW DAMMIT!”
What I thought to be laughter hissed from the phonograph, then, “Its too late for that.”
The tingling went to my waist, then crawled slowly to my chest.
“NO! I won’t let you do this to me!” I said.
“You have no choice.” said the phonograph, there was no feeling in its voice.
I felt my arms start to have light tingle. Then with all my might, I hurled the thing away. It sailed a good five feet then crashed to the ground, the wood scratching, the metal horn scraping, igniting sparks.
I suddenly had the freedom to use my legs again. So I quickly went to my car, and got the sledge hammer. I approached the phonograph and hurled the hammer towards it, but it did not land on the phonograph, it just halted two inches away from it.
“You will not destroy me.” it said.
“Yes,” I said, some cackling erupted from me. “Yes I will. I will smash you. I will win.”
I surged the hammer forward. It dug a new hole in the phonographs turntable. I swung again, a hole now in its side. Again and again, blow after blow I hit. I hit it until it was nothing but splinters. When I was done, I tossed the hammer aside, then began to catch my breath.
Then I scooped up all of it, wood and horn, all of it was going away. Then I waded deep into the water and then let it go. I was surprised that the wood did not float back up, instead it just sank as fast as the horn did, then after a minute or two I waded back to shore. I went to my car, and I did not look back.
As I started my car, I heard something. A voice of a violin. A single voice singing out in the air, unheard, unknown , and unchallenged. I swear I heard it, and I knew it was the phonograph. It was singing. It was singing its song of death. Its time was done.