Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: EERIE (07/28/16)
TITLE: I Am Prisoner
By Leola Ogle
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In my beginning – in my prime – I was loved. I was valued. Some were in awe of me. Some marveled at my abilities. I could soothe a frazzled soul. Some were moved to tears by me. Others to joy.
I was replaced by that which is younger, current, popular. I was viewed as no longer needed. No one wanted me. I was locked away in a room. Weeks passed before anyone came. I knew him. I thought he was my friend. We had spent hours together. Days together. Weeks. Years. Surely he would rescue me.
But he did not. He touched me softly, reverently. I felt his tears drop on me. “I’m sorry. It wasn’t my decision,” he said. Then he turned and walked away. I hoped he would come back for me, but he has never returned.
I am prisoner in my shame and despair. I have been here for many years now. I was abandoned long before the building was – this ornate building that has been left to ruin. At first as a prisoner, there was activity and the sound of voices. The day came when I was shrouded in darkness and the voices ceased.
Eerie silence. It surrounds me like toxic gas. The only sounds are the rustling of wind, the fluttering of birds, the scurrying of small critters, the creak of this old building. But it is human noise I miss –human noise that is absent here. I was created for humans. That is my purpose.
The building grew older, more dilapidated – spooky.
Then one day – could it be? I heard voices and the sound of footsteps. Here? In my prison? Dare I hope?
“It will take a lot of work, but it can be fixed up. Useful once again.” A man’s voice.
“It’s a good deal, Mr. Samson. The price is right. This old church is perfect as a community center.” Another man's voice.
“I grew up in this neighborhood. As a boy, I went to church here. It’s a shame the neighborhood deteriorated and the church had to close. It has been my dream for a number of years to turn this into an outreach center for the community. I’ll sell most of the pews. Pull up the carpet and put tile in. So many repairs, but it can be done. I have a vision of what this place can be, Mr. Alwood. My heart is here.”
Can it be true? Will they find me? Alas, even if they do, I am as worthless and unwanted as the pews. Footsteps move closer. The ominous creak of a door.
“What’s in here? It smells musty. And like a dead rodent.”
“I’m not sure, Mr. Samson. I think everything got shoved in here for storage. It will be included, of course, in the cost of the building. Yours to keep or trash.”
The black cloth covering me is removed and dust fills the air. The two men cough. Then I feel it. I haven’t had human touch in so long, I have forgotten it. Hands brush along my top – gentle and soothing hands. Fingers brush my keys, but no music bursts forth.
“An old organ. Good quality, top of the line in its day. Perhaps you could sell it, Mr. Samson, though there’s not much need for an organ like this.”
Hands continue to caress me. “My grandfather played this organ. He was the church organist. He loved it. I would spend Saturday afternoons here with him while he practiced for Sunday service. I loved the sounds of the organ because I loved my grandfather. Then the church wanted to be more modern. Keyboards, drums, guitars. They didn’t want or need my grandfather anymore. He understood. Times change. But it broke his heart.”
“Well, now, that’s a nice story. Maybe you’ll keep it then?”
“It’s in good condition. My grandfather used to let me play some. If there was electricity here, I would bless you with an old hymn, Mr. Alwood. Yes, I think I’ll keep it. I want to have a grand opening on Halloween. Organ music for a haunted house. It’s perfect.”
I am free. Or, I will be free. And I will make music again. It is my purpose.
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