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I was about ten years old when I first heard Charlie Daniels’ song The Devil Went To Georgia. I was so hooked on the violin part that I would play it for days at an end. It would drive my parents crazy whenever I turned up the volume. It got to a point where my parents enrolled me in music school.

“If you like it that much, why don’t you learn it for yourself,” my father said, slightly annoyed. 

That’s how I learned how to play the violin, if I had heard another song, maybe I would have chosen another instrument. I stuck by it for about two years, enough to learn how to play my favorite part. Of course it wasn’t as good as the original, but I had fun playing it. After those two years, it turned out I really hadn’t a knack for it after all, and I quit music school. Soon after I started to focus myself on my drawings and my paintings. 


Two days later a man with a considerable amount of metal around his neck and wrists, paid me a visit. He was wearing a black suit, an expensive one by the looks of it. He brought me a suitcase containing all the information I needed. For him it was all business. He dropped off the suitcase, didn’t even say a word, and left before I could even offer him a cup of sake. Instead, I poured myself some and looked through the briefcase. Everything they said was in there, all information containing details about security, his property, his family, etc. 

“This should be a piece of cake,” I thought to myself.

But I shouldn’t let my guard down, this was still all new to me. Even tough I had all the information I needed, there was still something that could go wrong, so I needed to be prepared for everything. 

The violin was properly of a man named Kurai. His name was written with the character for dark. Kurai lived in a mansion just outside of town. His property was immense, every piece of land you could see was his. If I hadn’t done my research, I wouldn’t even know where to begin looking. It could have been everywhere, keeping me busy for days. 

The story of the violin was somehow peculiar, even Charlie Daniels and Johnny Cash wrote a song about it. Before today, I didn’t even know there actually was a golden fiddle, I just thought it was a fragment of someone’s imagination. The legend would go that one day the devil went to Georgia, looking for a soul to steal. That’s when he came across a young fiddle player named Johnny. 


“Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy

but give the Devil his due

I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul

‘Cause I think I’m better than you”


A fierce battle rose up between the two of them, but eventually the devil had to bow his head because he knew he had been defeated. Leaving young Johnny with a golden fiddle at his feet. Of course there was no way in knowing if this actually went down, but I had to admit there were some similarities. 

Kurai had made his fortune with property development overseas. He was stationed in Berlin during the war, where he as a young man, cam in contact with an older, wealthy property lady. She was lonely and sought comfort with a young man. For several years they were indulged in a sexual relationship. This made her feel young again, while he found himself quite powerful to be able to seduce a woman of her standards. 

When he retired to Tokyo after five years abroad, the woman had taught him a trick or two of her trade and he decided to take his chances and give it a shot himself. He would buy houses at low prices, renovate them and then sell them at very high prices again. In no time he became one of the most influential people of Tokyo.

I was wondering who had given me the job of stealing it from someone like Kurai, if he ever found out it would mean the end of him. And me..


The next day, I got up and made some breakfast. Nothing to fancy, just a toast and some bacon and eggs. Of course a big cup of coffee was necessary to start off this day. I took out a suit from Dolce & Gabbana, a dark blue with a gentle white stripe running across the length, and a white shirt. Again no tie, but the two top bottoms left open. This way a small piece of the snake and Buddha on the other side were visible. I called Tanabe to meet me short after.


It took about a two hour drive to get to Kurai’s property. The passing scenery kept me captive, lost in my own thoughts. 

“How much time was passing in the real world?” I wondered, saying it out loud in a soft whisper.

We wanted to stay off radar, so it was best to take the roads below. Drones were still patrolling the air above, making sure nothing went wrong. After the riots back in 2090, the police didn’t want to take any chance in it happening again, so they started monitoring every movement that went on in Greater Tokyo. 

Sinister clouds of steam emerged from the sewers, making it seem there was a whole other city down below. A maze of electrical wires ran across the street, not knowing what each of them was for. If you weren’t careful, you could get electrocuted at any moment. Prostitutes were occupying almost every corner, living side by side by the same old junkies who were under the influence of EPC. Soon after the overbearing black skyscrapers made way for a road up in the mountains. The higher we would go, rain would make way for a thick pack of snow. Luckily for us, we didn’t have to go that high, so rain it was. It felt like there was a constant rain down here, sometimes so small you didn’t even notice whether it was falling or not, but dry days were rare. 

Tanabe dropped me off just a few miles out, so I had to walk the remaining distance. I had to proceed with caution, even though it was still a few miles away, this was all Kurai’s property. He had his own private firm that did surveillance around here. Just like anyone else in Tokyo, he had no trust left in the government or the local police force. After the riots they all started looking out for themselves, making them open to bribes and corruption. There were even stories about the police beating and stealing from the citizens. Cameras were everywhere and even drones with the logo of his private firm were scouring the mountains around me. I took one last hit of my Golden Bat cigarette and made my way to the mansion, trying to evade all the security camera’s.

My focus was on observing the house for a while, making sure nothing was out of the ordinary. It was located on a crossroad, but still it was the only house there. Thinking of why I was there, stealing a golden fiddle which was supposed to be given by the devil, I couldn’t help but think if this was actually the house of the devil. Seeing it was located on a crossroad was way too much of a coincidence. It reminded me of the story of Robert Johnson, a blues musician. His poorly documented and fairly short life, he died at age 27, had given rise to the legend that is known today. It had been said that he had sold his soul to the devil at a local crossroad in Mississippi in order to achieve succes. He brought his guitar to the crossroad, where he was met by a large black man, which was the devil in disguise, who took the guitar out of his hands and tuned it for him. After playing a few songs he returned it to Johnson, giving him the mastery of the instrument. 

Kurai should be out of the house, off to some charity event. He was trying to keep a good name for himself inside the community by donating large sums of money for a good cause. Every year he would choose another charity.

I was Kurai getting in his brand new Jaguar. They tried to keep the characteristics from a model from the early 2000’s, combined with elements from this time period. The only thing they should have left out to my opinion was the aerodynamic rear spoiler, but even in the real world I wasn’t a big fan of those. Other than that, it could have well been a car that I would drive. Even the numerous light strips that served as a breaking light were appealing to me, it reminded me of a Dodge Charger back home. Kurai’s dark hair fell to this shoulders and with his right hand he finger combed his hair before getting into his sports car. I saw him drive away, heading towards the darkness in front of him, leaving nothing but the light strips of his Jaguar. Not knowing he would soon come home to a house without a golden fiddle in it. 

So this is how it must feel to not have any fear. It was a strange feeling to be this confident in myself. Back in the real world I was a shy 25 year old boy, not even close to be worthy of being called a man. 


People thought of me as an artist, I had the certain skills to pull of the perfect breaking and entering. My method of course took some time, but if done perfectly, there wasn’t a trace of my presence left. That must be the reason why my skill were in such high demand. Of course I was given the codes for the alarm, which were a great help, but there were certain tricks needed that couldn’t be given in advance, tricks only I could do with such perfection. I wasn’t in much of a hurry, the charity event would last the entire night, and after all, haste would lead to mistakes, which was something I didn’t have time for. Luckily for me there weren’t any guards patrolling the mansion. He had the firm guarding his land, but he wouldn’t let them near his residence. He didn’t trust other people inside the building where he lived. 

The violin could only be in one place, the basement. It was filled with all kind of artifacts and strange memorabilia as far the eye could see. From nazi artwork to pieces of weapons used during the 2090 riots, he had it all. This must have been one of the strangest collection I had ever seen. At the same time it was also one of the most interesting ones. Each and every object had its own story behind it. The katana with a piece of the blade missing for instance, it had been used by one of the leaders of the Odaiba Rebellion to murder the prime minister. It had cut so deep, through his thick jumpsuit which served as an armor, that it broke off, leaving the tip of the blade inside his body. At the place where it broke off, there was still a little bit of blood visible. Right in the middle of the room was the golden fiddle, under a glass cover on a white pedestal.

Inside, everything was dead silent, as if sound was banned from this place. Even the slightest bit of noise could disrupt the whole harmony of his private collection. Yet I could still hear the faint sound of a cat’s bell, approaching through the darkness, created by the dim light that was casting a certain gloom over the artifacts. This wasn’t the first time I heard that sound. The feeling I was being followed grew bigger and bigger. I was curious what was tailing me all this time, but first I had a job to do. So it would have to wait until it was done. Once I got my hands around that fiddle, I would get to the bottom of it. 

The glass casing didn’t have a separate security system, so it wasn’t that hard to get in there. Using a small pocket laser, I cut an opening just big enough to get the fiddle out. It wasn’t necessary to cover up my tracks, since he would notice it was gone anyway. I used black leather gloves so I wouldn’t leave any fingerprints behind. I grabbed the golden fiddle, which wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be, and put it inside my backpack. I got what I came for, now it was time to get the hell out of there.

I took the same way out as I came in. That way I knew it was safe for me to get out without getting noticed by the cameras. They had provided me a detailed map of the house with all the blind spots, making my job a lot easier. I was so focussed on the job that I didn’t notice Kurai came home early. Something must have triggered him that something was wrong at his mansion. His Jaguar was parked outside, but I had no idea where Kurai was. I didn’t hear him enter the house and he was nowhere near his car. So where was he? I had to proceed carefully, watch my every step. Kurai could be anywhere, lurking in the shadows, waiting to make his move. I wondered if he already knew his precious fiddle was gone. It even made me wonder whether someone had tipped him off, trying to catch me red-handed. 

Was it an inside job? I wondered, was someone after me within my own family?

I was halfway the garden when I heard a voice yelling at me.

“Watch out!”

Before I could look where it came from, I heard a gunshot and I fell to the ground. As if something pushed me down with all its might. Not fast enough though, I felt an agonizing pain in my shoulder. From out the bushed came a cat limping my way. His right paw had been injured, but I couldn’t tell if it happened recently or if it was an old wound. It had a dark grey fur, which made it hard to see him in this dark if it weren’t for his white paw and the white triangle right beneath his neck. When it came closer I noticed the little bell he was wearing around his neck. This was the sound that had been following me all this time. No doubt about it. The fact that it was talking didn’t even sink in yet. 

“You shouldn’t have done that!” said the cat, “you have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into!”

A puddle of blood was starting to form underneath me, and the smell of copper was all I could remember before it got pitch black. Only the rattle of the wind interrupted the sound of a lingering gun.

Submitted: May 05, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Nick Van loy. All rights reserved.


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