The FaIlen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A teenager on a road trip to New York...
A stranger with unique way of making a living...
A marine stationed in a war-torn part of the world...
And many more... share something. What? Read on to find out.

Submitted: August 09, 2012

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Submitted: August 09, 2012

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The senior trip was nothing like Ryan imagined it to be. There were no parties or wild experiences. His dad’s warnings about being responsible and avoiding potential future regrets was unfounded. Mr. Stark, his homeroom teacher was a decent enough guy, not too strict on the teens often forgiving them many of their stunts, but he was an adult and a responsible one to boot. New York City was loud, busy, and surprisingly annoying. The museums and landmarks were nice to look at, but definitely not what Ryan and most of his classmates had in mind for their farewell trip. Today was the last day of their trip. The only planned stop was the St. Mary’s Cathedral. As Mr.Stark put it, it was a great example of Gothic architecture.

Ryan closed his eyes and leaned back in his seat. The bus was shaking not even trying to hide the terrible condition of New York City roads.

"Hey, don’t sweat it. Just one stop left, then the rest of the day is free," Sandra said.

Ryan opened his eyes and looked up at the girl leaning over the back of his seat. Her blond hair reached down and tickled his neck. Ryan pushed his troubling thoughts deeper into his mind and smiled back. The only thing that made this trip worthwhile was that he was sharing it with Sandra. Ryan had known her for years, even before high school, and recently, their friendship took a turn towards a more serious relationship.

"Any plans?"

"We’ll see," she replied. "Anything that doesn’t involve this bus."

Something about her reminded Ryan of the dreams he’s been having lately. He could never remember them, the only thing he knew upon awakening was that he had forgotten something important, that some part of him was missing. More and more frequently he experienced deja vu throughout the day. Maybe it was her he was longing for, Ryan thought.

The cathedral was a pretty large building with two tall spires rising into the sky. A part of it was converted into a museum, and one of the members of the church took it upon himself to personally show the various exponents.

"This organ has a very long history associated with it," said the deacon.

"How so?" one of the students asked.

"Well, to be honest it hasn’t been operational for more than two years. Crafted by a well known craftsman, who had shortly committed suicide, it was frequently considered…" the priest hesitated, "tainted, if that is the right word."

"You mean damned?"

"Harry. Show some respect, you’re in a church," Mr. Stark said.

Uncomfortably, the deacon agreed with the word choice and continued his tale. It sounded more like a legend or a campfire story. Apparently, Only two years after the suicide of its creator, one of the organ’s pipes had broken off during an Easter ceremony and seriously injured the man who was playing it. The organ was repaired but only a few months later it broke down again. This time, there was no reason for the malfunction, it just stopped producing any sounds at all. There were several attempts to reconstruct it, but none to this day were successful.

"So it hasn’t been used since 1967?" Mr. Stark asked.

"Yes, we kept it because it was a generous gift, and it was near impossible to remove it without disassembling a part of that wall."

A few quiet whistles as some students walked up to the low barrier and examined the old instrument closely.

The four rows of yellowed keyboards, the intricate carved wood paneling, and even the tall pipes all showed their age. Then one by one, the crowd filtered out of the Great Organ Hall, leaving only one person behind.

Ryan stood enchanted by the organ, he felt inexplicably drawn towards it. A disembodied voice hissed into his ear.

"Come here," it said.

Ryan looked around but saw no one in the large room.

"Come here, love," the voice said.

It’s melody was sweet and seductive. A gentle beckoning that Ryan somehow knew was coming from the organ.

"Let them hear us. Let them know they are not safe."

The voice grew in intensity, yet never rising above a whisper. It swept around the empty room, circling Ryan. Nudging him, pulling him, begging him, and unwittingly, he began to take slow steps towards the organ. He saw nothing around him, he didn’t even react when Sandra came back for him.

"Are you coming?" she said. Ryan didn’t respond and Sandra watched from the doorway as he crossed the low barrier and swept off a cardboard sign that read DO NOT TOUCH.

He heard nothing but the voice tempting him, so fell and terrible, yet beautiful and strong. He saw nothing but the keys of the organ, covered with a thin layer of dust.

"Let’s play together," he could now feel that the voice belonged to a female, memories of his last nights dream surged back and flooded him with dark images.

Ryan’s right hand hovered above the lowest manual of the organ, his fingertips barely touching the black keys. His left key grabbed hold of a large stop knob and pulled it out. A moment he sat frozen still wondering what is he doing, and he heard her again.

"Play, for the night…"

His left hand lowered onto the keyboard fingering a chord, his right hand followed with a slow solemn melody. With a slight shiver the wide brass pipes in the second rank came to life. Sending out low soothing tones. No longer himself, Ryan continued to play. His fingers danced up and down the keyboard, bringing an ancient sad melody to new life. The low sonorous drones of the chords surrounded him in a whirlpool, and the melody carried him far away from the Organ Hall in New York City.

Ryan looked around, he didn’t know where he was, he didn’t care. Streaming colors swirled around him, combining with the sounds into an unforgettable experience. The pain in his soul lessened and was soon replaced with a growing pleasure. His hand, guided by something else, pulled out another stop and one more rank of pipes came to life. The feeling of euphoria had crested as the sounds from the organ grew louder. The voice which now sounded ethereal and divine laughed from their shared pleasure. Ryan played even faster. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and emotions blended, flooded and drowned all logical thought processes in Ryan’s mind.

Ryan didn’t know how much time he had spent in this surreal state, as far as he was concerned it was both many lifetimes and mere moments. When he finally opened his eyes, he saw his hands holding down two chords on the lowest register available to the instrument. The tallest and largest pipes resonated causing the stained glass panes in the hall to shake. With a deep breath, not fully realizing what had just happened Ryan got up from the wooden bench. Turning around he saw a large crowd of people gathered in the hall behind him. Many of the visitors had tears in their eyes. The clergy’s faces were pale. All eyes were staring at him with disbelief.

"Young man, what did you just do?" One of the oldest priests stepped towards Ryan.

"I-,"Ryan thought for a moment, the memory of his experience still raging in his mind, "don’t know."

"It is a miracle," the priest whispered making the sign of the cross.

"I’m sorry. I thought you said it was broken," Ryan said.

The crowd’s silent attention was making him uncomfortable. He tried to get as far away from the organ as quickly as possible. The priest took another step forward and laid his thin wrinkled hand on Ryan’s shoulder. Through his thin T-shirt, Ryan could feel that hand tremble from excitement.

"It is."

"No, I just heard it," Ryan said. He reached out and pressed down a single key. No sound came.

"Son, the bellows and pumps for those pipes have been dismantled decades ago. There is no way this organ can work."

Ryan wanted to say something, but realized that there was no way he could explain what just happened. He closed his mouth and looked down.

"You were great, lover," the smooth voice purred. In the shocked silence of the hall it sounded loud and clear, yet no one else but Ryan had heard it.

"Why?" Ryan thought to himself.

"Because their God is dead. His elegy had been sung and our time has come. Let them worship their false miracles and prophets."

Later that day, Sandra sat next to Ryan and whispered in his ear. Her voice sounded so clear and so similar to what he had heard in the Organ Hall.

"What did you play? I never knew you could."

"Who are you?" Ryan was shocked at the similarity.

"What are you talking about?" she said.

Sandra blinked, seemingly confused by Ryan’s question, but inside, Ryan had heard something totally different.

"You and me, both. WE are the same. We are those fallen from grace. In time you too will remember."


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