The Instrument

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The Instrument

Last Free Dates: 8th Sep 20 to 12th Sep 20
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...a horror story that dwells on the impact of a bargain struck and looks into the horrific future that it brings...

Persuaded by his friend Josh, Tim finds himself in an empty pub trying to tune a broken piano. While doing so he finds himself entranced by music coming from somewhere, only to find himself in the presence of the mysterious Elisa Mayer, who is playing a music box. Before he knows it, he is invited to her house and is meeting her family, unaware of the passage of time. When night falls, he finds himself back in his own home without knowing how he got there. The following day he is surprised to find the events were not only real, but that the family needs his help to fix the music box that Elisa had been playing. When he discovers the Faustian Pact they have made, to never age and in return sacrifice life to the instrument, he resolves to fix the music box and end the curse.

This is a curious horror tale in two parts. Initially, the first part of the story is is about trying to solve the puzzle of the Music box and the terrifying lack of control that Tim has over his life with the sudden desires that inflame him, without knowing why. However, the second half of the story seems to drift into an existential and philosophical tract on love, death, fear and eternity. Less horror story and more staring into the abyss and trying to comprehend it in some small way. As characters, there is only a small cast, Tim and his desire to save Elisa and solve the puzzle before him and the Mayer’s whose dark secret drives the plot. Tim’s bewilderment at what is happening to him is clear as is his change to actively solve the problem. The Mayer’s angst over the curse, but their stubbornness in following through with it, also provides an interesting backdrop to the tale. The spelling and grammar are fine and while the concepts and ideas may be a little left field for what I was expecting, it was clear to read and follow as to what was happening. It did take less time to complete than I thought it would.

I will be honest, if it had been a short story of just the first part, which has a degree of an ending to it, I would have rated it higher The second half just continues on and the ending when it comes, does not feel as satisfying.

Overall, this is more a horror story that dwells on the impact of a bargain struck and looks into the horrific future that it brings. Certainly worth reading a read if you are looking for something more Twilight Zone than a standard horror story.

Rating: 3
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Nocturnal Thinker (15 October 2020)
I'm enticed to read this horror story for I want to know why there's a curse on the music box. And how Tim is able to lift the curse of the music box played by Elisa.

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