Wayback Wednesday Photo Prompt ~ The Music Box #fridayflash #WW #mywana

Wayback Wednesday Photo Writing Prompt

Write a story, write a drabble, write a poem, write anything. If this inspires you drop me a link to your post in the comments, or send it to me on Twitter. 

WLA nyhistorical Music box ca 1850-1900
Image via Wikipedia

 The Music Box

     Sharon had been surprised when Rudolph had brought home the music box. They usually didn’t have money for such extravagances, but when she laid her eyes on it they gleamed like a school girl.

“Shall I play it?”

     Sharon clapped her hands together and wiggled her feet. She loved to dance and rarely got the opportunity between the piles of laundry her clients brought her. The instant the music played she loved it. The high-pitched tone played one of her favorite songs, or at least it sounded like one of her favorite songs.

“You like it?”

Sharon wrapped her arms around her husband and kissed his cheek. “I love it!”

Rudolph beamed from ear to ear. “The guy I bought it from said it was special, and I told him just like my gal.”

“I bet you did.”

“All he said was to not wind it all the way.”

“How could you not wind it all the way?” Sharon jigged into the center of their small living room which consisted of one worn love seat, a small wobbly kitchen table with two chairs and a lamp.

“That’s exactly what I told him baby.”

     Rudolph watched his wife dance. Sharon twirled and twirled, her laugh brightened up the entire room. He relished seeing her so happy. When the music began to slow he turned to wind it again. When he looked back Sharon was gone.

“Sharon?” Only the tinny sound of the music played. “Sharon? Where’d you go hon?”

     Their apartment was small there was no way anyone could get lost in it. He took a couple of steps toward the kitchen. Empty. He took another couple of steps toward their bedroom. Empty. He walked back into the living room. The sweet smell of laundry detergent lingered in the air. He turned to check the bedroom one more time when he heard a slight muffled noise coming from the music box. He fell to his knees, one hand rested on the box, the other on the last place her feet touched and screamed.



21 Comments Add yours

  1. Lara, you she-devil. How did I know something awful was about to happen? Sad and lovely … thanks 🙂

  2. Helen says:

    Ah one of those music boxes eh! Nice story although I sorta guessed when you said not to wind it up all the way and she disappeared that maybe she was trapped in the box. Good story!

    I think I might have caught a typo for you “He felt to his knees,” Did you mean fell?

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @ Jen Brubacher That line was the most fun to write.

      @Helen Thanks Helen.

  3. How could you *not*? Ack! Ohh dear. Nicely done, very sneaky. 🙂

  4. Jenny says:

    Wow that’s really haunting. I love short stories like this & it has a real feel of Unsolved Mysteries or something similar. Nice!

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @Sonia Lal Definately.

      @Deanna Schrayer Lost for sure, wonder if she can ever be found?

      @ Thank you Jenny.

  5. Deanna Schrayer says:

    Oh, wow, talk about getting lost in the music! This is fantastic Lara!

  6. Sonia Lal says:

    Knew something bad was going to happen. Should have listened to the old guy!

  7. John Wiswell says:

    Oh, this was definitely headed to Horror Town. Just a matter of how the dancing would go awry. Enjoyed it, Lara, and thanks for sharing.

  8. Chuck Allen says:

    I love the contrast of his happiness at her excitement and the horror at the realization she was gone. Well done, Lara.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @Steve Green They were warned, at least it didn’t turn into a Gremlin.

      @Icy Sedgwick Yes they do!

      @Chuck Allen Thanks Chuck!

  9. Icy Sedgwick says:

    People need to really learn to pay attention to instructions!

  10. Steve Green says:

    Well, they WERE warned, perhaps if he lets it run all the way down Sharon will come back… ?

  11. dannigrrl says:

    I love a story with a nice creepy twist. Poor Sharon!

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @ Tim Van Sant I don’t think I want to know. 🙂

      @ Dannigrrl Thank you.

  12. ~Tim says:

    Wonder what happens if you wind it backwards….

  13. Wasn’t expecting that which made it so much better. Loved that surprise twist. Nice and creepy. A fantastic flash!

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @Aidan Fritz I hope so to.

      @N Michael Hawe Thanks for catching that. You’re welcome, ditto!

      @Patricia Hollett Thanks for commenting.

  14. Love the story Lara! Just the right level of creepy mystery. There is a typo at the end, at least I’m assuming “felt to his knees” is meant to be “fell to his knees.” No biggie. Also, I wanted to say: thanks for stopping by and checking out my #FridayFlash, I appreciate it!

  15. Aidan Fritz says:

    Chilling! Superb touch with the details. I particularly liked the details of the furniture which tell so much about their lives. I hope he finds a way to get her out.

  16. Hi there Lara — nice idea and neatly executed. That’s one evil music box.

    Not sure this means quite what you meant it to: “[in reference to the music box] They usually didn’t have money for such extravagances, but when she laid her eyes on it they gleamed like a school girl.” Which has a rather gory double meaning…

    The only other thing was the activation of the ‘curse’. I loved the ‘don’t wind it too far’ (it’s only a matter of time), but then the winding seemed to occur off-stage somewhere. I was hanging out for that ‘He didn’t tell her he’d wound it till the mechanism clicked — she looked so happy.’ (or some such). Though I guess it was kind of implicitly in there.

    Either way, I liked your twist on this style of ‘enjoy but don’t get greedy’ story (ala ‘The Red Shoes’)


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