*set to In The End by Vanessa Carlton*

The keys black and white, like him and her.

His ochre skin glistened with sweat as he thrust into her, over and over. She arched her back into him, crying furiously as he took her. She wrapped her hand around his neck and squeezed, her wiry fingers compressing his windpipe with unnatural strength. Her eyes were sad, but they shone with a preternatural light as his thrusts intensified with the tightening of her fingers. He began to gasp as her body began to spasm under him and he buried himself deep into her, his outstretched arms  rested on flat palms on either side of her face. In a mindless lust filled haze, she bucked and was rewarded with a resounding snap. His head lolled and his arms gave way, his naked body collapsing onto hers. She wrapped her hands around his torso and cried softly, the relief of taking a life washing over her, silently savouring the warmth leave his body and the gentle weight that slowly grew on her as his blood stopped to flow and his limbs turned to lead.

It took ten minutes for his body to transmute from healthy ochre to a sickly ash and she laid under him through it all, arms wrapped around his neck, legs spread beneath him. With some effort she crawled out from under him, the smell of death upon her. It is just as it should be, she thought to herself, walking through the dimly lit belfry towards the little square of light cast by the moon through the stained glass window. The kaleidoscope of colours bathed her pale skin in the glorious hues, a mockery of the blackness she was inside. Her youthful skin, milky white in spite of the years she spent in the desert sun, playing away the beautiful concertos that she had longed to play in the darkened halls with beautiful high ceilings. Her breasts blue and yellow from the light cast by the robes and cherubic face of the Christ child, they had stayed small as they were when He first fondled them in that back alley, when he made her spirit soar and her skin flush with light and her womb bloom with his seed. Her flat belly was the cream of the sheep that lay beside the manger, the fertile pudgy sheep that bowed its head in adoration of the child. Hers would never rise, never. He’d taken that from her because she took his seed away from him. The only thing that continued to thrive was her raven hair falling to her plump buttocks, hiding the scars of her trysts with Him as He prod her over and over, every season she sook him out to lay with her.  He’d obliged her each time, but he forbade her to look upon his beautiful face, bent her over and took her, sinking his claws into the small of her back and raking deep gouges that took a year to heal. He thought he was punishing her, but she knew better, he was the only one who could hurt her and pain was better than the numbness she felt.

He would ask her to play for Him wherever they met, in a crowded market or a dingy slum or an upscale hotel. It never mattered to him how many would die after. It never did.

“I have missed my violin, Tana.” He would say. “Play me a little piece? I want to hear if he has been tuned and oiled like you promised.”

She would play, from mournful to joyous, from jubilant to brooding, astute to languid, and they paused  where the music carried. Young, old, beautiful, juvenile; it didn’t matter to Tana Brooks’ violin. They would stop in their tracks and gather around her, transfixed by the sounds her bow wrought. He would disappear into the mist as he always did, smiling at his creation. She would play as long as they wished her to, minutes, hours, even days. She would tap out melodies that reminded suited business men of their childhood dancing to folk songs and they would dance in helpless abandon while she cried for now she was so in tune with the violin she could see the deaths that would come for them. Eventually they would all get sated with her and as a swarm they would disappear to their deaths and leave her with the burden of being judge and executioner. And she would disappear until, her scars healed and compulsion drew her to seek Belial again.

“Doh! Doh! Doh!” came the melodious whisper from the aged piano in the corner. Tana shook herself from her reverie and noticed the light was much stronger now; she had stood there for hours. She turned to the sound and a smile parted her lips. Ashy and stiff, he perched naked on the tiny stool that faithfully stood beside the crumbling piano hidden in the darkened corner of the room, his frozen fingers picking notes of a child’s lullaby. His neck jutted out an angle and his glassy eyes stared into the dark but he didn’t need to see the keys to play. She stood in the light and watched in awe as his skin regained its lustre and his joints became fluid once again, his neck slowly inching its way back up, righting his head full of curly hair. She saw it every other night, but each time he rose from where they had coupled and healed, it awed her over again. He turned his now straight head at her and smiled ruefully, seguing from the jaunty march he had been playing into a languid waltz. Play with me, his eyes pleaded.

Tana picked her violin from where she’d laid it by the window sill and tightened the frogs. She tested a few notes ensuring her notes rang true to his, and plunged herself into the music; following his lead, complementing his dips and shoring the silences between his transitions. They played so beautifully, two angels of death, harbingers of doom, cursed by their chance meetings with Lilith and Belial to wreak death in all they did. She played the half tones that her heart had longed to sing and the dirges she couldn’t play at the funerals of all the people she’d loved from afar and watched slip into darkness and he played the grand hymns he had dreamed of subsuming himself in at the cathedral where he had grown up, on the colossus of an organ behind which he had prayed for eighteen years tightening screws and waiting for his turn to glory in its melodies. Lilith found him and cursed his eyes to stay forever open and his hands to freeze in death each time he ever played for another’s entertainment, she’d taken all he cared for away from him on a petulant whim.  She was his salvation and he her companion, the perfect waltz, the girl on the violin and the boy on the piano.

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This piece was written in 45 minutes as an imagined sequel to the  epic Girl On The Violin (read it here) set to the haunting song In the End by Vanessa Carlton. Our boy on the piano is none other than Johnny Depp. I hope I did justice to Tana Brooks. Shalom.

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