The Harp

Based on a Harris Burdict picture.

    It was a pleasant day in October and halloween was nearing. The cool breeze and swaying brown, yellow, orange, and red leaves, drifted down gently from trees. All the kids were laughing and playing in the crisp fall air,  throwing leaves at each other. Their laughs rang loudly to Michael’s ears. He was stuck doing his chore list.

    Earlier that day, his mother commanded, “I want you to clean your room. It looks utterly disgusting. Then make sure to clean your messy bathroom, and walk Skipper.” It was true. Michael’s room and bathroom consisted of open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, misplaced homework, and dirty clothing littered the floor. On top of that, a dreadful smell, worse than a skunk, filled the air. Michael was used to living in this environment, but his family couldn’t bear his room. “Your sister cleaned her room,” mentioned Michael’s mother.

   “But her room was already super clean,” complained Michael.

   “You just need to maintain your room,” explained his mom. So that was why Michael was stuck inside while the other kids were playing in the carefree afternoon.

   “I’ll start by walking Skipper,” thought Michael, since it was the easiest job. Skipper was the household dog. With gleaming eyes and brown and white fur, Skipper was clearly a very healthy dog. If only Michael took care of his room as much as Skipper. “C’mon boy,” said Michael after clipping a leash to his dog’s collar. The weather was very nice and breezy. In fact, Michael enjoyed walking Skipper. They trudged along Maple Street and out into a beautiful park. Manicured lawns, a play structure, and beautifully groomed flowers filled the park. The sunshine and nice weather made the park gleam and shine. Suddenly, Michael heard a quiet but eerie sound. The sound was beautiful, but mysterious, and Skipper was called to it. Michael’s dog escaped his owner’s hands and barged closer to where the strange sound was coming from. “Skipper! Skipper!” Michael called, but it was no use. He chased after his beloved dog into the nearby woods. The sky seemed to turn darker because the tall and menacing trees blocked sunlight from the warm sun.

   After fifteen minutes of non-stop running, Skipper stopped, followed by Michael. The nature that the two were surrounded by was absolutely beautiful. Clean streams reflected light from the bright sun, vibrant flowers poked out of unexpected places, and extremely green trees filled the scenery. It was magical and enchanting. The beauty of nature was astounding. Michael found himself gazing at the streams filled with many small fishes while Skipper was chasing a colorful butterfly. The strange and eerie sound which has made them find the beautiful place stopped abruptly.

   And that was when Michael finally noticed a golden, gleaming harp sitting at the center of the stream on a large rock. “A harp?” asked Michael to himself. “What is a harp doing here?” It was the most strangest thing that Michael had seen in his whole life. His heart started beating out of his chest and goosebumps took over his skin. “Skipper! Let’s go now!” Michael announced loudly. Dark clouds filled the sky, and lightning and thunder struck suddenly, as if on cue. Thunderous rain poured from the sky. As he turned his back to pick up his dog, the eerie sound started up again. Michael was frozen in shock and stared at the delicate ripples that the noise had caused. The sound. It was coming from the harp. “So it’s true,” he thought. “It’s really true.” While Michael was frozen, Skipper inched towards the harp which was magically playing by itself. “Skipper don’t,” Michael motioned, calling out for his dog. Out of nowhere, bells started ringing. Michael tried to silence a scream. He prayed with all his might that this was a dream. More and more noises joined in, stabilized by the strange harp.

    After the bells, came drums. Then, a high pitched violin. And later, a violently playing organ. Michael wanted to run, but couldn’t. His legs wouldn’t move. This was getting stranger and scarier by the minute. All the blood rushed out of Michael’s face when he heard a whole orchestra perform by itself. He became as pale as a ghost. Skipper, not bothered by any of this, just watched the performance. But of course, the orchestra wasn’t complete without its lead singer. That was when Michael started crying. A loud transparent woman appeared from nowhere and finished off the performance, completely petrifying Michael.

    Again came the dreadful noise. The harp. Michael let out a high pitched scream and scooped up Skipper in his hands. “Run! Your life depends on it! Run!” Michael told himself. Screeches and high pitched screams chased after Michael and Skipper. The trees and scenery were a blur of colors as Michael ran like the wind. Tears welled up in his eyes and he immediately started sweating. Michael swerved around trees and plants with Skipper enjoying the free ride given by his owner. In just minutes, Michael and Skipper were back at the park. Michael dashed back home and by the time he arrived, he was completely drenched in sweat, rain, and salty tears. He was overwhelmed and frightened. In his mind he heard the worst sound in the world. The harp.  


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