Read: Vanessa Hawkins - P O S T - E M B R A C E . Y E A R U N K NOWN

He always loved to play the organ. It was a trait Charlotte never understood. It seemed to her that a man so disconnected from life had no business knowing how to play such beautiful music. For ten years of her unlife, the organ sat in his den like the old skeletal remains of his human self, stretched out like a macabre shrine to the outdated religion of life. Even when he had brought her in the room, it sat behind him silently, a prisoner to his body run amok.

It was a long time before she would hear it moan. She remembered it perfectly. The deafening silence of the halls had suddenly come to life with the furious weeping of the organ in the corner. At first it had been slow, a wail of contempt and loathing that soon evolved into a monster of angry protests and condemnation.

With a blind curiosity born out of broken routine, Charlotte followed the music until she saw what looked like a man leaning over his own corpse trying desperately to swell its boney limbs with flesh again. His hair had fallen in front of his face in pointed strands, slick with pomade. It made her think of a cage: like thin, rusted fingers jutting from his own skull were trying to tear him away from his task. He leaned forward, his fingers strangling the wails from the organ like a madman. His usually perfect tie was undone and his eyes blazed.

Charlotte stared with all the sick fascination of a scientist watching his patient tear the legs off spiders. She wondered what had turned him into the thing he was today. How many horrible things had compounded in his brain to turn him into this husk of a man, fighting to scream when he no longer remembered how? He pressed the ivory keys with all the haste of a man struggling to stay alive, but even as he did, the agonizing life that gasped from the organ was nothing but the after-burps of life from a corpse whose body had not yet succumbed to rot.

He roared then, his own frustration in tune with the sounds of his instrument and Charlotte jumped despite herself. For a brief moment, Price seemed saddened, like a doctor watching a failed patient slip grossly into death. Picking himself up, he turned his back to her, and in one fluid motion he righted the hair that had come undone. As quick as that, the organ had become a prisoner again, ignored like a servant.