Mr. Fatal

Outside the ice started to form on the windows of the homes in Hollow, the day sky all but gone, and inside the little Holites called to their parents for a story of old to fall asleep to. The stories of Hollow seem dark to those of Earth, stories no children should hear, but are fairy tales young Holites are brought up on.

The father of twins ran his hand through his hair, trying his hardest to think of a story not heard by tiny ears tucked in bed.

“How about the story of Penrose?” The father asked with a grin.

Both the children looked at each other rolling their eyes, “No, you told that one a lot, a new one.” Before the father could make another suggestion the young boy spoke out. “We have heard, Penrose, The Window Walker, The Wanderer, The Nightmare man and his Nightmare Hounds, and the Big man.

The father scratched his head once more, trying to scrape a story from his skull.

“Ah, I know one you have not heard. I am going to tell you the story of Mr. Fatal.”

The children’s eyes lit up as the snuggled down into their bed, waiting for their next journey into Hollows past.

“It all began in Opeos, but this story is well before our town grew to such an enormous size.”

The children’s minds followed the words as they danced out of their father’s mouth, turning each one into a small piece of the mental image he was painting.

Their minds were cast back to a small rustic town in the cold southern reaches of Hollow, where but a few buildings stood within a crude wooden wall, covered in ice from the arctic winds, freezing anyone too slow to escape its frigid embrace. Inside the walls was a tavern where most would hide from the cold winds of the outside world, indulging in the comforts of the alcohol that warmed as it went in.

The only noises to be heard within where the creaks and groans of the tavern as the harsh winds rolled over it, further draining the energy and souls of all that sat and drank. Each day it would be the same, up, work, drink, sleep. There was no motivation to live a full life in Hollow, let alone the cold south where even less could be achieved. One day however on a particularly stormy night the door blew open, the candle light inside allowed a silhouette to stand in the doorway being battered by cold winds. A tall and lanky man stepped through the door closing it behind him, everyone in the bar had a hand on a weapon ready for whatever this “man” could do.

They watched as he shivered at the door holding a strange contraption in one hand and himself in the other.

“I am the, the, Fatal..ties. I am h-h-here to s-si-sing.”

No one in the bar knew what to do as the pale man shuffled his way to the front of the central fire place. He placed down his strange box and pressed a button, to everyone’s surprise music came out.

“But Daddy, why is that a surprise? We have music boxes here.”

“Back in these days no one could afford to make music, no one was willing to pay, so no music was ever made.”

The whole tavern lowered their weapons as they waited to see what was to happen next. The man tried to sing but he could barely speak, he was so cold that he could barely say a single word before collapsing unconscious.

Days past as the deathly singer laid in a spare room on dirty laundry, no one knew what to do with him or his music box. The owner of the bar had to quickly hide it away before any of the patrons tried to take it for themselves, she hastily hid it under more dirty rags and towels so no one could see it. Four days in and the stranger finally awakes to a musty dark room where he could once again feel his limbs in the damp but warm cloths he was laying in.

A small light was strung up above him giving a dim light to his room, his eyes were not fully adjusted so he laid back onto the nearly comfortable rags staring up into the ceiling. As his vision started to adjust to the room he noticed things hanging from the ceiling and surrounding shelves. Dozens of animals strung up like marionette dolls lining the walls, he stood to get a closer look but his legs would not allow him, he started to panic and shout. The more he moved and yelled the more light headed he felt, the door swung open as he begun to fall unconscious the last thing he saw being a pair of legs before he fell back into the black.

A blanket of warmth laid itself upon the singer caressing him awake. This time as his eyes opened he was in a warm room with a stone ceiling, turning his head he noticed a fire roaring only meters away, it felt like life filling his body once again. The smell of cooked meat crept into his nose as he slowly turned his head the other way, before him laid a roast meal and a tall tankard with sweet smelling cider. He started to roll his body in desperation barely able to move any of his limbs due to starvation, he managed to roll over landing his face right next to the plate where he ate the food like an animal from a bowl. He could feel the heat of the food as it travelled down his frigid body, warming his insides with every bite. He was still too tired to be able to drink the cider so he once again fell back into a sleep.

Day after day he would awake to food and drink, and with each passing day he would feel stronger and stronger till he was able to walk once again. Finally, he sat happy in front of the fire eating his meal, and sipping on the sweet fruit cider when the door to the room swung open by a woman in a tan apron.

“I see you are making a fast recovery Mr. Fatal.” she said as she started to clean her hands.

“I am thanks to you, but why are you calling me Mr. Fatal?”

“Why that is what you said as you entered my tavern, I am Mr. Fatal then you tried to sing but collapsed next to your music box. I like it, it suits you.”

“Well my name is n…” Fatal jumped from where he was sitting and started to look around the room in desperation.

“Where is my music player?”

The owner smiled as she dried her hands, “I hid it upstairs it is safe, my name is Addison by the way.”

They both smiled at each other adoringly, “Hey Addison, I mean like I ate all your food I can pay you back, I could sing in your tavern maybe, I don’t have much money so…”

“Playing in my tavern is more than fine, I look forward to it.”

“Daddy are they going to kiss like you and mommy?”

The man took a moment to grasp at rings around his neck, “Maybe, you will have to wait to see.”

They both walked out into the tavern where people were sitting in silence grasping at their drinks, Fatal walked to the centre fireplace and set down his music player for a second time. He smiled at Addison and pressed play, music started to sound from his box as he announced himself.

“I am The Fata… I am Mr. Fatal and I want to play my songs for you.”

“What was he going to say? Why did he change what he was saying?”

“He was going to say his real name, but stopped because a pretty girl said she liked his other name.”

Everyone was turned and watching as the music built up, their faces started to grin as he started to sing.”

♪♪I’m afraid that I’ll drop dead

Or I’ll die in my sleep while I’m safe in bed

Cause of death: something I did when I was ten♪♪

…”

As he sung everyone seemed to loosen up, there was finally some form of life and it was beginning to feed the souls of the poor drunk bastards within.

Mr. Fatal stayed at the tavern playing every day as well as helping with all the chores to help Addison and to pay for a bed to sleep and food to eat. Weeks went by and everything seemed to be just perfect, till one day Addison approached Fatal.

“Hey so have you found a way to make money to pay me back yet?”

Fatal was highly confused as he stared at her, “I thought my music and my chores I was doing was paying for me.”

Addison laughed, “Oh fuck no, your chores pay for a bed but why the fuck would anyone pay for music? I mean if I don’t get something of value from it, it is worthless.”

“I, I, I don’t know how I can…”

“Maybe you can pay me back in other ways.” Addison grabbed his hand and lead him downstairs, the room was warm and well lit. She laid Fatal upon the table that had clean rags covering it, slowly she started to remove his clothes, piece by piece, as each piece was removed he would swell with excitement. Smiling, Addison walked into the next room, “Let me slip into something more, comfortable.”

Fatal laid there as he could hear Addison getting changed in the next room,

“Close your eyes Mr. Fatal, I have a surprise for you.”

Fatal closed his eyes smiling in anticipation, Addison’s hands caressed Fatal’s torso as she covered him with oil. She gingerly tied his hands to the edge of the table, incapable of holding back his curiosity to the strange smelling oil, or what Addison was wearing, Fatal opened his eyes.

Addison was wearing a full apron with gloves and a mask, before he had any chance to react his feet were fastened down leaving him fully tied in place.

“Typical men always thinking with their dick, I mean the first time you did not see what was in this room I understand because you were nearly dead, but surely you should have noticed once you felt better.”

Fatal looked around the room, there were more puppets but not only of animal’s life sized dolls piled in the corners of the room. “What the fuck is this?”

Addison grinned ecstatically, “Why this is my workshop I build puppets from living things, then I sell them to rich who pass through here. This is something that makes me money, not music.”

Fatal’s face dropped unable to comprehend what was happening.

“Oh, my god I fucking love this part, you are too stupid to see what is happening, I kill people and turn them into puppets. But, but, how could you Addison, you are too sweet. Well even that is a lie my real name is not Addison it is An-Didos, the Conductor gave it to me.”

Addison started to dance around her workshop as she started to gather a plethora of tools.

“At first I had no idea why the Conductor gave me my name but then he told me what it meant and I lost my mind, literally.” She continued to cackle as her tools were placed upon a tray next to Fatal.

“It took a lot to get me here, and now I feel like going home.”

“This is your home now sweetie, unless I decide to sell you on to someone else to pay for all the food you stole, but don’t worry you will be dead soon.”

Fatal stared at the ceiling, his eyes started to fill with tears, “I don’t want to die.”

Laughter once again spilled from An-Didos, “I try and I try but I can’t help but lie, you are not going to die, I am going to use crystals to keep you alive mentally so you can watch out of your eyes for eternity as I puppet you to sing.”

An-Didos started to place crystals around and upon Fatal, then she started to cut into him. He laid back staring at the ceiling tears in full motion down his face, incapable of feeling what was happening but shifting with each cut An-Didos made.

“I feel funny in my chest, maybe I need some rest, or maybe I am dying.”

“I told you, you won’t die. You are going to be my puppet forever. Always consciousness incapable of doing or saying what you want, but your ghost will be alive stuck in your body.”

“I don’t believe in ghosts.”

“Then to you, you are going to be dead.”

Hours of cutting and sewing as An-Didos made Fatal into her art. Then later that night she made a special stand for him in the tavern where she strung him up ready for the next day’s audience.

Ever since Fatal was strung up into the tavern it became more and more popular, bringing in visitors from the surrounding areas. Singing multiple songs on repeat.

“Look Mr. Fatal I guess you were right, music did bring me money. I feel pretty stupid now, guess I killed you for nothing, well I mean I don’t have to pay you so I guess I did it for something.”

An-Didos went back behind her bar and started to slam on it to get the attention of her crowded bar. “Everyone for the first time ever Mr. Fatal will be performing a new song never heard.”

Everyone cheered then hushed as the music began to play.

 

♪♪

Every day is the same

It’s like groundhog day

Got a feeling that I’m still living in yesterday

Everything feels strange

And it won’t go away

I’ve got a bag of my apologies I’m gonna throw away

‘Cause it’s too late

 

Every face is the same

I don’t know your name

Got a lovely personality, that’s what they say

Every day is the same

With each one more lame

Every time you try to speak to me i don’t know what to say

And it’s too late

 

Every day is the same

It’s like groundhog day

You could call me Bill Murray but I’m twice as lame

Every day is the same

And everything feels strange

Every day is the same

And everything feels strange

 

Every day is the same

And everything feels strange

And everything feels strange

And everything feels strange

And everything feels strange.

♪♪

 

The father kissed both of his kids on the head and started to leave the room.

“I love a happy ending.” His daughter said, “me too sis.”

The father smiled, turned out the light and closed the door behind him.

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