by Hansel Figueroa
It’s past midnight. The only sounds I hear are the cars passing below on the street. Even though I’m in bed and feel exhausted, I can’t fall asleep.
Then, a new sound appears. It’s the faint sounds of an accordion. I don’t believe it at first, but the melody continues to creep into my room. I get up and reach the window. I see a silhouette standing on the street corner playing the instrument. I rub my eyes, thinking I’m imagining this.
I’m not… Or at least I don’t think I am. The man playing the accordion is still out there.
My mother told me he only appears to those who’ve wronged him. She told me the horrors he’d inflict on his victims. I didn’t do anything to him! I know I didn’t. My mind conjures escape routes, and then I remember my mother’s words: “Longer the hunt, the slower the kill.”
My heart beats faster. My mind races. The melody grows louder and louder. As I imagine my impending doom, there’s a knock at the door. It stops me. My mouth goes dry. Sweat spills down my brow. There’s another knock, followed by another.
He’s come for me! My god, he’s come for me. I don’t want to answer the door, but I know if he wants me, he’ll get to me. I open the door slowly, only to find Alexis standing in the hallway. She asks me to sign a petition.
I shake as I grab the pen and add my name onto the stack of papers on her clipboard.
“Thank you,” Alexis says.
I ask, “Did… did you hear that outside?”
“Someone playing the accordion.”
“No,” she chuckles.
Any trepidation I felt slowly dissipates. “You didn’t hear an accordion playing?”
Alexis shakes her head and my fears subside. She mentions, “But I did see a guy standing outside on the corner like 10 minutes ago.” My fear billows inside. “Anyways, have a good night,” Alexis says, walking away from my door.
The accordion sounds creep into my room once more with more intensity. My worries roar inside me as the door closes. My heart races again. My head won’t stop spinning. I stuff a duffle bag with clothes. I throw on a sweater and sneakers. I grab the duffle bag with the intent of running and never looking back. I pray to whatever deity listening that I live.
Like a mad man, I attempt to bolt out of my door, but, a broad figure blocks my exit.
It’s him—the Accordion Man.
Hansel Figueroa is a Bronxite with a BA in Media & Communications. He has been published in Johnson & Wales University’s student newspaper, the Campus Herald. He also graduated from the school as summa cum laude. Interested in art and culture, this eclectic writer hopes to churn out tales and stories that would’ve held his interest as a child.