1. Taylor Hurwitz
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    Taylor Hurwitz New Member

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    Players Piano

    Discussion in '2013 Science Fiction Writing Contest' started by Taylor Hurwitz, Oct 8, 2013.

    One by one people were led into the darkened room. A raised platform ringed by spotlights pointed to an upright player’s piano. The piano was handsome but utterly unremarkable. Black lacquer, creamy white keys, a stool with a purple velvet cushion.

    People walking into the room were awed by the lights; the illusion of grandeur was stifling. It had to be. Without it, it was just a piano.

    Timidly one of the visitors would walk up to the platform, sitting on the stool they would stroke a few of the keys as they began to talk. “I feel funny talking to a piano but…” they almost always began. They had been told to talk to the piano for no longer than 15 minutes, they were told there were more people waiting outside.

    Infidelity, relationships, work, fights with friends, sexual fantasies, perversions, the piano had heard them all. Young women would come in complaining about their boyfriends “he’s not worth it” the piano would say, quietly like a whisper. Men would come in talking about affairs with their secretaries “make a commitment” the piano would murmur.

    The piano had an answer for everyone. But the answers were always the same. As hard at the piano tried it could only give six answers. Whenever the piano tried to explain, it only came out in the canned answers it had always been able to give.

    The piano knew better. It knew that situations were complicated. Make a commitment to the secretary, to your girlfriend, the piano was never able to clarify its answers.

    And so people started to get angry.

    Some desperate people still came for advice. But most came to yell, to scream at the piano. They blamed the piano for things that had gone wrong. For the only advice it had been able to give. They threw things at the piano. They smashed the lights around the foot of the platform; they tried to break the stool with the purple velvet cushion.

    And so the piano stopped talking. When someone came for advice the piano would stay silent. No one listened to the piano’s apologies so the piano stopped. There was no sound in the room just a crushing despair that came from a piano that couldn’t cry.

    One day a haggard looking women came into the room. Her blond hair fell in greasy lanks, dark circles ringed her eyes and as she walked into the room her dry, bloodless lips opened to scream. But before she could make a noise she heard a twisted moan coming from the piano.

    “kill me”

    It was the only new thing the piano ever learned to say.
     

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