Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.
HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.
Please enjoy an excerpt below from Crescendo of Darkness.
“A Whisper in the Air” by Jeremiah Donaldson
Employees at a job find solace in playing music on break, but a haunted melody draws in more than just new musicians.
Jim pushed the steel door open and exited the building. The evening breeze made him shiver. He pulled his flannel tighter while people poured from the doorway behind him. They spread out into the parking lot full of vehicles and lights from all the new hires that had just started. ‘Newbies’ was the preferred term, and it was Jim’s turn to be one, again. The last call center had gotten old. Simply walking through those doors had started to put a cloud over his day that was instantly gone the second he went outside.
He scanned the parking lot for any of the various people that he knew, but deep shadows were everywhere, so he waded through the crowd.
Bass from someone’s vehicle thundered with higher pitched sounds underneath. A word or two from conversations around him were audible as he passed car after car. Cigarette smoke and vapor floated across headlights as if fog had moved into the area as it was known to do on cool nights. He detoured around a small circle of people bouncing a hackysack between them in an empty spot.
Then something stood out in the din around him.
An acoustic guitar was picked and tuned for a second before the player started an upbeat rock melody that Jim didn’t recognize. The notes made it to him through the clash of sounds, but were barely a whisper. His friends would be in that group
He tried to focus on the sound and let it lead him to its source, but it came from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Could more than one player be strumming the same tune? He doubted it, especially since the notes sounded as if they were being made up on the spot. It made him want to bob along as he walked, but the tune needed some drums. And bass. And a singer, belting out a gravely song.
Jim’s fingers moved of their own accord as he memorized the notes being played, imagining himself plucking the bass lines along with the guitarist. The rhythm put a bounce in his step until he was almost skipping along while playing air bass. Then the notes began to repeat themselves and he thought he had it…
“What the fuck are you doing?”
A chorus of laughter sounded from Jim’s left.
He turned to his friend’s voice before he realized the tune had stopped. “Shit, there you are. I’ve been looking the place over for you.”
Arek blew out a cloud of vapor. “We’ve been standing here, watching you bounce across the parking lot like you’re listening to a techno version of ‘Little Green Bag’.”
“I was listening to whatever you all were playing. That’s how I found you. That would be a pretty good song if it had something else going for it.”
Arek pointed a thump at Stan who was putting a new string on a guitar. “You didn’t hear us playing shit. Numbnut snapped my ‘E’ string on first break.”
To read the rest of this story and thirteen
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Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Let music unlock your fear within.