Curtain Call

Stop. Stop playing. Get out of my head, thought Alyssa.

What could she do to get rid of a song? It was always going through her head over and over and over again and wouldn’t leave.

She tried to use another song to push it out, but the new song simply replaced the old one. What sort of hell is it when a human brain insists upon sabotaging itself with a catchy tune?

Normally, it wouldn’t be an issue. A song would live in her head for a few hours, maybe days, then move along as a new one occupied its space. But this time was different.

This time, a catchy tune meant a death sentence.

Nobody quite understood it, but music had become fatal. Scientists were liking it to prions, where a misfolded protein caused other proteins to misfold, ultimately leading to the death of a living thing. Only now, music in the brain was slowly overloading the nervous systems of people. Songs would take root and grow, commanding more and more of the person’s thoughts until their brains stopped telling them to even breathe.

Just last week she had watched in horror as a neighbor died in their backyard belting out Joan Jett at the top of her lungs before suddenly falling completely silent.

Alyssa had always loved music. It was only fitting, then, that Sondheim would be the death of her.


The writing prompt today is “Musical.”

Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels


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