If you're my age (a 90's baby in his early 30s) then you should remember how it was for music lovers before the advent of smartphones and live streaming services. I know its pretty boomer of me to say, but back in my day if we wanted to listen to our favorite songs we'd have to go to our local Target or Walmart, purchase a physical cassette tape or CD, and play it on our CD player or stereo.
We didn't have the luxury of Google Play or Spotify to browse new upcoming artists. We knew who we wanted to listen to and our "browsing" fell to either hoping to hear something new on the radio & music channels or browsing the available selections at the store and take a chance that it might be something good.
Then came the MP3, which let me tell you was a pretty big deal at the time. No more skipping tracks because either we were walking too fast and our CD player was getting bumped around or the CD itself was scratched all to hell. No more more having to switch out CD after CD to hear a variety of tracks, even with a mix-tape.
I remember wanting an MP3 player so bad, but my family wasn't able to afford one (at the time they were the new hot item, so they were pretty pricey for the average consumer). However, as luck would have it, one day I stumbled across a discarded small, black cardboard box on my way to school one day. I didn't usually pick up random objects off the ground, but something compelled me to examine it.
I picked it up and opened it to find, to my absolute surprise and delight, an almost new looking MP3 player. I looked all around to see if anyone was nearby, and pocketed it. This was like a dream come true for me at the time.
After I got home from school later that day, I went to my room and opened it up. There weren't any instructions or anything, just the MP3 player itself. It didn't even have a charger or any headphones. I looked to see if maybe there was a battery compartment but there was none, which even then I thought was weird.
Once it was done looking it over I popped in the headphones from my CD player to check out what songs the previous owner had loaded on it. In total, there were 10 untitled tracks, all by the same artist, some unnamed female pianist I'd never heard before. I was very much an alternative rock kid, but I'd also appreciated the beauty of classical music, so I sat and checked out each song.
The artist had the most beautiful voice I'd ever heard before, and I found myself laying in my bed entranced by her sound. I had never felt so good as the sound of her voice relaxed me. I felt to relaxed, that eventually her voice would lull me to sleep.
I remember fading into a beautiful slumber and dreaming of a beautiful woman. She had long raven-black hair, and wore a long white dress. She was singing to me, and I felt myself being drawn in to her. I felt so completely at peace, and was so entranced by her, that when I made my way into her arms, I never wanted to leave.
I woke up the next morning feel a strange feeling of euphoria. I'd never felt so good before. It then occurred to me that the MP3 player was still playing all of the songs on a loop. I smiled, and just kept my headphones on as I got ready for the day.
What did not occur to me was the fact that the MP3 player had been playing all night, running on I guessed some sort of battery... a battery that never died. All that was going on in my head was the feeling of falling absolutely in love with this mysterious singer. Looking back, I don't think I took those headphones off once, not for bed, not in the shower, not even at school.
The weirdest part of it was that no one questioned where I got the MP3 player, or even why I was constantly wearing the headphones. It was like nobody even realized I was wearing them at all. Another odd thing was that even though music was still constantly playing, it never interfered with concentrating on homework or conversations I'd be having.
Every night was the same dream of that same woman. As time went on, I began to notice that I was becoming weaker. Despite getting a good night's sleep every night, and feeling 100% refreshed every morning, I became less and less active during the day.
Growing concerned one day, I decided to ask my mom if she'd ever heard of the woman on the MP3 player. My mother was into the whole singer-songwriter genre, so I figured if anyone knew this woman it'd be her. When I initially asked her about her, she finally realized I'd had the headphones on.
"Wait, how long have you been listening to your CD player?" she asked. "I didn't even realize you had your headphones on. Weird."
"Actually mom," I started, as I pulled out the MP3 player.
"Where did you get that?" she asked, shocked that i had such an expensive item in my possession.
"Well, I found it a couple of weeks ago," I answered. "It was just laying outside in its box."
"And you decided to just take it?" she said, sounding disappointed. "It didn't occur to you that it might be someone else's property... property that they lost... property that you stole?" I felt myself getting annoyed, and subconsciously gripped the device in anticipation of her trying to snatch it away from me. "Ugh, whatever, just let me listen."
It was surprisingly difficult to remove the headphones. Not difficult in the sense they were attached to my head or anything, difficult in the sense that I did not want to take them off... at all. It was almost mentally and emotionally painful for me to remove them from my ears, and as I placed my hands on them, I hesitated for quite a bit of time.
"Well?" she asked impatiently. I took a deep breath and quickly removed them from my head and handed them over. She looked at my like I was stupid and placed the headphones over her ears. Almost immediately I noticed a shift in her face.
Her eyes dilated almost instantly, and a look of satisfaction came over her face. I on the other hand was getting increasingly irritable. I felt like Bilbo Baggins from The Lord of The Rings after he hands the One Ring over to Frodo. It was like I was an addict going through withdrawal, just from that small amount of time.
"Well?" I asked, annoyed.
"I don't know who this is," Mom answered, "but she has the most beautiful voice I've ever heard." Yeah, no shit, I thought. I was getting seriously impatient, and wanted it back immediately. I reached over to snatch the headphones off her head.
She quickly backed away, holding up her index finger. "Nuh uh," she said, "This isn't yours. You stole it so I'm keeping a hold of it until I find the owner." Mom had always been a shitty liar. I knew what she was really up to. She wanted to keep it for herself!
"Give it back!" I yelled, feeling intense rage like I'd never felt before.
"Who the hell do you think you're talking to like that you little shit!" she yelled back. Neither of us had ever talked to each other like this before. I felt my hand ball into a fist, and I would have certainly thrown a punch had my dad not walked in.
Obviously, he backed mom up, and I ended up getting sent to my room. Feeling so unbelievably pissed, I glared at them both, hatred burning from my eyes, and stormed off like the angry teenager that I was. For the rest of the night, I felt myself going crazy.
I dug my nails into my arms to the point of bleeding and I rocked back and forth on my bed, trying to figure out what to do. That bitch, I thought, took everything from me. I'll show her... I'll show her. Eventually, the darkest thoughts in my head began to manifest.
I waited until the middle of the night. I got up from bed, with a feeling I'd never experienced before. I felt what could only be described at a homicidal rage. I knew what I had to do get get it back... to get her back. I quietly entered the kitchen to find the biggest knife I could and gripped it, an evil smile forming over my face.
She had this coming, I thought, as I made my way to my parents' bedroom door. I stood there in the darkness, hand on the doorknob. As I planned out my attack, some of my sense started to come back to me. What was I doing?
I made the conscious decision that I was being crazy, and I needed to put the knife away before I did something stupid... but my body wouldn't move. It was like it was running on autopilot, that my mind was a prisoner of my rogue body. I kept trying and trying to walk away but it wouldn't happen.
I turned the doorknob. I have to stop, I thought to myself. This is insane! I slowly opened the door. Stop! Stop! I crept into the bedroom. My hand gripped the knife tight, as my brain screamed at my body to stop. Please! Don't do this, I pleaded with myself.
As I approached their bed, I noticed the lump of a body under the sheets. From my angle, I could tell that my mom was mounted on top of my dad. I could also hear the sounds of heavy breathing. Gross, I thought to myself as I reached my hand to the sheet.
Please don't, please don't, I thought to myself, but I eventually ripped the sheet off of my parents, and nearly vomited at the sight before me. Mom was in fact mounted onto dad... but not in the way I was expected. Deep red blood stains soaked her once white blouse as she tore my father's neck apart with her bare hands.
His lifeless body lay under her, his head barely attached as she tore into him like a wild animal. I backed away, still holding the knife, but fully in control now. She turned around and looked at me, a euphoric expression on her face.
"Its mine," she said in a flat, emotionless voice. "I thought I'd be nice and let him have a listen, but the son of a bitch wanted her all to himself." She was completely unrecognizable. Was this what had happened to me? Was this why I went absolutely insane?
"You can't have it back," she continued as she rose from the bed, beginning to approach me. I could read the expression on her face... that same homicidal rage that I had felt earlier. I needed to get out of there... so I took off.
She ran after me, screaming with rage. I had never been so scared in my life! I got to the stairs leading down when suddenly I felt her hands push against my back. I fell, tumbling violently down each step, breaking my arm and dropping the knife in the process.
I screamed in pain and fear as I watched her slowly walk down the stairs, the headphones still attached securely to her head. It took everything I had to pick myself up, but before I could run off again, she leapt at me, tackling me to the floor and pinning me down.
With one hand she gripped my throat, digging her nails into me. I could feel them tear through my skin as blood started to seep out. I tried my best get her hand off of my throat, until her other one suddenly reached over and grabbed the knife.
Adrenaline pumping, I let up on the hand choking me and grabbed the hand with the knife before she could stab me in the face. With my good arm I held off her strike, but with my broken one I tried to pry her nails from my throat as they went in deeper and deeper.
With one last burst of energy, I pushed myself to overpower her and flip her onto her back. Her hand still gripped my throat, so I plunged my knees into her gut repeatedly. Eventually she let up on my neck and the knife fell from her other hand, so I grabbed it, without thinking, and plunged the blade deep into her neck, leaving it in.
She writhed and gagged on her own blood as I stood up and backed away. She looked up at me, one final time, a look of shock and fear on her face. I then realized that she was no longer wearing the headphones. I looked at my hand, which was now holding the MP3 player, the headphones dangling at my feet.
As I realized what I was holding, I quickly threw it to the floor and stomped on it, breaking it into pieces. At the time, I thought it may have been the trauma to my head, but as soon as I finished stomping it, I looked up and saw her, the woman from my dreams, standing over my mother's fresh corpse.
Unlike my dreams, in which she was a beautiful goddess, what stood before me was a hideous monstrosity. Her long black hair was now wild and unkempt, her once smooth skin was now wrinkled and gray, and her once gorgeous face was an absolute visage of horror.
Her eyes were a pale, dead, blue, and her mouth opened wide beyond that of what a normal person should be capable of. Long sharp needle-like teeth filled her mouth/ She then began to sing, her voice just as beautiful as ever, before it became distorted. Instead of feeling a euphoric sense of peace, I felt fear... pure, unbridled fear.
The singing then shifted into a loud, piercing wail. My ears began to bleed, and I felt like I was dying. My vision blackened and my breath became short. Eventually I passed out, lying broken and bleeding on the floor. I did not dream of a beautiful woman, but of a hideous demon that tormented me until I woke up.
I found myself in a hospital bed, my throat and head bandaged. My arm was in a cast and I was attached to an IV. It then occurred to me that something was horribly wrong. It was quiet... everything was quiet. I tried to say something, but I couldn't speak at all, and the more I tried the more I could taste blood.
Tears in my eyes, I raised my hand on my unbroken arm and snapped my fingers. Nothing. There was absolute silence. I cried in pain as I continued to snap my fingers, but unable to hear anything. The last thing I ever heard, was that horrible scream.
I can no longer speak verbally. My mom damaged my throat beyond repair. Its honestly a miracle that I was even able to survive her attack. Luckily, one of our neighbors hear the sounds of screaming and called 911. I was found unconscious and injured beside my dead mother.
My father was found shortly after. It was ruled as self defense on my part, as it was clear that my mother murdered her husband and then attacked me. I made sure to not mention the fact that I grabbed the kitchen knife initially with the intent to kill them.
All these years later, I still have the nightmares. I have never seen the MP3 player ever since that night, and to my knowledge no one ever came across it. I think I made a mistake in crushing it. I think I freed whatever kind of spirit or demon is, and now she haunts my dreams.
Every night, she torments and violates me, all while singing in that beautiful voice of hers. The only time I can hear is in my dreams, and the only things I ever hear are my own screams and her voice singing along as she tortures me. I am so terrified to sleep, that I find myself staying awake as long as I can, but I can never go too long without giving in.
I don't know what became of the MP3 player, but heed my warning should you ever come across it. For your own sake, for your safety, and for your soul, don't listen to it. Don't take things that don't belong to you, and especially if you come across an old abandoned MP3 player or any other kind of musical device, walk away.
Written by NerdxCorexCreep