[NOTE: this is the fifth chapter (click here for the first, here for the second, here for the third, and here for the fourth) of a psychological horror story based on an audio film of the same name by my musician friend, Cat Corelli, something I wrote up an analysis for; you can learn more about that here. Before you begin reading, though, TRIGGER WARNING: as a horror story, this one has some graphic content of a violent and sexual nature; so if you’re one of my readers with C-PTSD or other forms of psychological trauma, you may want to skip this one. As for you braver souls, though, read on…]
The next thing Alice (still in Lily’s consciousness and feeling herself having gone, so to speak, further and further down the rabbit hole) heard was an elegant piano waltz. The notes were punctuated with such crisp precision, one would think Glenn Gould had risen from the grave.
Still, there was an eerie sadness in the melody.
Lily opened her eyes and saw herself in the middle of a playground in that Austrian grassland, with the Alps not too far away. The skies were a cloudless blue. Her father was in lederhosen again. She, in the dirndl, was physically about nineteen years old, though in her cute pigtails and childlike manner, she psychologically seemed to be about six.
The piano player was a man in a cowboy hat, plaid collared shirt, and jeans. He seemed charming to her. She felt an urge to get up.
“Daddy, I wanna dance,” she said.
“Darling, sweetheart,” Danny said in his fake German accent. “You can’t be doing that.” He, back in the Nazi uniform, pushed her back onto her swing.
“But why, Daddy?”
“This dance requires both legs, darling.”
She looked down at herself, and saw only one leg. She began sobbing, then said, “But, who cares?”
“Well, people will be watching.”
“Tell them it’s OK,” she said, stopping her crying. “They have to understand it’s OK.”
“I can’t risk my reputation,” he said.
“Daddy, you’re a moron.”
He looked down at her with threatening eyes.
The piano man stopped playing, got up, and walked over to her and her father, who was now in lederhosen again.
“Hey, howdy, man,” the pianist said, in a southern accent so overdone it could only have been fake. “I’m Morgan.” He reached out his hand to shake her father’s.
“Howdy to you, Morgan,” her father said, shaking his hand and genuinely pleased to meet him. “Nice to meet you. I’m Dan. Daniel Torrance.”
“Nice to meet you, Danny Torrance. May I call you ‘Danny’? Like The Shining Danny?”
“What’s The Shining?” Torrance asked.
“Oh, forget it,” the would-be southerner said. “You don’t have it anyway.” He paused, looking down at Lily. “I want to ask you something, man.”
“Talk to me.”
“I’ve been playing that waltz for years. Kids always dance to it. Ha! My lil’ Jack and Jill over there…” he pointed to his twins, his ten-year-old son and daughter “…were dancing to it just now. Dancin’ ’til they done got dizzy, that’s how they danced.”
“Those two blondes?” Danny asked, eyeing the two kids lewdly.
“Yeah,” Morgan said. “Sweet kids. I love them, man.” He paused and looked at them with a similarly eerie lewdness, then back at Lily the same way. “Your lil’ girl didn’t dance. Why? All kids have fun dancing to my waltz.”
“Well…” Danny began.
“Tell me,” Morgan almost commanded.
“There’s a problem. She thinks she has only one leg.”
“Jesus Christ! How come?” Morgan looked down at Lily and ogled her two legs.
She also looked down at herself; she smiled to see both of them there again. Then she thought, Wait a minute: I have one leg if Daddy says I have only one?
“I don’t know, man,” Danny said. “I keep saying she’s wrong, but she won’t listen.”
“Strange world,” Morgan said. “Do you play the banjo by chance, Danny? You seem like the type who might.”
“Why would I play the banjo, of all the low-class instruments?” Danny said, offended. “It’s the kind of instrument a nigger would play. I’d be risking my reputation if I played that.” He was in his SS uniform again.
“Daddy, you’re a moron,” Lily said.
“One more word of lip from you, young lady, and you’ll wish you’d kept your mouth shut!” He scowled down at her with Goebbels’s face again. She recoiled, shaking.
“Well, I gotta say you know jack about niggers and banjos,” Morgan said, now a black man. “And you’d better change your attitudes, Danny. ‘Cause you don’t wanna mess with niggers in the South.”
“Says who?” Danny said, in lederhosen again and looking like himself.
“Says Morgan Freeman,” Morgan said, now looking like the actor, but still with the ridiculously fake southern accent. “But you don’t have The Shining thing anyways, so you won’t get it.”
Lily looked up at him, excited to see him looking like the movie star in the cowboy hat and jeans. “Oh! That’s coool! So you’re, like, Morgan Freeman from the movies?”
“Yeah, pretty girl,” ‘Freeman’ said, eyeing her lewdly again.
“So, maybe you can give me two legs so I can dance to your waltz…could you?” She pawed at her legs, to feel only one.
Her father, in the SS outfit again and looking like Goebbels, scowled at her, “Lily! You can’t be doing that! You’re supposed to have only one leg!”
“What is the problem with you, Danny?” ‘Freeman’ asked. “Why can’t you let your kid have both legs? I thought you said she only thought she had one leg. She really don’t!”
“Yeah! Please, Daddy!”
“Well,…” her father said, then leaned over to whisper in ‘Freeman’s’ ear, “Because if she has both, she’ll misuse them.”
“Oh, but how?” Morgan asked, white again, and smirking.
Her father whispered again, softer, “By spreading her legs before other men!”
Now both men smirked while looking at her…who had both legs again.
“So, why can’t I have both legs, Daddy?” she asked, feeling her leg shrink away yet again.
“Strange world, indeed,” Morgan said.
“I just can’t risk my reputation,” Danny said again.
Moron, she thought.
“Oh, that’s too bad,” Morgan said. Lily looked up at him. Now he looked like Donald Trump in that cowboy hat. “You know, if you weren’t his daughter, I’d probably be dating you.”
She cringed at the sound of those words.
“You know, maybe we could allow her to have both legs,” Danny said, smirking.
They all looked down at her, and indeed, she had both legs again.
The men grabbed her.
She had a dizzy spell. She felt herself falling down that rabbit hole. Further and further down. It was pitch black all around her.
Then, an ever-so-slight amount of light allowed her to get a sense of her surroundings.
She looked up at the sky. Now it was night. The sky was starless and black, for there was a new moon, and the pine trees were so tall all around her that they blocked out any possible starlight. The pines stood tall…then she did fall.
She shook as she felt Danny and Morgan on top of her, tearing off her dirndl.
They’re both beneath my skin, she thought as she felt them entering her.
As the men were panting and having her, she heard a familiar voice call out to her.
It hissed, “!yliL, yliL…yliL”
As the men shook and stabbed inside her, she looked around, trying to find the source of the voice.
“.doog od uoy fi emit erom eno em raeh lliw uoY”
Lily’s head swung left and right, following the voice as spectators would watch a tennis ball in play. The men’s sweat and saliva were dripping on her skin.
They’re both beneath my skin.
“.dab od uoy fi semit erom owt em raeh lliw uoY”
Am I doing bad now? Lily thought, since she felt no pain with the men inside her. Numbness was a protective shield, as she’d learned years ago.
The Mystery Girl ended with “.thgin dooG”
Lily lay there, catatonic on the grass, as the men zipped up their pants.
“As you can see,” Danny said, smiling, “she does have her uses.”
With her eyes closed, she felt a man’s foul beer breath by her face.
“Time to wake up, pretty girl,” that familiar, fake southern accent grunted in her left ear again.
She opened her eyes and saw Roy Torrance in the cowboy hat, standing next to Nazi Danny.