Challenge #02532-F342: Soul's MusicsteemCreated with Sketch.

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The devil sit down on his throne moaning of what he lost, his own pride fell apart think of the cost. Whenever or not to rise again but came walking in a old man; scratching a itch, he pulled out a golden fiddle and said “remember me bitch” -- Anon Guest

Fire on the mountain, run boys run/ Devil's in the house of the rising sun -- Human Folk Song.

Humans love to tell stories about immortals. People who made a deal with evil in order to live forever. People who can rewrite their entire bodies in a flash of pyrotechnics. People who, in a rare spate of Human insight, were cursed to live forever.

Those Humans who do manage to gain such an alleged boon have either committed a great act of heroism or a great act of evil. There are few in-between. Then there's Johnny. He's an old man, now. If you cross his path, you wouldn't bother looking at him. The only thing to make him stand out is the fact that he holds two violins. One is always in its case. That's because his second violin is pure gold.

He's had it for two centuries or more by now, going back to when the forces of evil would routinely pop up to cause trouble amongst the mortals. The forces both celestial and infernal don't interfere with mortals any more. Not since the Devil went to Georgia. There's even a song about it.

By defeating the Devil at his own game, the Devil would not take Johnny into Hell. By using both Hubris and Pride to do so, Heaven doesn't want him. So, on Earth, Johnny remains. Well... on the mortal plane, at any rate. He's had two hundred years to hone his already great playing, but he's still Human.

What does a Human do, with infinite time? What does a Human do with one excellent skill and a body that stopped ageing at the octogenarian stage? What could a Human do with the time to do anything they wanted to do?

For your education, witness a crowded transport station in the middle of essentially nowhere. It's one of those places that exist only so the working forces have somewhere to eat, sleep, and do whatever small things that relieve the monotony of their work. Young and old, the masses wait for their mass transit. Planning to make it through another day, with nothing more in their minds.

An old man sits on a bench. Looking at him, you would think he's an old man with nothing better to do. Then he raises his violin to his chin, and Plays. He doesn't play to the mood of the station, he plays to alleviate it. Johnny knows his stuff. He's had two hundred years to learn it. He knows every way to pluck at heartstrings. He knows every local song. He knows every melody by heart.

Those nearby stop talking so they can listen. Some start to sing along. Those around them notice, and follow suit. Soon, the entire station has voices lift in song. Some dance. Some weep. Many laugh. Then the transport comes and the mood breaks like glass, and the people at the station file through doors and go on with another day.

Except...

This is a day that the entire workforce is not worn down by the grinding gears of commercialism. This is a day that people smile without forcing it. This is a day when hearts are light. On this day, the world is made just a little better. Their hearts hold a little spark. A little rebellion. An inspiration...

They pay the mood forward, practicing random acts of kindness. Committing senseless acts of beauty. Someone sings an aria in a tunnel, and the echoing melody lifts so many souls closer to the gates of heaven.

On this day, another immortal lingers. They size each other up like true villains, and stare each other down like cats.

Johnny smiled. "Longinus. Been a while."

"What are you doing. What are you doing? It's pointless. You can't gain their favour. You can't earn their condemnation. Why?"

"Because beauty deserves to exist," said Johnny. "Because the Devil won't take me, and Heaven don't want me. Because that sunovabitch downstairs don't need more souls. Because I believe in the good of the world. Because it needs a way to make it happen. Because I can."

Longinus scoffed. "Fine then. If you think you can... play something for me. Play me something that makes me believe what you believe."

Johnny smirked like the evil little bastard he'd once been when he out-played the Devil. "I've had time to learn a few tricks, old man." He unpacked the golden violin, licked his lips and raised his bow... and played a song that hadn't been heard for almost two thousand years. A simple lullabye. A song made to give peace to a crying child.

A song used by Roman mothers to calm their babies.

For the first time in two thousand years, Longinus wept. For the first time in five hundred years, he mourned. He fell to his knees, holding himself and crying out for his loss. His trembling lips formed words that had not been uttered in centuries.

The last note faded with only two immortals to hear it. Johnny's eyes weren't exactly dry, either.

"Well, old man?" said Johnny.

"...te vincere," rasped Longinus. "Teach. I will learn."

Johnny smirked. "Devil ain't the only one who collects souls."

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / evitte83]

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Poor Johnny must be missing his wife and kid. Interesting character you made him XD