(A short horror story with themes of suicide, inspired by Nordic folklore, the nixie or nøkken)

The rain batted against Melody’s slightly opened windowpane. Autumn had conquered the summer though the warmth still lingered behind.

Melody felt the humid air as it stuck to her arms as she rested on the back of her desk chair. She had been bombarded by deadlines and essays in school, she had spent the whole summer trying to run away and soon the time would come where she had to deliver.

She tried again to focus on the work in front of her though the song from the rain wasn’t enough to soothe her.

As she grew restless, she spun in her chair, feeling a wave of energy within her. Though, she did not want to wake her parents. It had then become late past night.

Suddenly she heard it, a song that called out to her. A song that resonated with her spirits, it carried a tune that she could move her feet to. Though no words came with it, the words came to her head as if by magic.

It was not the song that was singing to her but she that was singing the song.

With the pattering of the rain, and the fallacious fiddling of the fiddle, her feet moved. In pensiveness, she exited her house. She had put on no coat and the air was still mild. She closed the door behind her and waited in place for a moment.

Melody strained her eyes as she looked at the lake across the road from the house her family lived in. She was certain that was where the fiddle was being played.

The rain clung onto her t-shirt as she walked slowly to the lake. When she reached it, she noticed a shadowy figure sitting on a wooden bench by the lake. The shadows arms moved to every sound made from the fiddles strings.

Melody walked closer and once she was close enough, the sound of the fiddle faded away.

“Who’s there?” The boy who had played the fiddle had said defensively.

“Oh, I’m sorry to disturb you, my name is Melody,” she answered.

The boy moved into the light of the streetlamp and looked up at Melody.

He didn’t seem unusual, he had long jet-black hair which was slightly waved. His skin was pale white, like a sheet of paper but tinted blue and his nose were slightly crooked, though it were small. He had piercing blue eyes that shone like white diamonds.

“Take a seat if you want,” he told her.

Melody thought for a moment, before sitting down beside him on the bench.

She looked at the fiddle he was holding in his hand, he gripped it around the neck in his right hand.

“It’s a bit late to be out playing the fiddle,” she said.

The boy nodded his head and began smiling to himself.

“I suppose it is,” he agreed.

“Well, what’s your name?” Melody asked the boy curiously.

“Nokken,” he answered.

“Why are you out here all alone?” Melody continued.

“I like the rain, it’s my favourite weather. Besides, I don’t have many friends,” Nokken replied.

Melody was taken aback by Nokken’s comment. She had plenty of friends to keep her company and far away from her schoolwork. Her parent’s always said that that was her problem.

“Do you have many friends?” Nokken asked Melody, after noticing the silence.

“Yes, I do,” Melody answered proudly.

“What’s that like?” Nokken said.

Melody could hear the glumness in his voice, stuck like glue to his trachea.

She felt slightly guilty. She didn’t want to say something that would make Nokken feel worse about his situation.

“It’s nice, I suppose. Though, my parents are always having a go at me. They give out too much homework at school and I always leave it last minute. They wish I would do it first and spend less time with my friends,” Melody told him.

“My parents are always on my case too, I’m not that smart in school and I only know how to play this fiddle and sing. My parents say being a musician won’t get me anywhere,” Nokken replied.

“But you play the fiddle so well!” Melody exclaimed excitedly. “I was rocking back and forth with irritation from doing my schoolwork earlier, but your song has completely mesmerised me. I couldn’t listen or think about anything else; I just had to come here and find out who was playing that song,” Melody continued praising Nokken.

Nokken placed the fiddle down on his lap and held the side of his face in his hand. He smiled with contentment and then looked at Melody.

“Everyone tells me I play the fiddle well in school, but it’s never meant as much to me as it does coming from you,” Nokken replied.

Melody smiled at Nokken and nodded her head.

“It was nice talking to you Nokken, but I’d better get back home now. It’s getting cold and I have so much more work to do,” Melody explained.

Nokken nodded his head back at her.

“Maybe I’ll see you here next time it rains? I’m always here when it rains,” Nokken said.

Melody smiled at Nokken.

“I’ll see you here when it rains,” she agreed, and she got up from the bench and walked slowly through the drizzling rain and back to her home.

The next time it rained, Melody was not far from where she had started. She had finished her English essay and started on her science but then there was maths and history. She had tried her hardest but there had been a song that had been deafening her. She just needed to hear it out loud again.

Finally, when the night came, she heard the song once more. The melancholic strumming of the strings from the fiddle. Just like sunlight, her body arched to the tune. She got onto her feet and moved silently through the house. The sound of the fiddle was all she could hear.

She opened the front door and the scene outside was fogged by rain.

She went into the doorway and closed the door behind her. She had forgotten her coat and goosebumps quickly raised on the arms of her skin through her thin long-sleeved shirt.

Still, she moved through the rain which was so heavy that it began filling her eyes in cups. The rain drenched her hair and made home in the canals of her ears. Melody could hear nothing but the rain flowing through her like streams and the sound of Nokken playing his fiddle. She carried on, desperate to meet Nokken once again.

As she approached the lake, Nokken’s fiddling grew sadder and slower. Every fiddle ran up her back, like bone brakers. She clawed her way to Nokken’s feet, she was a slushed tangle of mush.

“I had to hear that song again, Nokken, I can’t hear anything else besides it. It’s like it’s my song, it’s like no one’s ever known me so well,” Melody gushed.

“Hey, why are you being like that Melody?” Nokken asked and he laughed at the side of him.

His voice was drowned out to Melody who was disturbed by the sound of the rain in her ears.

“Now pick yourself up from the floor and talk to my fiddle so it has more power to write you songs,” Nokken told her.

Melody untangled herself, and with every slither her joints became more like living flesh. The rain had left her ears and had replaced her with tinnitus.

Nokken scratched his head and laughed ever so slightly at Melody.

“Now don’t do that again, Melody, you know we’re friends,” Nokken continued speaking in a charming tone.

Melody nodded her head. Her eyes glowed at him as she watched him sitting on the bench. He slowly brushed his hand against his fiddle, then began fiddling again.

Melody listened to his tune this time.

It spoke different words to her, it whispered bitterly. The rain had flooded her ears again though this time she heard nothing but the rain and no fiddle.

“I-I’m sorry Nokken,” she began speaking.

Nokken continued playing. It was as though Melody had never spoken. Melody got up from her chair, still, Nokken did not notice Melody.

“Nokken, I’m sorry,” Melody said again, “I have to go, I have so many things to do,” she continued, though the floods in her ears wiped the existence of the sound.

Melody walked though this time she did not walk towards her house.

She walked to the lake and once she entered the body, she continued walking, as though she were ready for miles.

Nokken continued fiddling his fiddle. After his song had finished, he stalked the lake. Hunting for Melody’s carcass, which he bit in his mouth and carried down under the waters with him.