Aphelion Issue 245, Volume 23
November 2019
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Karl Miller

by Ron Larson
From a story by Erckman Chatrian

Karl Miller had studied the violin for six years.
He'd also studied Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven,
But it was to no avail, so now he was in tears.
His mentor, Albert, said: "Karl, you lack inspiration.

"What you play is both good and original,
But what is original is not good,
And what is good is not original,
And I'd like to see you lose some weight, if you could."

Albert continued: "Matter oppresses the mind.
You need to take some time off and eat less."
So Karl took his advice and headed for the Alpines.
Then he climbed them and hoped for creativeness.

In six months, Karl lost weight but gained nothing else.
Inspiration seemed to be his bitter enemy.
Then Karl Miller achieved great prestige and wealth,
After staying in a remote inn in Southern Germany.

Karl thought the innkeeper's face looked familiar,
But its color was bad, and it looked very bony.
Then while Karl was in bed, he was sent into rapture,
When he heard music that evoked a memory.

Abe Melchor had been sentenced to death years ago,
As he listened, Karl knew the innkeeper was this man.
He also knew Melchor had had escaped from death row,
So Karl Miller put into motion a clever plan.

By stealth, he scored scores of Melchor's great scores,
And soon Karl was an international sensation.
After his concerts he was met with "encore! encore!"
Yet, his mentor had feeling of some trepidation.

Then Karl learned that six months after Melchor's escape,
He had been captured and quickly put to death.
Karl Miller deemed this great news, but yet not so great.
Soon Melchor's ghost caused Karl to draw his last breath.

© 2016 Ron Larson

Ron Larson is a retired community college professor (Ph.D.), and one of his hobbies is writing all kinds of poetry. The above story is from his book, 66 Classic Horror Stories Outlined in Rhyme. The book is available online. His website is: ronlarsonclassic.com. His email address is: patronlarson@gmail.com.

Find more by Ron Larson in the Author Index.

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