The Singing Man

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about inaction.... view prompt



I have a friend named Diego. I met him in freshman year of highschool. We were both starting at a school where we knew no one. We both moved from dangerous places for a better life. Although we had the same reason to move, Diego’s story was much different. He grew up in a strange neighborhood. He told me all about it just yesterday night when we drove past his neighborhood and I heard someone singing. We stayed up until one o’clock in the morning to finish our college essay and we decided to go out and get ice cream from the twenty hours McDonald’s drive thru. Yes, we are in senior year of high school. Four crazy years. Anyways back to the story.

His neighborhood. One could say conditions were ... unfavourable, just as they were in my neighborhood, but they were very different from mine. This was because every night for the last fourteen years, the Singing Man came. The Singing Man was a strong, tall and energetic man. He sang deafeningly. His voice sounded like that of an old witch. Diego told me the first victim of the Singing Man was a kind, beautiful, young lady. She was his victim for thirteen years, but she gave up eventually. What he did to his victims, he sang to them every night about how much he hated them. What craziness he caused! Residents of the neighborhood were in complete distress. They never got any sleep. They always missed sleep. 

Now, One might wonder why the residents didn’t just ask him politely to stop. One might wonder why they hadn’t called the police on him. One might wonder why they didn’t just ask him to come sing during the day. The truth was they did try. They tried when he first started. Soon the residents came to know that the police were on his side and refused to arrest him or make him stop. The police didn’t care about the residents or their struggle. They cared about protecting him. They cared about letting him do what he wanted. They cared about letting him torture that poor, young lady. That was the story about the police, but the residents also stood up to him. At first, when people asked him politely to stop he would lose his temper. No one dared to stand up to him after one Incident. 

The Incident that occurred went as follows: it was about an old lady who had a dying husband. 

She asked, “Can you please quiet down sir? My husband is resting and he is very ill. He really needs to rest - please quiet down.” 

“Clearly you don’t care that I am busy torturing this young lady. How will she know how much I hate her if I don’t come sing to her every day! I need to torture her,” he responded. 

The old lady responded by saying, “You sing to her every night, she has surely gotten the message by now. Please quiet down sir.”  

This enraged the Singing Man so he picked up his guitar and chased the lady back into her home all while threatening to beat her with the guitar. Anyone who can threaten to beat an old lady is evil. They are wrong. The residents were scared. 

Most residents were living a nightmare because they could not sleep and have dreams, they could not sleep and have nightmares so they had to live their nightmare. They had to live it every day. Yes they suffered every day. So yes, although most residents were living a nightmare, there were two residents who were generally unaffected by the Singing Man. They worked during the night and slept during the day. One of them was named Keith. Keith was the good one. He felt so bad for the beautiful, young lady. He felt so bad for the rest of the residents. He wanted to put an end to it, but he didn’t.

Keith knew that the Singing Man preferred him and Jake. Jake was the other man who worked the night shift. Keith knew that if he and Jake asked the Singing Man to stop, he wouldn’t get angry, but Keith also knew the Singing Man wasn’t going to stop. He thought it was pointless to ask him to stop. 

Yes, Keith was the good one. Imagine how the bad one was. Jake was the bad one. Jake did not care for the rest of the residents. He thrived off of their torture. On his days off from the night shift, Jake often even encouraged the Singing Man asking him to sing louder and louder. He sat on his lawn chair with popcorn watching throughout the night. 

Back to Keith. Keith was faced every day with the ethical dilemma of helping out the rest of the residents and asking the Singing Man to stop. At last … he was too scared. In the end he chose to not take a stand. He decided it wasn’t his problem - the rest of the residents can figure it out by themselves. 

Slowly, Jake and Keith watched as the rest of the neighbors slowly went crazy. The beautiful, young lady took her life, much to Jake’s delight. The Singing Man moved on to his next victim, an old man who was a cancer survivor. Jake was so happy from the condition of his poor neighbors. Keith on the other hand, regretted his decision. He wished he stood up for the rest of the residents. Now there was nothing more he thought he could do...

Some of the residents, like Diego, escaped. They started a better life in a different neighborhood, leaving the trouble of their past behind, leaving other people to deal with it. New people came, and went insane and died of insanity. No one did anything. The Singing Man never stopped with the incessant singing. He went on day after day. Some residents thought as though there was no escape, as though they were stuck, with nowhere to run...

June 11, 2020 19:51

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18:03 Jun 18, 2020

This is a great story, it feels almost like a myth or a parable! My only suggestion would be to focus on the Singing Man from the very start rather than starting with Diego. I look forward to reading more of your stories! :)


Arvind Jassar
15:39 Jun 19, 2020

Thank you so much! Thanks for the tip!


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