Bear and Mouse: The Case of The Grave Composition

Bear and Mouse: The Case of The Grave Composition

A Story by M.A.Alexander

Bear and Mouse help search for a missing musician while on holiday in Vienna


“The sun came up with no conclusions, the flowers sleeping in their beds” - Road to Joy, Bright Eyes, 2005

May 2056

Sunday 02:05

Holz Residence

Wolkersdorf District, Greater Vienna

Inside an attic study surrounded by loose sheet music and mugs crusty with coffee residue sat Henry Holz, whispering to himself by the light of his desk lamp.

“‘I feel the brush of fingertips, as gentle as a lover’s,’” He mumbled to himself.

Henry scratched the words onto blank leaves of manuscript paper holding his pen like a dagger, his free hand a claw on the sheet; creasing it with the force of its grip.

“‘Rub greedily against the twitching surface of my brain.’”

There was an urgency to his voice, a ragged hurry that pulsated throughout his body, cramping his muscles as he strained to bid them into motion. On the edge of the desk a digital metronome counted out a four-four beat.

“‘What self-made villainy has choked me, on this day like many others?

 What foul betrayal has my mind made, to rob myself again?’”

Henry grabbed the side of his head with one of his contorting hands, its fingers pale like the ivory of the keys on the piano he kept downstairs. Pressing hard on his temple he tried to contain the frantic clamouring within while his other hand reached across the table towards a glass of red wine. His entire arm shook as if the bones beneath were battling against restraints and his rigid fingers fumbled at the rim of the wineglass until they failed entirely. The delicate thing fell but did not break, a blunt clink echoed throughout Henry’s brain, and the red inside the glass spread across the table hungrily, seeping over leaves of sheet music and leaving behind islands of deep burgundy.

“Make it stop.” Whispered Henry Holz before his vision gave in to silent darkness.

Tuesday 12:07

A small cafe on the edge of town

Wolkersdorf District, Greater Vienna

Bear sat with a plate of egregiously large bratwurst before him, one of the sausages firmly in hand, his face a beacon of euphoria like he hadn’t expressed in a long time. The broad man’s usually flat, nonsense proof cheeks bulged out like delighted hamster pouches full of meat and sauerkraut and his traditionally flinty eyes twinkled with joy as he munched.

He’d needed this thought Jackie as she watched in amused silence, they both had. After the séance trouble in London and the vampire situation in Barcelona it felt like things were escalating, becoming stranger and more dangerous all the time. Years ago when they just started digging into the transmundane crevices of the world things seemed simple and almost dream like; the supernatural was strange but also pliable. These last few months however the jagged edges of those dreams had become more and more apparent and the deeper the duo dug the less amenable those places became to their meddling.

Mouse looked at the handgun hanging from a holster on Bear’s torso; a precaution they had never felt the need to take before Barcelona. Maybe it was a sign of the times, or maybe it had just been a rough few months. Perhaps it really had always been like this and the reality was only now catching up with their almost bottomless enthusiasm. Maybe their passion was just becoming work.

It did pay well though, she thought. The money from the last job and a few string-tugs at old family connections secured them a much needed holiday in Austria where Mouse could rest her weary telepathic mind, its usually jumpy childlike mien having been overloaded by increasingly dangerous encounters, and where Bear could stuff his face until he forgot about the danger and the terrible creatures who could bring it down so swiftly and efficiently.

“You’re not eating.” Bear said when he finally found a pause in his rhythmic ingestion of Austrian beer and meat.

“It’s ok, I’m filling up just watching you.” Replied Mouse, fidgeting with her cup of tea; a delicate porcelain thing much like her and much again like her in how its olive green decoration matched the colour of her summer dress.

“It’s good.” Bear stated, sausage once again in hand.

“I know, but I’d rather something lighter.”

“Good luck with that here.”

“I’ll manage,” Jackie said, “I’ve seen salads here and there.”

Bear grunted disapprovingly, his brief moment of eloquence lost below an undertow of food and drink once more.

“They have delicious pastries,” said Jacqueline Mouse to nobody in particular as her gaze wandered over the city outskirts in the distance, “I had them here when I was a child.”

To the north the township stretched out, down narrow streets flanked by powder blue and sugar white houses which had stood here probably since the Middle Ages. From where they sat, however, just one turn of the head changed the horizon to the sprawling, grasping, skyline of Vienna and the highway arteries which snaked out from inside it into the formerly rural town.

Jackie sighed to let out the tension building in her chest and centred her thoughts. Things were always like this, surely, always changing, always moving, always growing larger and arguably better. In another fifty years the town, its houses, playgrounds and gothic churches will be swallowed up by the city too, she thought, though hopefully the pastries would remain the same.

The tinkling of the little bell on the shop door beckoned Bear and Mouse inside; the former, having run out of food and drink, now bore a solemn scowl. The latter, having run out of energy to brood, skipped cheerily up to the counter with their pay where the cashier was speaking with a policeman.

“What are you good for then?” Said the woman behind the counter in a thick German voice, one bony hand scratching at her frazzled auburn hair in agitation.

“We have done all we can, Frau Holz, but it’s been a week.” Replied the policeman.

“I don’t care if it has been a year, do your job!” Exclaimed the woman in reply.

“We have done all we can.” The man repeated. “All the evidence points to your husband having simply run away.”

The lady Holz stuttered in anger, her words tripping over her clenched teeth and popping uselessly against her lips.

“Henry would not do something like that.” She finally hissed. “Your evidence is wrong.”

“I’m sorry mein Frau but we’ve done all we can.” Asserted the policeman for a third, and final, time and with a curt promise to let her know if her “situation changed” he left the cafe; nodding to Bear and tipping his hat to Maus on the way out.

The investigator duo paid in silence as the willowy lady fumbled gracelessly with the till, as frustrated as she was helpless, as furious as she was hopeless.

“Mein Frau,” said Bear when she handed him the receipt, “tell us about your husband.”

Tuesday 13:37

Inside the Holz home

Greater Vienna

Jackie tugged at her olive cloche, pulling its rim over her eyes against the summer sun as she examined the Holz homestead. It was a square, eggshell white house with slightly rusted fencing and microscopic cracks along its concrete which hinted at the age of the district and the history of the lives therein.

“Your garden is lovely.” Jackie said as Mrs. Holz led them down the narrow driveway, past meticulously trimmed hedges and blooming azaleas.

“It was a hobby, I made him do it when I was not working. To keep him doing something.” Frau Holz said, stopping to admire a particularly lush bed of flowers. “Henry hates gardening, but he is much better at it than me.”

Bear stooped down low, the entire six foot three of him craning over the pink and purple blossoms, his black suit stretching as he took in the refreshing fragrance. He nodded to himself, then to his hostess, who beckoned for the pair to come inside the house.

There was a rush of wind inside of Jackie’s skull as her hand brushed against the burnished wood door and she stumbled slightly backwards, right into Bear behind her.

“Is everything alright?” Frau Holz asked.

Jacqueline held up a finger as if to ask for a moment but before she could say anything the aura of the place seeped into her mind, behind her eyes and into her conscious thoughts. She gripped the door frame for balance and in doing so Mouse opened herself up to feeling the frequency of the place.

She was faintly aware of Bear still holding her from behind, and heard the muffled sound of Frau Holz’s voice, but all around her a spectral pall had settled on the garden and with it the colours of the afternoon had drained, replaced by navy blue and midnight mist like on a cold September night. Above her constellations raced against the sky in eldritch rhythms and on the ground the flowers swayed in tune inside their beds, their shades of pink and lilac as bright as beacons in the dark. Mouse pulled away from her companion’s hold and crossed back to the entrance to the driveway, to the rusty iron gate which creaked so loud it drowned the rest of the noise around her. The hinges sang a melancholy tune sending goosebumps up her arms with every step until she reached it. Then it stopped. The gate was closed and right behind it were the ghostly footprints of a heavy boot, trails of wispy smoke rising from the indentation.

There was a rasp of hollow breath behind her and Jacqueline turned on her heel to see the reaching hand of a haggard, harrowed corpse, a trail of vapor rising from its rotted teeth, its skin as midnight blue as the surroundings, the sockets where its eyes should be empty save for a vast and hungry darkness.

‘...I could have been a famous singer...’” Said the corpse, its mottled clothes rotting in real time before Jackie, its hand just inches from her face.

‘...if I had someone else’s voice.’” It breathed.

Jackie tried to weave behind the thing but it seemed to loom over her however she turned and as another moment slid by languidly, like a shadow of a closing door across the floor, the ghostly corpse made contact with her head, its clammy hand resting on her skin.

Mouse shouted, a jumbled mess of images rushing through her brain, and shoved at the corpse with all the force she had. At the instant of the impact the onlookers outside the ethereal glamour, Bear and the Frau Holz, could see the hazy apparition of the spectral man, wavering in the summer sun among the well-kept hedges.

“Henry?” Frau Holz asked, and the thing turned its head one hundred and eighty degrees in its socket.

“Make it stop.” It rasped as it recognised her voice and began walking backwards, all of its body save for its head still facing the wrong way.

It took a few perfectly agile steps towards Frau Holz before Bear removed the pistol from inside his jacket and fired. With a dull puff and a pop the bullets disappeared into its face and came to a stop there, still visible inside the semi-transparent skull, suspended in its ethereal body as if inside a block of gelatine.

“Make it stop.” The ghost pleaded, no longer moving forward as the rest of its body spun about on the axis of its neck to face Bear. It gouged a bullet from its head and examined the slug with hollow eye sockets; its face was curiously melancholy when it looked up from the bullet to its wife, its skull twisted into a pleading, sorrowful expression.

Jackie moved towards the ghost while it was distracted. There was a sound like distant bird calls and she saw a massive flock of ravens circle the towers and spires of Vienna far behind her. She reached out to the spectral Henry Holz and made contact with its shimmering shape, willingly this time, channelling what strength she had to dissipate the thing. It tried to resist but Jacqueline wouldn’t let it; her concentration narrowed to a pinprick thrust of force and letting out a pent up gasp of exertion she drove this mental spear into the centre of the apparition, driving it from the mortal plane in a whooshing rush of wind.

Tuesday 15:37

Inside the Holz home

Greater Vienna

It took some time to settle Mrs. Holz’s nerves, and even longer to convince the police who arrived quickly after gunfire was heard that everything, including Bear’s paperwork for the weapon, was in order.

Once Frau Holz had regained her composure she took to busying herself in the kitchen. Ignoring Mouse’s insistence that hospitality was unnecessary the beleaguered woman distracted, perhaps even relaxed, herself by going about the mundane preparation of dessert and coffee.

Inside a cozy living room Mouse sat on a large, well fluffed, couch with her legs curled up under her body. In truth she was exhausted, it had taken a lot to send the confused shade away she now reclined with her eyes closed listening to Bear doing his usual preliminary research.

“A coven east of Salzburg had ties to here, maybe it's witches?” Bear said, scrolling through information on his data pad.

“It’s never witches.” Said Mouse as she rubbed her forehead just above the eyes.

From his seat in the corner of the room, on a stool opposite a grand piano, Bear looked up to see how Mouse was doing. She had laugh lines, prominent but not too deep, which ran down her angular face and framed her high cheekbones in a way that made her look adult yet cheerful. He considered the weary expression on that usually playful face before deciding to go on with his work.

“Two missing persons reports in the last week,” Mused Bear, “and dozens more over the last ten years. But in a city as large as Vienna that’s not surprising, the chances of a pattern or a lead are slim and if we pick the wrong one to follow we could end up tracking heroin junkies down inner city alleyways with no ghost or demon to be found.”

“How boring.” Jacqueline said.

“Indeed.” Replied her partner.

“There are many old graveyards too.” Frau Holz noted from the doorway, leaning on the frame with a distracted gaze. “They say some are haunted, but Henry never put much faith in superstition.”

Bear and Mouse looked at each other, unsure of how to reply, but their hostess continued on, alleviating them of the responsibility.

“It was all about his own hard work, not luck or prayers or fairy tales. He just wanted to make something of his own that was appreciated, to write music for other people, to show his talent.”

“This was his?” Asked Bear, pointing to the grand piano.

“He’s had it since he was a young man. When we first got together he worked some menial job but always assured me he would move on to creative pursuits once he sold a single composition to justify it.” Frau Holz moved over to the instrument, a well-used age worn thing of rich black wood and yellow bronze.

“When he dropped into a deep depression and lost his will to live all that kept him here was me, and the promise that someday he would make us both proud by having his work recognized.” She ran her hands along the top of the piano, its polished surface smooth enough to slide her skin across.

“That’s not vanity, he told me so himself.” Added Frau Holz. “And he was good too, I feel I can be impartial enough to say that. Though I’m afraid the recognition never came after all.” She turned to Mouse and addressed her next question to her directly.

“Tell me Frau Mouse, does that thing we saw outside mean that my husband is dead?”

“I don’t know.” Mouse said as she tried to sift through the cavalcade of imagery the spectre left behind inside her mind. There was so much information, as if poured all at once from a dozen different sources; it was hard to tell if the usual link of ghost to afterlife was not there or if she simply couldn’t identify it in the swirl of emotions.

“What do you know then?” Asked the woman more sharply than she had intended. Bear had seen this build-up of useless rage before in people who were faced with too many questions about imperilled loved ones which could only be answered with hard to believe half-facts.

“Mein Frau - “ Bear started but the lady interrupted him.

“Let me show you to his study.” She said. “The police have looked already but maybe you’ll make more sense of the scene.”

The attic study had a single angled skylight which let the sunlight stream into the space. On the desk positioned opposite the stairs was a mess of notes and sheet music and the shelves along the walls were full of books. A digital metronome ticked weakly on the corner of the desk.

“He used to work here.” Said Frau Holz once everyone was in the room. “He’d only bring his notes and compositions down to try on the piano once he was satisfied with them up here. He tested them on the computer.” She pointed to the slim device resting on a shelf.

Mouse approached the desk to examine the notes, sensing tension and frustration swirled about them. There was a lot of stress here, years of head-against-wall type persistence, the pressure occasionally punctuated by bursts of rage or fear. An artist’s study for sure thought mouse.

“Blood?” Asked Jackie holding up an ochre stained leaf of manuscript paper.

“Wine.” Replied Frau Holz.

“What about the writing? Is it familiar to you?”

“Henry rarely showed me what he was working on before he thought it was done. I’ve never seen it before but that’s not unusual.” Said the Frau.

“What do you think?” Mouse asked, handing the leaf to Bear who was still near the stairs so as to not be in the way.

Even with the first few stanzas blotched out by the wine Bear recognized the writing almost instantly. He felt a moment of elation at having the specific piece of information at specifically the correct time, then shook his head with trepidation.

“I should have known.” He sighed. “I know this. I wrote a paper on it for my ‘Occult and Abstruse Histories’ class in college.”

“Robert Kurtzman was a late nineteenth century writer and poet who lived south of here, in a small town on the Austrian-Czech border.” Bear continued, taking a seat at Henry’s desk. “Kurtzman wrote basically nothing of value his entire life and the only reason we know anything about him is because on the day of his death he and a handful of out-of-towners locked themselves in a barn and burned it to the ground while still inside.”

Bear looked over the crudely scrawled notes as he spoke, over the many instances of “make it stop” carved awkwardly onto the sheets.

“This poem, titled by academics as ‘The Only Work of Robert Kurtzman’ was nailed to the doors of the town church the next day.” He said. “The townsfolk, unharmed by the act save for being down a barn, were still pretty rattled and held a Christian funeral, burying the ashes found in the barn in their cemetery. Some scholars theorised that Kurtzman tried to turn himself into a lich.”

The metronome on the desk continued to tick-tock in the background while all three of them processed the information in silence. Bear read over the familiar poem quietly, his mouth making the shape of the words as his eyes skimmed over them, reciting it more from memory than by sight, skipping to the third verse which began just below the wine stain.

“‘Too long have I been scratching on the inside of the world.

 I lie interred herein.

Tuesday 19:44

St. Dominic’s Church

Laabach town.

“‘A skinny wraith from birth, defective.

 Devoid of function or significance, my vision paper thin.’”

Henry Holz scrambled against an unmarked headstone in the evening gloom at the back of the cemetery. The mulchy dirt caked around Henry’s knees and elbows in thick clumps. He looked fuller than the ghostly apparition back at the Holz house had, though his skin still had that same pale blue sheen to it as if dyed or uniformly bruised.

“Herr Holz?” Asked Mouse, approaching up the gentle hill the graveyard was on, moving past marker stones of various shapes and sizes.

The shivering man turned from his vigil of the unnamed grave to regard his visitors with wild and frantic pupils. The moustache under his rounded nose was stiff with dirt and snot and the bags beneath his eyes were shaded grey and purple like slabs of over tender meat.

“I tried to make it stop.” He stammered, “I tried to come back home. It took me days to get here, I kept tripping, falling, passing out. I tried to make it stop.”

“It’s alright Henry,” Said Mouse as she approached the man, “We’re here to help. Your wife Anna sent us.”

The man’s wild expression softened as the turmoil in his brain churned with recognition. He scurried clumsily away from Jackie when she squatted down beside him and started humming a barely audible tune. Mouse looked back to Bear, close behind, and the large man shrugged; he tried to play it off but she could tell he was uneasy.

“I tried my best.” Whispered Henry, “I really did. I worked and worked but my brain keeps shouting at me, keeps filling my ears with static. I keep trying but I don’t know what to do.”

“It’s alright Henry.” Mouse reassured again. “We can help.”

“And then he started. He kept whispering to me the last time I was here, for Grandmother. I thought I left him behind but in the darkness when I was already desperate and gasping he’d come to me and replace my words with his.”

“You’ve been here before?” Asked Mouse.

“Must be how he came into contact with Kurtzman.” Bear noted.

“I tried damnit!” Shouted Henry suddenly. Mouse started back at the outburst and Bear moved to protect her but she waved him off.

“I tried!” Shouted Henry again, gouging chunks of soil up from the ground with rigid fingers.

“How am I meant to achieve anything when my own brain won’t let me?” He insisted, spittle sliding from the corners of his mouth, his teeth gritted in desperation.

“We should go Henry, Anna and I will do our best to make it better, I promise.” Jacqueline said, crouching by the man, beckoning to him with outstretched hand.

“‘Why shouldn’t I accept the spectral role,

 The gods have forced me to assume?’” Henry quoted, still scratching at the soil below him.

“Jackie we should step back.” Cautioned Bear.

“It’ll be alright.” Said Mouse, “I can do this.”

“‘I’ll scream and rage and burn in hell,’” Muttered Henry, louder.

“Henry listen to me, you have to fight it.” Mouse pleaded with the savage eyed man.

“Mouse-” Bear began.

“‘And tear, tear, tear,’” Shouted Henry Holz, his hands deep in the grave dirt, his eyes no longer his own, “‘until I am exhumed!’”

Bear made a move to shield Mouse as the madman screamed but it was too late. A wave of force radiated out with Henry at its epicentre and the dishevelled pudgy man threw himself forward. The blast flung Bear off his feet and sent him rolling down the gravesite until he smashed into enough headstones to slow his fall. All about the cemetery a familiar dusky shroud descended, cloaking everything in midnight shades. Mouse caught the lunging Henry’s face in her hands, her slender fingers wrapped about his temples, and with a grunt of exertion forced her mind into the storm raging inside Henry’s own.

It was as if she dreamt of a ghostly orchestra; of violas played by skinless ghouls and see-through spectres blowing corpse air into rusted horns. She saw their pained expressions, their longing to be heard despite the dreadful sound they knew they made, and at the head of it she saw a grave conductor tall and precise like a sharpened pencil, clad in a split tailed suit and waving a bone as his baton.

‘The city cemetery’s humming…’” Sang the ghostly choir, Henry Holz among them, and a clang of out of rhythm cymbals crashed across the words. Mouse tried to plug her ears but that just made the orchestra play louder, as if in spite. Each eyeless socket in the throng fixed on her and she could feel the urgency of their abhorrent melody, the primal need behind it for an audience, a patron.

“Please.” Whispered Henry. “Please.”

As if in time her gaze and the conductor’s moved as one towards each other and when they met she saw the lifeless, ochre pupils of the bony man and felt tears rolling down her cheeks. He waved his bone discordantly and the sagging, wrinkled skin vibrated on his face with the motion; he had the most yellow teeth and eyebrows like a forest recently burnt down and when he opened his thinly bearded mouth to laugh Mouse saw he had no tongue.

Out in the real world, as real as it could be when distorted by the will of Robert Kurtzman, a possessed Henry Holz rose from the dirt, the wraithlike bearded face of Kurtzman hovering above his own like a ghostly mask. Henry waved his hands like that of a conductor and from the graves around him began to rise a half a dozen skeletons, bursting from their graves in blasts of dirt and rotted coffin wood.

A muddied, thoroughly ruffled Bear rose with them, unholstering his weapon as he did, and before the first skeleton could make a move he pierced its hollow skull with a pair of gunshots. The thing reeled back from the force and landed hard against its own gravestone, cracking its spine across the rock and snapping in two.

Robert Kurtzman, by way of his Henry puppet, swept his left arm towards Bear and flicked his wrist, signalling the remaining reanimate dead to make a target of the man.

“I am become a timeless thing.” Said Kurtzman and his words echoed inside of Henry’s mind where Mouse could see the spectral orchestra put down their instruments. Suddenly they had surrounded her, no longer playing even though the cacophonous racket still continued; a distorted Ode to Joy.  They closed their circle in about her, tendrils of pitch black smoke rising from each one, and at the centre with Kurtzman seemed to loom over Mouse, his tongueless mouth making the shapes of the words which rang out inside her brain.

“One century, two, it does not matter. I have poured myself into the suffering of dying artists and through their will my will is manifest.”

“Stop it.” Muttered Jacqueline as the macabre orchestra tightened about her even further, until Robert Kurtzman and herself were face to face.

“I will not stop.” He whispered, his lips only inches from hers. “I will write an epic poem with your blood and then I will publish it along the shattered minds of every living thing, so all might know my name was Robert Kurtzman.”

Bear slammed his way through two skeletons blocking his path. Their preternaturally strong hands pulled and tore at his suit jacket but he ripped free of them and bowled into a third one, smashing some of its bones apart with the impact. He could see Mouse kneeling by Kurtzman’s grave, where Henry had knelt only a moment ago, her expression trance-like but pained, a tendril of smoke linking her to Henry’s body which stood by her side.

A flock of dark winged birds cawed high above the cemetery and the sun shone a dull, silvery shade as if it had been swallowed up by the dark. Bear’s handgun bark sounded like a tolling bell and tore a chunk of meat from Henry’s shoulder. Kurtzman’s spirit laughed, both in the world and inside Mouse’s mind, as skeletons swarmed all about Bear, grabbing and tugging at his limbs.

Bear swore loudly, and Robert Kurtzman laughed again before his beady baleful eyes distended in surprise as the six foot three scholar launched himself with unexpected velocity , skeletons still hanging from his arms and back, towards the possessed Henry Holz.

All two hundred plus pounds of Bear bowled into Henry and Mouse, entangling the three of them together into a pile where errant bits of skeleton were the mortar to their brick. Bear’s thoughts became merged with those of Mouse and Kurtzman just as his body was snared with theirs and in that instant he could see the full range of colour and emotion channelled between these two psychic juggernauts. He tried to parse the plethora of sensory inputs before he snapped his thoughts shut, choosing instead to grab Henry’s body by the throat and squeezing until it gasped for air.

Mouse sensed her companion’s presence and she saw first the surprise and then the draining of strength in Kurtzman’s ghastly face. She pushed back against the necromancer’s mind with renewed vigour and in the real world Kurtzman used Henry Holz’s lips to whisper a choking stanza just for Bear to hear before the large man brought the side of his heavy pistol down across the possessed man’s face. Robert Kurtzman gasped, no longer in possession of a body, and as the dark and terrible shadow he had cast upon the world receded, making way for the pink late-evening sun, Mouse drove whatever shreds of his consciousness remained back into the ashes in his grave below.

By the time Mouse came to Henry was a crumpled mess lying on a pew inside the church. He was bruised and battered and awaiting an ambulance but with what little first aid Bear knew he managed to keep the man from bleeding out or swallowing his own tongue in unconsciousness. The local priest, an old and wispy man, had a hard time understanding the events unfolding in his usually quiet parish but had been hospitable nonetheless, assisting with the treatment of wounds and the calling of authorities.

“I’m sorry.” Were the first words out of Jackie’s mouth once she gained her bearings and found her Bear.

“For what?” He asked, his clothes tattered and muddy and bloody.

“I know you’ve been trying hard to protect me, carrying the gun, looking out for me” She mumbled. “And all I do is take risks.”

“Mouse,” Bear said placidly, sitting down beside her, placing his arms casually along the pew. “The weapon isn’t for you. It is entirely for my own protection.”

Jackie smiled, leaning into Bear, under his outstretched arm.

“This is what we do.” Bear added, motioning towards the unconscious but peaceful Henry Holz. “It’s often messy, but I think we do a good job.”

Henry Holz went on to compose two critically acclaimed neo-classical piano pieces after which he retired from music citing a need for “less stressful pursuits.” He continued gardening until the day he died.

In late 2056 the annual journal Occult, Supernal and Otherworldly Inquiry published a paper with the following excerpt:

“Though I’m a charlatan, my fervor drives me on.

All artists want is audience to their eternal song.”

The final stanza of ‘The Only Work of Robert Kurtzman’, supposedly uncovered during field work by one Augustus-Ephemerus Sebastian Bearvald.

© 2017 M.A.Alexander

Author's Note

The longest Bear and Mouse I've done until now. I think it turned out well, some fun imagery in there that I like. I've been trying to explore where the characters came from, and where they're going, and this is the beginning of that.

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Added on August 2, 2017
Last Updated on August 2, 2017
Tags: Horror, Spooky, Skeleton, Paranormal, Artist, Poetry



Dublin, Ireland

M. A. Alexander is a struggling writer of zero renown and probably negative talent. Follow his page to witness his newest failures and inevitable break down more..