The boy suddenly woke up. An eery sound somewhere. Of Flute but something more. An insatiable urge to follow it. And thus he did. He walked upstairs to the roof top, walked to the edge and jumped off it.
One hour later, another kid, a plump one, the son of a bread vendor heard the flute playing. He cried and cried. But then he walked too. He walked to the nearest well, for a moment or too, stood trying to fight the impending feeling rising in him. And then he jumped. Drowned within a minute.
The mayor had called The Piper. Rats had infested the whole town. None knew much about him, but there weren’t many options. The mayor had to get rid off them at any cost. And hence the lanky looking musician stood before him. The Piper smiled and assured him of his service. A few notes would drive the rats far far away , he claimed. The mayor for the first time sensed some hope, and offered him a handsome pay. The Piper asked for a Sunday evening. The whole populace were to move to an old church, as the Piper did his deed. And so it was decided, as the Piper left shutting the door behind him, as the mayor finally gave out a sigh of relief.
The two boys were just the start. The third was a girl. The youngest of the cobbler couple. The eery rendition and she searched for the knife. She stabbed herself and the deep cuts killed her instantly. Puddles of blood all under her were what remained. By this time a few cries and screams had started to initiate. It didn’t take long to grasp the horror that was unfolding over the town. The third hour had just passed.
As decided the Sunday came. The Mayor’s proclamation moved everyone out of their homes to the church. And the rats ran free, all over food and groceries. They fed and multiplied. The Piper ofcourse had his task cut out. He climbed up the high tower and pirched upon a ledge, which overlooked the whole town. Then the Piper began to play. At first nothing happened, the chaos seemed unnerved. An hour into it, and slowly a dozen rats moved out of a bakery. They halted right in the middle of the pavement. Clueless yet possessed. Another dozen. Then hundreds. Finally all of them. The Piper got down the tower and ushered the rats to a cliff beyond the town.
The fourth was the mayor’s son. He woke up hearing the note. Fortunately for him, his father slept beside him, and even more he was a light sleeper. The mayor got up as well. He shook his son, trying to snap him out of this trance. The son bit his father’s hand and ran outside. The mayor followed him but couldn’t catch up. The 8 year old saw an old rusty spike at the corner of the sheriff’s home. And moments later, the spike bore through the boy’s skull.
The rats jumped off the cliff. One by one. Till the maddening tune continued. The madness drove them beyond primal fear. They died. As they were meant to. The Piper after delivering on his part, returned to the Mayor’s office. The Mayor now in his office, jumped in unprecedented joy. The Piper extended his hand, gesturing for his payment. The Mayor then turned to his drawer and took out a satchel full of coins. But before giving it to the Piper , he questioned his effort. The rats had gone by themselves, he said. There wasn’t much that the piper had done. The Piper stood there silently. He expected men to be fair and just. But they always disappointed him. There was always a loophole that ruined everything. The Piper refused to accept what he wasn’t being given. Now he was a man of morals , but then The Piper considered all lived to be equal. Equal in life. Equal in death.
7th, 8th…… By morning next day, around 14 children had died. Their deaths gruesome and disturbing than hell itself. The adults remained unaffected by the tune but then they were destroyed by the tragedies. Torn apart. The Mayor remembered of his bargain, and despite losing his son, he went searching for the piper. After 20 deaths, he found him. In a cave beyond the town, not very far away from the cliff. The Mayor knelt before him, and begged him to stop. The Piper dropped for a moment, and extended his hand. This time the whole satchel of coins was passed on. The piper turned to walk away, but the mayor was a wily man. Money changed him as soon as it changed hands. As the Piper turned to walk away, The Mayor took a boulder and hit him on the head. The Piper would be gone and the music with him. The coins could be saved and the town as well. He picked up the Boulder and smashed the Piper’s head to pieces. Skull cracked and blood spurted out. The mayor had avenged his son too. One solution to the multitude of issues. But As he walked out he saw a sight that destroyed him forever. Hordes of children, around hundred of them, stood there, at the edge of cliff. They all looked up helplessly at the Mayor. Their eyes pleading him to save them. He took a few steps towards them, but by then it was too late. And one by one, the whole lot of children flew down the cliff. Hitting the rocks down under. Breaking every bone and dying every death. The piper hadn’t brought them out of the trance. And men hadn’t changed. They would never change….