A/N: This was written a very long time ago, for orchestra. I dug it out of the trash heap and nothing better to do but post. Each passage corresponds with the measure numbers of the song.

Symphony for Strings

Guiseppe Verdi


The moon shone over the dusty, somber cemetery. A soft misty fog blew softly across the headstones, trailing some of the dust away. The pale moon slowly moved directly overhead. In a distant church, a clock stroke midnight. A piece of gray cloud unexpectedly trailed over the moon, blocking its beams for one instant.


When the cloud passed, the moonlight illuminated a very different scene. Instead of the forlorn and empty graveyard, there now appeared dozens of beings dressed in faded rags emerging from the hard, frozen ground.

Corpses, they were. These unfortunate beings had rotten flesh and dried sinew. Their tendons were laced tight against thin, brittle bones, all swathed in patches of rubbery, dead skin, pulled taut across protruding rotten teeth, angular cheekbones, flat noses, and hollow, gaping eye sockets, which worms had long ago eaten away.

These creatures clawed the ground to the point of their very limbs snapping off. Quite a pile of musty, shriveled arms was compiled as the corpses dug in frenzy.


Finally, they were free! The animated corpses marched jubilantly through the cemetery, occasionally smacking sightlessly into trees and tombstones.


Suddenly, a rustle in the bushes! There followed many rustles, all becoming slightly louder as the source drew ever closer.


With a burst, several wolves burst from the foliage. But these were not true wolves, rather human beings transformed into deadly creatures by the soft moonlight. They moved with a joyful, romping gait, joining the walking dead for their nightly celebration.


Just as the initial dance was breaking down (the werewolves unintentionally dismantled many of the corpses), several wild shrieks were heard at a distance. Then heavy thudding heartbeats were heard, these becoming louder and louder still. A swarm of bats raced through the sky, covering everything but the moon itself, still shining down warm and gentle light.


The bats suddenly released several children, who fell quickly towards their unfortunate end. Most of them died on impact, but two remained breathing and let out piercing cries.


The werewolves and zombies formed a loose circle around these mortals and began to dance slowly in a circle, raising their faces and snouts toward the warm, inviting moon. They danced their ceremonial dance until hunger and temptation forced them to accept the ever-increasing volume of the heartbeats and stop this dance to feed upon the dead children.


They ravaged the young bodies, tearing the dead flesh apart and gobbling down the shreds and chunks. The blood, unfortunately, was getting cold, so the werewolves hurriedly licked it away before chomping on their meal. Cold blood was worse than cold flesh, after all.


A hush descended upon the crowd as another being floated silently down from the uppermost branches of the old trees. This being circled the two remaining children who had huddled together and were weeping silently, trying to keep their eyes away from the pile of bones that had once been their friends.

The new creature's eyes glistened hungrily, contrasting ever more her pale, pale skin. She smiled and revealed two bright fangs, clearly visible as the moon shone down upon them. She walked up to the children and caressed them, gently wiping away their tears. Their small faces gazed up in wonder.

"There, there, children. Don't be afraid."

Then, turning to the rapt audience: "Dessert shall be served momentarily."


With that, the bloodsucker ripped violently into her innocent victims, breaking their necks in her frenzied rush to feed. When the last drop was gone from their still bodies, she ripped apart their pale flesh.


"Fresh meat!" she called out, tossing the pieces out to the crowd. They began to gobble it ravenously, almost as if they had not had previous courses. This flesh was only dead for a few moments, with which cold, dead flesh couldn't really compare.


The crowd silently licked their chops as the night breeze again blew, occasionally snapping a bone in their appetite. Leaves swirled on the hard ground and the moonlight shone still.


Then, quite unexpectedly, a werewolf perked his ears. A sound!


The vampire, ever hungry, tore through the woods rapidly, chasing the fleeting noise. From a distance, several screams emanated through the darkness.


She had caught it! The vampire was back quickly, clutching a little boy, who was seduced into a peaceful slumber. She laid him gently upon the cold ground and stepped back to stand with the others. Slowly, on tiptoe, the whole bunch of them closed in on the one fragile little creature, who stirred in a sweet dream.


And then they ripped into his tender flesh.


It was their last ritual, the parting ritual. The vampire led the group in a gentle moonlight dance, swaying gracefully around the large pile of glistening bones. So hungry they had been today. Not a sliver of flesh remained. Then, with a last violent thrash, the ceremony was over and the creatures were free to depart.


The werewolves, hearing the noises of furry little nocturnal mammals, ransacked the woods searching for their next meal.


The vampire felt a chill crawl up her spine as she watched the retreating figures of the werewolves. She turned and saw the treacherous zombies sneaking up, preparing to devour their next meal.


She screamed in fury at such a betrayal and tore into her former comrades-in-arms. Those weak animated corpses didn't stand a chance, with her iron claws ripping through their fragile bodies. She was in a frenzy, ripping her former friends into little pieces.


Finally, she stopped, but only because she felt a distant prickle of pain. She glanced up and saw the first ray of sunlight creeping over the horizon. The vampire screamed in agony and ran as quickly as she could, but there was no escaping that sun. She finally fell, exhausted, collapsing in an open meadow.

And there the sun finally caught up to this Child of the Night. As her limbs jerked uncontrollably, she gave a few final agonized screams and was burnt slowly and inexorably into a cinder by the cold and relentless rising sun.