Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Aisa’s Piano (爱莎的钢琴)

There is a now abandoned hotel in Shizuoka Prefecture (静冈县), Japan where the famous Mount Fuji is situated, the hotel was the house of a haunted old piano. Since the hotel was abandoned for more than 30 years and this story was told to me many years later by a pianist who happened to have visited the hotel during its operations; I have no idea if the piano or hotel still exist today.

Janet was a pianist who happened to know the hotel owner, Yamamoto and she did visit the gentleman during her piano performances in Japan. During Janet’s visit, Yamamoto invited her to stay in his hotel for as long as she wished free-of-charge. Janet was certainly delighted. So after completing her performances around Japan, she made it a point to have a short stay in Yamamoto’s hotel. Since the hotel is situated near Mount Fuji, Janet could spend her sweet time to visit areas around Mount Fuji. According to Janet, she disliked the hectic schedules of ordinary tour agency and Yamamoto’s kind offer came in just in time.

Finally, Janet found herself set her foot in Yamamoto’s hotel and she was warmly greeted by Mr. Yamamoto. After the dinner, Yamamoto excused himself due to his other business matters but he assigned his niece to attend to Janet’s needs. Before Yamamoto left, he suddenly said to Janet: “You can treat my hotel as if your own house but pardon me, whatever you do; please don’t play the piano you saw in the main hall… it belonged to my late wife, Aisa. I know you might be tempted to try…”

Janet gave Yamamoto her scout’s honour and Yamamoto left through the front door.

Days in Japan get dark very fast during winter. There was nothing Janet could do except to watch TV and chat with Yamamoto’s niece and due to curiosity, Janet enquired about the old piano. The young girl said:

“My aunty Aisa was also a pianist and the piano was Yamamoto’s present to her. She loved the piano so much that she never allowed anyone to play the piano without her permission. However, she committed suicide many years ago after uncle Yamamoto had an affair with a prat-time pianist. Hotel attendants found aunt Aisa leaned over the piano keyboard lifeless with an empty sleeping pill bottle… Apparently she had an overdose of sleeping pills and she wanted to play her last tune before she dies…”

Having said that, Yamamoto’s niece excused herself leaving Janet and a few attendants in a large hotel. Since Janet has nothing to do and no one was watching her; Janet thought she just try to play some tunes with the piano… well, no one would know and what harm could be done with some harmless tunes? After all, Janet was not a believer of supernatural stuffs. So Janet put her thought into action and she went to the piano and tried some of her favourite tunes.

After playing the first tune, Janet paused for a while to quench her thirst. At this time, she heard a series of footstep noise descending the hotel staircase. Janet thought it was just another hotel guest but she couldn’t see anyone came down from the staircase though.

Janet continued to play a few more tunes and suddenly her sight was fixed on the window curtain in front of her… the curtain moved without any apparent wind… No one would open the door or switch on a fan in winter time at night.

Just as Janet’s wandered about with her hands on the keyboard, the piano top cover suddenly slammed down with a loud bang which made Janet transfixed with shock on the piano stool.

Before Janet was herself again, she smelt the scent of lady’s perfume and a soft whisper near her ear: “Pardon me…”

As recalled by Janet later, she said perhaps the strange incident would not have happened if she just asked for permission first.

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