NaPoWriMo Day Six: The Hurdy Gurdy Man


Detail, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

The Hurdy Gurdy Man
by ARHuelsenbeck

in life, my greatest pleasure was looking
I looked at things that shouldn’t be seen

I started out innocently enough
paying my quarter to see the freaks
the unfortunates who made their living
by exposing the deformities that made them other

I graduated to other tawdry pursuits
paying my dollar for a private strip tease

then I took to looking through windows
and to breaking in and hiding so I could watch
people engaging in their most private activities
the thrill of witnessing their intimacies

but my last voyeurism ended in tragedy—for me
my throat slit and my eyes gouged out

I spend my afterlife cranking this infernal hurdy gurdy
while the woman imprisoned within
keeps track of my revolutions
I can hear the rings she slides along her abacus
keeping time to my melody


About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

One response »

  1. Bosch’s painting is so dark, I’m not surprised it called forth this interesting, very dark response, still showing consequence of each action the narrator chose. Makes me want to read the history of the Hurdy Gurdy Man.

    Liked by 1 person

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