Writing Prompt #116 — Weaponized Instruments

Prompt: Instruments that turn into weapons

“Musician, eh?” the gun store owner said, cocking an eyebrow. “What do you play?”

Tony glanced around, adjusted his stance. He didn’t know why he came here. Well, he did, but maybe having a weapon wasn’t as important as he originally believed. Finally, he blurted out: “I, uh, clarinet. I play the clarinet.”

“Ah, a wind user. Gravy.” He waved his arm over the shop. “None of these fancy you, yeah? Nothing tickles that belly or tingles those fingers?”

The various weaponry hanging on the walls, lying atop the counters running along the sides, the aisles of ammunition and stocks and different shaped grips and clips and oh God, everything smelled like oil and steel. Tony wiped his forehead. “No,” he almost whispered, “nothing here.”

“But you do want a firearm, don’t you? Something to protect the homestead.” He nodded. “Yeah?”

Tony nodded, too. “Yes.”

“Well,” he straightened from the counter, his wild gray hair thrown behind his ears, and strode to the curtained hallway behind him. “Since you’re a musician. This section may please you a bit more.” He pulled back the hanging sheet. “Thisa’ way.”


“Oh,” Tony muttered, standing in a smaller, well lit room, “wow.”

“I can tell by the look on your face this is what you’re looking for, yeah?” The owner stood in the center of the room, glancing around as though it was his first time.


Violins, voilas, saxophones, and clarinets hung on walls, and basses, cellos, harps rested on polished counters. There were no boxes of ammunition or stocks or grips or anything like in the previous room. It was like a musician’s private collection.

“Now, these aren’t your momma’s instruments. No, no, no; these are trick instruments.” He pulled down a violin, unstrung its bow. “The trick being that they’re actually more similar to firearms than the instrument itself. Yes, they can still be played like a normal one.” He ran the bow across the bottom string. “But, if you see here,” he flipped it to his sides where a little button, fleshed with the wood, was, “if you press that than this happens.” He ran his finger over the button and the violin disassembled in a flash, like a broken Rubik cube, then reassembled into a long-barreled rifle, with its tightly bound strings running along the side, and the bow was placed atop in a crook, down the center, and the owner peered through it like a sight.

“You see?” he asked.

“Yes,” Tony said, mesmerized.

“Good.” He pressed the button again and it became a violin, and he returned it to the wall. He took down a clarinet, and handed it to Tony. “Here, give it a whirl.”

Tony looked it over, found a button on the rear of the lower joint, and pressed it. It wasn’t as flashy as the violin, but a gleaming black barrel appeared from the bell, and the keys sealed.

“The keys are triggers. Each one faster than the other, going downwards. So if you just wanna pop one off, the top one, but if you want to spray and pray, the bottom. Got it?”

Tony, wide-eyed, looked from the beautiful instrument in his hand to the owner. Nodded. “Yes, yes.” He pressed the button and the barrel vanished, the keys opened. He gently blew into the mouthpiece and heard the crisp sound of a normal clarinet.

“How much do you want for it?” he asked.

“Thought’d you never ask,” the owner said, grinning.

Read my previous prompt, “The Child At the Bottom of the Lake

Read more of my writing prompts here.

Check out my bibliography for more of my work.

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