In the hands of a skilled necromancer, I wonder if the flute could manifest new powers? Also, while I understand that it was taken from a banshee, does that mean that all banshees carry an item like this that gives them their power? Or was it created by some other being? Overall, a compelling item.
Reminds me, actually, of an old Arthur Clarke short, in which humanity comes up short on Judgement day. Punishment is for all the dead to wake up, and for every one to be needless and immortal. The world gets very boring, then an angel talks God out of it on a technicality.
Still, very solid.
I really love the description of this place, and I can imagine it in vivid clarity and detail. The writing is really well done. However, I agree with Echo: it simply lacks something to make it come alive for me. It's the central concept, really, that bothers. Why should anticipation be needed to enjoy a job well done? You have a vision for the project, work towards its completion, and can admire the result when you're done -- no surpise necessary.
Perhaps what you were looking for is not a lack of surprise, but a feeling of waste. The feeling that one's talents, skills and abilities lie unused and unrecognized. Having to watch others bumble along at a task that you are much better suited for. That or just simply being prevented from doing what comes naturally, or from using the skills that you have the most pride in.
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Either way, this is a solid piece. I just see so much potential for it to evolve into something truly horrifying.
I like the description of the place, but I am not sure a lack of suprise would have such an effect on emotions. Maybe if the people could not feel anything they would act in such a way but I don't think a lack of suprise alone would go so far as to negate actual physical pleasure or pain.