The Sound Of Silence

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


This is a short story written for the cover provided by the phenomenal Markie Bee. https://www.booksie.com/users/markie-bee-223538 Songwriters: PAUL SIMON © Universal Music Publishing Group For
non-commercial use only

Submitted: August 25, 2018

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Submitted: August 25, 2018

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The Sound Of Silence

Have you ever felt assaulted by noise? Sometimes it’s like sounds are missiles fired to give constant bombardment. Each and every one of those different noises can be felt like a physical blow. There’s no defence against them, apart from more noise, headphones blasting to block out the offending sounds.

Sometimes the only thing to do is to go in search of silence and that is not an easy thing to find anywhere but especially inside a city.

I’ll pull on my armour, clothes carefully chosen to make me anonymous, unnoticed. I’ve often found myself wanting an invisibility cloak like the one that was used by a certain boy wizard. Then I have to brace myself for the onslaught, although it is not likely to be as bad as the shouts, the threats, the verbal abuse that has just been hurled right at me.

They will not see me cry – no, I’ll get out while I have enough self-control to hold the tears back. Out on the street, with my hood pulled forward and my eyes looking towards the ground, no one will see those drops of salty water as they track their way down my cheeks.

There are voices, voices everywhere, but none are aimed at me. I’ll not listen, let them blend, meld, make conversations of nonsense. People talk to each other, talk to their phones; some even talk to themselves – yeah, I know the feeling.

Music, music everywhere. It clashes, clangs, collides with itself. There is music from doorways, from windows. Music from phones, from passing vehicles. It throbs and pulses in an excruciating cacophony that in spite of its volume is failing to quell the echoes of the words in my head.

Then there is the sound of the vehicles, the engines, the blasts of horns, the shouts from windows. The footsteps, lots and lots of footsteps all out of synch as they march on forwards, backwards. Each one sounds like a hammer tapping one more nail in to my coffin. Each one reverberates from my feet to the top of my head, drumming. I need to find some silence.

I know where to go, but it is right through the other side of town. A long walk through the engulfing wall of noise and those taunting voices that still resound above all else. There is no short cut, no way around. I just have to keep my head down and keep on walking.

Once past the center it begins to get quieter. There are not so many people around, the distance is greater, the chaos starts to decline. Still those voices from home talk loudly, clearly, putting me down, putting me to shame. I need to blot them out somehow but noise simply does not work. Nothing works apart from silence.

The edge of the park comes in to view. This, believe it or not, is my destination. The front edge of it is packed. Groups of youths, groups of girls, vying for each other’s attention. There are a few younger kids, still playing, but soon to be heading off home. The park becomes the haunting place of the displaced, the homeless, the junkies in need of a fix. But that does not bother me. If I keep going, my head down, I know where I can be alone.

Further into the park I walk, tears still occasionally trickling down to soak the upper part of my hoodie. What did I ever do to deserve those words you say? Those accusations that you make? Nothing, I have always done everything that I could.

Not far now. There is barely a sound remaining and up ahead I can make out the seat in the moonlight. My feet want me to hurry, they need a rest, but I have no energy left to put in to a final burst of speed. Slowly, steadily, one foot in front of the other. And then finally I sit, shut my eyes, and listen to silence.

In the absolute quiet of my surroundings, I can shut out those shouts, those words that cut like blades. I silence them, gag them with my mind. I will simply hear.....nothing! There’s a slight breeze so the leaves are rustling, but like your voices, I block them, blot them out.

All I do is breathe, gently, silently. There is nothing. I am simply in a void of total silent darkness.

I did not hear the figure approach, not until they sat on the other end of the bench. It was more of a sensation of the wood giving, moving, rather than any sound. If I ignore you completely maybe you will just go away and leave me to my nothingness.

Not going to take the hint though, are you. I can tell that you have not moved away. If anything you have moved closer, too close for my comfort.

I open my eyes and stare straight ahead. I don’t look at you but I know what you look like. Hood pulled down like mine, but yours is concealing your skeleton face; no eyes, no nose, just jaw bones, teeth. The glint of your blade flashes in the moonlight.

I could get up and run. Maybe I should, but then again, look what you are promising. Never-ending silence is hard to resist. In the end, I decide to stay where I am, let you claim me. And in my head are the words of that song: ‘Hello, darkness, my old friend.....’

 

 


Songwriters: PAUL SIMON
© Universal Music Publishing Group
For non-commercial use only
 


© Copyright 2018 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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