Fearing Silence

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Fearing Silence

As I walk across the street towards the doors, I can’t fail to notice how quiet the place seems to be. I didn’t actually keep count, but I must have watched close on several hundred people go through these doors over the last thirty minutes.

The crowds had piqued my curiosity, for the doors look pretty normal. There were no posters announcing any event was taking place inside; the windows were curtained off and empty. Was it some kind of cult thing? A group gathering? Would I be able to get inside, and if I did,would I be welcome.

I hovered for a moment outside the door, listening. No matter what was going on in there I should be able to hear something, surely. Even with my ear almost pressed to the door there were no sounds that I could hear.

I admit to feeling apprehensive as I reached my hand towards the metal bar and pushed against it. Honestly, I half hoped that it would stay shut, and then I could carry on towards home with a clear conscience, even though I might still be left to wonder. It didn’t happen though. The door swung back and almost pulled me inside.

I found myself standing in what looked like some kind of hall. It was dimly lit, full of shadows, and there was not one person inside. There had to be another door somewhere, but from where I stood it was far from obvious. I turned, having decided to give it up, but the door that I had entered through so easily did not want to open up to let me leave.

That had to mean there was another exit. All I had to do was find out where I needed to go. The air was heavy, stale with the smell of so many people having recently been inside. I noticed a couple of scraps of paper on the floor, which I bent forward to pick up. It was too dim to make out much but they looked like old receipts, nothing interesting or enlightening then. I let them fall back through my fingers – it was hardly my job to clean the place up.

I made my way towards one wall, the shadows deepening the closer that I got to it. The room was large, but not too big for me to walk round the periphery. I let my hand drag along the surface of the wall; if there was some sort of exit there that my eyes might miss, my hand was sure to feel it.

All the way down one wall, nothing. The only sounds I could hear were my own footsteps, and the increasingly rapid beating of my heart. It was the silence that was scaring me. All those people and not so much as a single cough.

Trying to ignore the trembling in my hand now, I began to walk along the next wall. This was the one opposite the entrance, and to be honest I was pretty sure that the exit would be here somewhere. Except I was wrong. The end of that wall and still no doorway; still no noise.

“Okay,” I said, determined to break the quiet, even if I had to talk to myself. “It’s got to be along here then.” But it wasn’t, and what was worse was the door that I had entered through had disappeared too, along with all of the people.

I didn’t care about the people any longer. I didn’t know any of them; they meant nothing to me. All I wanted to do was get outside and get home. I’d make myself forget the whole thing...

Perhaps that was it! None of this was really happening because I was asleep. A stupid nightmare, that’s all. I pinched myself, but nothing changed.

“For god’s sake, say something!”

The loudness of my voice shocked me. For a couple of seconds it seemed to echo, but all too soon the walls muffled it into silence.

Something else was happening though. I could sense it before I could see or hear anything. A gap began to open up in the center of the floor from which a light seemed to seep. And was that a noise? I drew closer to it, in spite of my fear, and when I recognized the noise as being screams I tried to move away.

No matter how much I struggled to put some distance between myself and the opening, I was being pulled forwards. There was nothing to grab on to for the room was completely empty. Just me... that hole... and the screams.

I flung myself down to the ground, tried to dig my fingernails into the concrete floor. Anything to put a stop to the movement.

I cried. I couldn’t help myself, for the screams spoke of horror and untold agony. Please, let me have the silence again. I don’t want to find them, the people that walked on in.

“Let me go. I’ll never say a word... I promise! I promise!” In spite of my pleas my legs are dangling over the edge of the opening. I don’t want to look but I can’t help myself. An abyss, so deep I cannot see the bottom, just the glow.

And then I’m falling. My scream mingling with those distant ones. I found a doorway then, but somehow I am sure that it is no exit.

 

 

 


Submitted: April 17, 2021

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

Scary-good, Hull

Sat, April 17th, 2021 7:01pm

Author
Reply

I think this was the first storyx I wrote this week. Thanks for giving it a read.

Sat, April 17th, 2021 12:55pm

Vance Currie

I envy your ability to write such gripping narratives, Hully.

Sat, April 17th, 2021 11:21pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for reading, Vance.

Wed, April 21st, 2021 8:00am

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