Monday, June 23, 2008

The Death of Silence

"The Death of Silence"
The midnight chirps of the crickets outside reminded him of the dark summer night that surrounded him. It’s in this darkness that he lays to hear the midnight sounds where he found the death of silence. The night swept in on a hot summer breeze and he was somehow perplexed by the idea of thought. Something outside the window pane began to move when the thoughts started to drip in. His eyes were wide as they darted around the room from one sound to the next as he tried to piece together the shapeless void that lay before him. What else was moving out there, he wondered? Was he alone? He didn’t know. The soft chirps of the crickets seemed more purposeful now as they had more meaning in their rhythm. Something was moving in his closet, he was sure of that. He could hear the soft steps of someone inside that door, the whispers slipped in through the slits and somehow he knew the voices would subside.

He had stacks of books piled in the corners, mounds of newspapers scattered on the floor, an over-used computer on a worn-out desk sitting next to his window that looked out to the street and sidewalk. He could hear people talking as they passed by, sometimes about their droll lives but sometimes about him. Somewhere mixed in with their pointless banter about their dead end jobs and cheating bitch wives he could hear pieces underneath their jabber like a chair showing through a covering blanket; certain words would stick out. Every third or fourth word contained something he had to write down, a message, a plan, something hidden and he had to find it.

His face showed the reality of age from worrying about the whispers planning something against him. His weary eyes had painted deep black recessions around themselves from the long nights he spent working on his computer. He wore an old blue moth-ball infested robe, long dark hair draped over the collar as it hung open loosely. Long nights he spent hunched over his keyboard typing away at his thoughts that seemed to peer over his shoulder from every dark sound that crept around his room at the moment. Something about the night quieted the loud voices and let the whispers be heard. He would listen and with every noise that seemed suspicious there his eyes would lay, red with wear over his shoulders and bugged out. Every blood vessel ready to erupt and bleed crimson tears and he wouldn’t care, he would let them fall where they may, to leave their blood stained path along his face. He didn’t care; he had no time to occupy with the appearance of his face. He would rarely see his face in the light anyway. The only mirror he had was a broken piece of shit in the bathroom. Broken from when the faces started to taunt him, when they started to haunt him.

His life consisted of nothing more than what his mind could conjure and as he stared into the dismal gray glow of his computer screen he realized the inevitability of his life. A soft creek crawled to his ears and his eyes darted over his shoulders where they would stare glazed over as if his eyes were the ones to hear the sounds. He wondered for a bit who would find him and came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t matter because after all, he would be gone. What could they do to him? He would show them that they couldn’t mess with him; he would beat them to the punch.

As he wandered about his small confined area he knew it had to be done. His head contained too much information for them to have; he had to leave or else it would be too dangerous to give them the opportunity to have it. Just then a banging on the door began, bang bang bang! It was them! He knew they would come. He had to hurry they wouldn’t give him much time. He ran to his computer and destroyed all his encrypted information he had gathered over the years. The banging got louder, he had to hurry! All the preparations had been made, he wouldn’t let them get him that easily. He was ready. He stepped onto a stool in front of his door as the banging became more violent and methodical. He stood there staring for a second as the door shook from the pounding it was receiving. The hinges on the door were ready to break off. Finally, he closed his eyes and took one last breath and realized he was ready. He tipped over his tiny stool and hung there for a moment. As his eyes faded to black the banging had stopped. Nothing was left but the sound of swaying rope being stretched tightly.
-Armando Torres