She awkwardly seated herself in the chair nearest the door and listened as the men conversed in a language she didn't recognize. While they spoke, she inadvertently displayed her discomfort, despite her desperate attempts to appear fearless. As the men casually approached her, leaving their conversation where they once stood, she took a quick sip of water in an effort to calm herself down. As if to spite her, the water clutched to the sides of her throat, forcing her to cough and sputter. Some of the men glared impatiently, while others portrayed no emotion at all. She reached again for the glass in front of her, finding that in place of the water that was once there, was only air. She placed it back in its original spot and rested her hands in her lap. She could do nothing now but wait for someone to speak. She neither blinked nor breathed, only waited. She focused her thoughts on the tick of the clock hanging carelessly on the wall above her. The seconds seemed to grow longer, the ticks louder but further apart. They soon became a pounding in her ears that was almost unbearable. Finally one of the men began to speak, and she drew in a much needed breath. His words were of little use to her in his foreign tongue, and she found herself once again focused on the sound of the ancient clock. As soon as the man's voice became a background noise, she noticed that she could understand it. She then tried to listen more carefully, but it again became the twisted sounds that she couldn't comprehend. Realizing that she needed to tune him out and listen at the same time in order to understand, she focused once more on the clocks unpleasant tick. The ticking roared in her ears while she caught only bits and pieces of the man's soft voice in the background. This soon made her dizzy, and her chair could do nothing to hold her up as her breathing slowed and she fell to the floor. Her long dress twisted itself around her in a sea of silk and scarlet as she lie there motionless. The man continued his speech without so much as glancing at the figure on the floor, or the once occupied chair. The other men still listened intently, and left as soon as the man said his final word. She, left alone in the room to do as she pleased, only lay on the floor as a lifeless statue. She neither blinked nor breathed as her empty glass slid off the table and shattered on the floor beside her. The clock continued to tick, wondering if she continued to listen.
August 8, 2011