Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Listener This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The walls laugh. The walls laugh at me, shrill and baritone, loud and soft, snickers and guffaws. This is why I am in here, because I am the only one who hears them. I sit alone in a room of gray cement, often in the middle. I don't like the middle, I prefer the corners where the walls are close like friends, but here the walls are unkind and there is no use in lying to myself about how alone I am.

The walls talk and gossip. The walls talk and gossip about me. I hear them, hisses and whispers, many voices that merge together and come together in a sound like that of the wind through the evergreen needles. The trees also spoke and laughed, though they were gentle and clement, like the warm summer breeze that gave them their voice. But not the walls.

The walls are mean, pessimistic, and cynical. They are the same as the hearts of the men and women who created them and of the hearts of the men they have sheltered. This room sounds like the house of the man and woman who got me in here. There were pictures of the last supper, the saints, even the Great Jesus Christ was on their wall--stuck to the wooden plus sign. I thought they would understand. Sadly, they did; they understood the way society had taught them to. So I ended up here.

I miss the happy voices, I miss the happy walls and the peaceful trees. I even miss the rocks and the earth. The numerous, quiet rocks and the solid and silent earth. They do not speak, they do not whisper, they listen--empathetic and knowledgeable, they listen well. The trees, the walls, the rocks; they know that I will not last as long as they, but they still listen, they still speak, they still laugh. I miss them, and I will soon join them.

I am weak. I am hungry. I have a plan. Food enters the door with a man. It sits on the floor, and I let it sit. Food does not speak, and it's good that it doesn't, because then I wouldn't be able to eat it. I have a plan, and my plan is not to eat the food, my plan is to let the food sit until the man enters again and takes it away. My plan is to waste away and get away from these mean walls.

At first I didn't want to. At first I didn't want to die here and leave a part of my own voice with these mean voices in these mean walls. At first I did eat the food. Then I thought that I should leave a part of my voice. That, if ever another person who can hear the voices comes here, there should be one nice voice, at least. I would be his friend and tell him not to listen to the mean voices. I would die here in the center of the room with the mean walls so that I could return to the soft voices of the trees and the open silence of the rocks and earth. I would die in the middle of the dark, pessimistic room to leave a part of my voice.

I can feel it. I can feel the whispers of death in my bones and my thin, disappearing muscles. I can feel it in the sounds of the walls, no longer in my ears but in my body, in my strong bones. Soon, I know, I will be taken out of this room, I will be taken out into the world of listening earth and peaceful whispering trees. I will soon be taken out of this harsh room, leaving my own voice to reassure any other listener. I will be taken out and my bones will speak once more with the trees that give voice to the breezes and the stones that listen and echo with the depth of their ages.

Soon.




Join the Discussion


This article has 1 comment. Post your own!

OliviawThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm:
Great job!! Yay!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback