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Silence

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The wind was picking up speed, berating me words and thoughts that it had carried from faraway places. I wished I could just make them go away, but I am eternally cursed with the burdens of others. In this storm I heard a child’s cry and could not stop myself from wondering what had made them wail in such a way. I had never screamed so as a child, though I suppose that could be attributed to the fact that I always felt the way it hurt people’s ears and heads. A thought flashes across my mind about the farmers in a town, faraway from here, a thought about how if they don’t finish with the harvest on time the village will have nothing to eat. I often get tired of such problematic thoughts and envy the children who run and play, only thinking about the bad stuff when it is absolutely necessary. I know I need to do something to help these people, but it is difficult to discern specific locations from the continuous blare. I sighed and shouldered my heavy pack, resigning myself to brave the incoming torrent and find shelter. I truly wish I could stay dry for one week.

I heard men’s gruff voices, in my ears, not my mind, and knew there was shelter somewhere ahead. I waited a moment and saw their figures imprinted against the black sky. “Excuse me!” I call; one of them looked back and stopped “Do you know a place where I can rest for the night?” He looked at me and I was thankful that he had no thoughts about what a child was doing out wandering around by themselves.

“There’s an inn I can take you to, if you don’t have any money I can pay for the night, or they’ll let you wash a few dishes.”

“Thank you,” I told him, staring intently at the ground. I hate talking to people. His thoughts were kind as he led me through a large town to the inn and tavern in the central business area.

“Hey, Shrik!” He yelled across the bar, looking at a man filling patrons mugs. Shrik. I thought, trying to commit the strange new name to memory. I liked this name, I had never heard it before, despite the many places I had been and the many people I had met.

The man, Shrik, ducked underneath the part of the bar that was supposed to lift up and came over to us. “Wad do ya want?”

“I want to know if you got room for one more tonight,” he replied to the curt question while the bartender looked me over.

“Aye, we do, but does she got the money to pay fer it?”

“If she doesn’t, I would gladly supply it, otherwise she said she could do some dishes.” The entire time they had been talking, rather vehemently, I had been gauging the two men. The stranger who had brought me here seemed nice, but Shrik’s mind was clouded with drink and from what I could tell he didn’t seem like the kindest person. I would not have stayed here under other circumstances, but the winds were getting dangerously high and I had no place else to go.

“Do ya want to do some cleanin’ or will ya accept the man’s charity?” demanded Shrik.

I normally would jump from a cliff of unfavorable heights before accepting charity of any kind, but I was tired and hungry, besides, my nameless guide seemed rather earnest. “I’ll pay you back.”

He smiled, “Of course you will.” The coins made subtle clinking sounds as they passed from one hand to another. That noise will haunt me forever, but I had no choice.

I was shown to a room by a girl; I think she said that she was Shrik’s daughter, though I was not paying enough attention to be certain. The voices were killing me, slowly ripping away any sanity I had left. When the door was opened I thanked the girl shortly and shut the door, flopping onto the lumpy, rotting mattress. I had slept in some rather strange places, so I didn’t mind the fleas as much as some people would have.

Sleep came hard that night and when I finally held it, it was violently wretched away from. I felt water running down my dry face, and saw the brother I had never met walking remorsefully from my home, where I had never lived. My eyelids fluttered open, allowing me to experience my own present, not someone else’s past, and though I was relieved to be back, I hoped that girl would remember her brother, who had died in a war when she was just five years old and who had been her best friend before, forever.

I glanced at the window to get an idea of the time, it was light outdoors and I went down stairs to find Shrik, “I’m leaving.”

“What! Ya just got ‘ere and ye’re leavin’ already?”

“I don’t like to stay in one place too long, too easy to find me.” The door was heavy and I could tell he didn’t want me to go, not because he truly cared about me, but because he didn’t like to lose any business. He came over to me and tried to pull me back in, but I hooked my leg under his and yanked, sending him sprawling to the hard, rat infested, and half-rotted floor. I shoved at the door one last time before storming into the cold morning and down the muddy street to my well-hidden horse.

I rode her hard that day, enjoying the feeling of wind ripping away the dirt from the road and hotel. Around midday we had to stop so she could drink and eat, recovering from her hard work. I found a fruit tree and, not being very hungry, ate only a small part of one of the sweet things. We soon rode again leaving the world behind us in our fleet-footedness.

Suddenly I was lying on the floor, screaming, with my arms pinned to my sides. A man opened a door and looked at me, “Time for your meds,” He sighed. I stopped screaming and waited patiently; lying on the floor and watching phantoms drift across my vision. He came back within a few minutes, holding a reusable plastic bottle and a few pills. His white coat swept away from him as he closed the door. I don’t know why they do that with me, maybe because I spit and throw a child’s fit most of the time. He knelt beside me and settled the lumps in my mouth, gently lifting my head and pouring the cool liquid down my throat. I didn’t fight this time, letting the drugs pull me back into the beautiful place somewhere deep inside my mind.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

girliegirlbird said...
Apr. 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm
I was stunned by the ending!  Not at all what I was expecting, LOVED IT!
 
granny1369 said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 8:50 pm
I was very impressed with the use of detail and command of language  that this writer shows.
 
susiesoleil said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 10:37 am
I am in awe of the talent that is in this writer. I am positive that she has a gift that will serve her well.
 
dabeard said...
Apr. 12, 2010 at 8:28 am
very well written, love the suprise ending! the author really sends you mental pictures . i felt as if i were there. great job. i see a future for this writer. keep up the great work!
 
spamdabear said...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 11:53 pm
I love this story! The last paragraph caught me by surprise and added a twist that I didn't see coming. Great job!
 
applegram said...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 9:41 pm
The author does a great job of taking one on a journey of a, somewhat, tortured soul!  But...is that sould really so tortured?? 
 
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