Silence Please | Teen Ink

Silence Please

August 15, 2018
By kelseychoe BRONZE, Valencia, California
kelseychoe BRONZE, Valencia, California
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

On days where the weatherman reported gloomy skies, Cate often made her trek to the mountain. She preferred these days because the bright yellow primroses turned flaxen, and the  vastness of the sky was shrouded with dark clouds. The world was less intense--more relaxed. She liked it that way. Muddy road squelched beneath her boots as she observed the foliage and moss on the fallen tree trunks. A slight drizzle dotted her white raincoat and jet black hair. Cate recalled the days after a heavy rain, the worms writhing on the asphalt of her cul-de-dac and the rainbow that appeared behind the mountain. Her eyes closed for a moment, appreciating the beautiful weather.

As Cate got closer to the top of the mountain, her cheeks red and hot from walking uphill, she noticed a small black figure laying still in the middle of the path, about 40 yards away. Her face suddenly drained of color. “Shoot” she thought. “What if its a dead animal. I hate dead animals. Should I turn back? No, but I came all this way, I’m almost at the top. My heart rate is up again. Breathe. Breathe. God, why am I like this?” She dug her thumbnail into her fingertip hard. It was a way of coping when her mind spiraled into chaos. Her therapist tried to introduce better methods, but Cate explained why it helps.

“I don’t know. It’s just like, I worry about everything. Then I worry about worrying. The voices can’t stop until I ground myself I guess. The finger pinching helps with that.  I have to remind myself I’m alive and everything will be okay.”

Her fingertip was cracked and calloused and she didn’t even notice the blood oozing out as her eyes locked onto the figure getting closer with each step. Cate was standing 10 feet away from what she now observed to be a large black crow. It lay on its belly, wings spread out onto the ground. It’s head was tilted to face her, eyes closed. The crow wasn’t moving and the position it’s body contorted in seemed staged, extremely unusual. She tried to muster up courage to walk past the creature.

Her thoughts ran like wildfire again. “That is the biggest crow I’ve ever seen. It has to be at least half my height. That’s not normal. Oh God. Do crows bite? Crows have a lot of germs. It’s going to bite me and I’ll get a deadly disease. What if I die? Is the crow dead? It isn’t moving but it doesn’t look dead. What if it’s alive?....” While Cate worriedly rambled in her head the crow twitched with movement. She didn’t see at first, but then the slight flutter of feathers caught her eye. The crow opened both beady eyes, lifted it’s head from the ground, and stared at Cate. She stared back and her thoughts froze.

Cate couldn’t hear the sound of the forest or the rain pattering the Earth anymore. It was complete silence. The crow stretched its wings, and in an instant transformed into a feeble old woman. Her nose protruded out like a beak, and she wore a black cloak. That was the last image before Cate’s sight was taken from her. She saw black. Then, the silence was replaced with voices. Her own anxious thoughts all speaking at once. They were loud--screaming, whispers, questions, crying. She couldn’t feel her fingers. Cate never escaped the curse. The rest of her miserable life was blackness and voices.

The author's comments:

"Silence Please" is a dark flash fiction story about a young girl named Cate. This character suffers from anxiety, and is constantly bombarded with her irrational thoughts. Although the story ends tragically, my goal is to bring more awareness to mental illnesses like anxiety and emphasize how damaging it can be. 

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

bobs_sphere said...
on Aug. 20 2018 at 3:47 pm
bobs_sphere, Menlo, California
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Very deep and chilling story.