Tag Archives: silence

Sounds

20 Jan

This is a little something which I wrote in this week’s creative writing session. The prompt was “the most beautiful sound in the universe”.


Every day I am surrounded by sounds. The whistle of the kettle boiling the water for my morning coffee, the rustle of the newspaper as my husband turns its pages, the stomp of my son’s shoe-clad feet on the stairs. Outside on the street there are yet more sounds: horns blaring, doors slamming, people shouting. After a while it all turns into one indiscernable roar of noise. I cannot escape it, even if I plug my ears. It just continues, the sounds reverberating inside my brain.

Sometimes, when it’s late at night and I can’t sleep, I go downstairs and sit at the kitchen table. Even then, alone in the dark, there are sounds. My husband’s snoring, audible despite the heavy oak door between us. The slow steady beep of the smoke detector. Dripping, from the tap which we never seem to have time to fix. An occasional wailing siren, splitting the night in two.

It is at times like these that I close my eyes and remember. I remember my childhood, in a village so small that the local bus was barely more than an oversized people-carrier. I remember sitting at my bedroom window, staring in the direction of the city, where the life and the energy and the people were, and longing to be a part of it. I remember the silence of the nights there, broken only by the birds singing as daylight approached. I remember that birdsong, the only sound in an otherwise silent world. The most beautiful sound in the universe.

Fiction Friday – The Silence

6 Aug

This week’s prompt was: Your character walks into a room of people. Everything goes uncomfortably silent and all eyes narrow in on your character. Now keep writing.

And this is what I came up with:

As soon as the doors swing open, you feel the atmosphere change. The gay chatter of just a moment before instantly dissipates into muffled whispers. Heads are turning, people literally craning their necks to get a better look at you. It’s the type of attention that might have been flattering, had the occasion only been different.

Swallowing hard, smoothing down your suit, you force yourself to walk forwards. Although you’re no longer looking at the others, you can feel their eyes following your progress, hear their murmurs as loudly as if they were being shouted directly into your ears. For a moment you consider backing out, just turning on your heel and running, taking the shelter that those heavy oak doors are offering. The outcome would surely be the same.

But you don’t. Drawing in a deep breath, running your hands nervously over your suit for a second time, you take the final few steps. You place your hand on the proffered Bible and look up, facing the room.

“I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” You proclaim.

You can do this.

You think.