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Sounds of Silence
Louder than a freight train
The white noise machine worked fine.
Until it didn’t.
That ‘didn’t’ happened on the very night Lance needed it to work.
He checked the clock when he noticed the sound change: 2:21.
Just like that. No storm. Nothing to suggest a power outage. It just conked out.
And then he heard it…nothing.
It’s hard to hear something that doesn’t exist, but Lance heard it all right.
He heard the creaks of the settling house, the wind blowing against the trees and the house, the subtle breathing of his wife, and the AC kicking in and turning off. Even the box spring squeaked with each movement, but he hadn’t noticed it before.
The most curious of sounds were the internal body sounds of both him and his wife. The internal digestive noises intrigued him. The gurglings, the squeaks, and the prolonged hisses all had a familiar quality about them. Not pleasant but familiar.
At 3:42, Lance went to the bathroom and upon returning, tried to readjust his eyes to the bedroom darkness and the eerie silence. Every single thing he did in the dark made its own sound. He felt his way to his side of the bed, using the dresser and bed as guides, and then flipped the covers up.
“Did you forget to turn on the machine?” his wife asked.
“Nope. Died on us. Kaput. No more,” Lance said.
“That’s nice, Dear,” she said. and he knew she wouldn’t remember the conversation in the morning because she was already settled into her delicae snores.
Well, it wasn’t as nice as she had suggested because he had been lying awake since the machine died. He’d have to order a new one in the morning but the smart phone alarm was set to go off in a little over an hour, but how could he sleep in complete silence? Lance closed his eyes and he heard everything but the silence.
With the AC kicking in so much, this must be costing me a fortune. Maybe I should turn down the air a bit. You’re overthinking it, Lance. Just let it go. Get some sleep. The temperature was fine before the sound machine went out and it’s fine now.
“Waant Waant Waant Waant,” the sound of the smart phone alarm screamed before Lance fiddled with it to turn it off.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Lance said.
“Nope, I’m afraid it’s time, Lance. I’ll get the coffee percolating while you jump in the shower. Say, did you hear any strange noises last night?”
Lance sat on the edge of the bed and sighed.
“That’s all I heard, Jill,” said Lance. “Every single one.”