The Prompt Project’ are posts that are essentially a way for me to exercise my creative muscles, without all the pressure that comes from writing my WIP for example.
I post what I write on the spot, I don’t impose a word limit or time it, just go with whatever my brain spits out for as long it keeps up the momentum. I’ll literally see prompt, write and then post the results.
Here’s Prompt project number 5, this ones a Pinterest find again:
“That was the night I finally understood why people fear silence”
The Sound of Silence.
There’s a kind of silence that I hope you’ve never had to experience. I used to find it comforting, I used to chase peace and quiet like it was some mythical creature you only catch rare glimpses of. I never understood people who required incessant noise to feel sane.
But now I’m in a silent house, with not a soul in it who cares about me. There’s no one left.
The house has been transformed into this living, breathing, omniscient being. It creaks, cracks and hums, as if it feels the need to make me abundantly aware, there is no-one here. The emptiness sneaks under my skin, crawls into every fibre of this house until I feel as empty and hollow as it must feel.
There used to be laughter, there used to be feet thundering up and down the stairs, there used to be yelling and sighing. There used to be so much. I wonder if it misses it as much as I do.
I wonder if it misses soft hands reaching for you in the dark, to hold you and to stroke your hair as much as I do. It seems to hold its’ breathe, same as me, when I cry out in the night. Forgetting, as I do, for one, blissful second that no one will be rushing into my room every time I wake drenched in sweat. There will be no footsteps to interrupt the sound of my harsh breathing, there will be no shoulder to cry on.
It’s as if all that never existed. It’s as if I no longer exist.
This life doesn’t feel real, therefore, I cannot be real.
Perhaps I am in some kind of purgatory.
If I let myself, I could lie for days on our sofa, feel myself unravel into the worn fabric. In the beginning I would just let it happen, let myself fall through the cushions, through the sofa, into the floor. Until I was in the floorboards. Until I was nothing but bricks and dust. Until the only thing I had to cling to was the sound of my breathing.
In and out.
In and out.
In and out.
In and out.
Expanding and contracting inside this place, which would surely become my tomb.
They used to say that, didn’t they? ‘As silent as the grave’.
If this was purgatory, it would mean I died with them.
If I am in the waiting place. If I am being punished until I can join them, if I knew for sure, then I could bear this.
If there was something beyond this silence. The silence of the dead that I must walk amidst. The inexorable pressure of memories only I now carry, the weight of it threatening to drown me.
I smashed all the picture frames once, unable to stand the dead smiling at me. Stupid, ignorant people, who thought safety was guaranteed. Who didn’t treasure the sounds of life, of people. Whose days had meaning beyond the continuation of their life. Beyond survival. Now that’s all we do. Survive.
Time stopped having any purpose, any meaning. Seasons mean nothing inside this endless silence. I stopped all the clocks a long time ago, the endless ticking of the ‘tell tale heart’ driving me to insanity. There’s only one time that matters anyway.
I know the sun is setting because the klaxons sound. Like the air raid sirens from the War. I have one chore that must be done every day. As the alarms sound, I must press the button on the wall by the front door, which causes the shutters to descend. They are thick, metal doors, which barricade every entrance and exit and every window. Once the control on the wall issues a beep, I must check them all for faults, I cannot let even the slightest crack escape my attention.
One day I might not bother.
I might let the silence of the dead claim this place, as it has claimed my soul.
I genuinely wasn’t sure where I was headed when I started this one but I hope you enjoyed the spooky zombie apocalypse – like vibes. As a fun side note, I dream about the zombie apocalypse quite frequently… have no idea what that symbolises but it’s the only recurring theme that crops up in my dreams a lot (that I remember).
Check out some more of the Prompt Project posts if you enjoyed this! And perhaps pop a little like below to soothe my ego *winks awkwardly*.