Sound and Silence

Can you to listen to a sound until it has gone entirely, a motorcycle driving into the night outside your window, or children laughing at a pitch so high it would be enough to split your skull into pieces? They conducted experiments of course, to find the very point at which the sound would disappear, that delicate contour between life and death, an intersection of particular bounds, both finite and mathematically impossible.

We wore out our lungs screaming for them, and at that tiny space between sound and silence, at the very point where our voices failed and our crying was formed only from the expelling of air, we found a moment of serenity and utter abhorrence. Our throats bled from the effort as the scientists fell before us, answers uncovered, leading to further confusion. They did not know where the edge of noise lay, or how to find it, but we were to be used as though we served for some sort of ultimate purpose.

They led us to our beds and cut our wrists as a method of keeping close to the comfortable basis of truth. A blade could break the skin and could cut through that limit between air and blood. Skin was measurable afterall, as was bone and agony. We’d drift gently off to sleep, our veins bleeding into the damp red mattress. They trapped moths in cardboard boxes and we placed our hands over our ears so as not to hear their wings beating against their tiny prisons, a tell-tale heart in the corner of the room.


About Anna

Author of the Insanity Aquarium. Current fears include time as a concept, the squishiness of my right eyeball, and not being able to open this jar.
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20 Responses to Sound and Silence

  1. Eagerly awaiting your return. I like my homeless people with a side of coleslaw and a large cola.


  2. Anna says:

    Ladies and jellyspoons, I have a busy few weeks coming up and so I’m afraid there might not be any stories for a short while. Never fear though, I shall return and have plenty to blog about when I do :D No doubt I shall still be lurking around however, so if you have an amusing picture of you eating a homeless man, please still feel free to share.


  3. Val says:

    Chilling. And while I’m sure you didn’t mean it to be this sort of thing, it reminds me of a short story in a book by Wolfgang Borchert. If you’re not familiar with him, look up some info. His life was tragic but he was an amazing writer.


    • Anna says:

      Thank you Val! I will have to look Wolfgang Borchert up, I’m always excited to add new books to my collection :)


  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    How curious, this piece. I came by after reading your comment on Anne Schilde’s tale – & I get this!! :) It was fascinating, gripping, and that about the moths beating their wings at their tiny prison… mercy, such an image. Excellent scribe.


    • Anna says:

      Thank you so much. WordsFallFromMyEyes, you are more than welcome to visit the aquarium any time you wish :)


  5. Pete Howorth says:

    Man if only the scientists actually found that out, I’m sure it’d cure world hunger.

    I suppose cutting your wrists at least helps the vampires. Though I’m not sure they’re happy with it being wasted on the mattresses.


    • Anna says:

      They can always wring it out, it gives ’em something to do inbetween sucking on necks and eating small children.


  6. You are quite the word painter, and fezzes ARE cool. Maybe you should write a Doctor Who fan fiction story. I’ll bet you could come up with a wonderfully horrifying kind of alien.


  7. darkjade68 says:

    You and your Cute Gravatar Pictures, Lol

    Now all you need is a Monkey on your Shoulder, Lol

    Or a Vampire Bunny will do, Hee Hee



  8. Anne Schilde says:

    When I was little, I met a guy who played live ragtime piano for a local restaurant. A brush with the not-quite-famous. He showed me that if you put your ear inside the piano and just let the string vibrations disappear into nothing, it begins to sound like a propeller plane flying away into the distance. Naturally, at home, my parents caught me with my head stuck in the piano. My explanation that I was listening to an airplane didn’t fly. Um, yeah.

    So I loved the tell-tale heart ending! The sound NEVER goes away!


    • Anna says:

      That’s a lovely story, did it ever work? And thank you so much, I like to think we all have some form of a tell-tale heart beating insanity into our brains.


    • Anne Schilde says:

      Oh yes. The airplane sound works on the middle register notes. Getting your head inside the piano case is the trick! Just strike a note and hold the sustain. Tell-Tale Heart is my favorite Poe story. I think he does a fabulous job of making us believe we are crazy, and of course I’ve already compared you to him before. :)


    • Anna says:

      How wonderful! The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my favourites too, alongside the Pit and Pendulum and the System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. I might just have too many favourites, actually.

      And that is one of the grandest comments I have ever recieved. I can’t thank you enough for making me feel all worthwhile and such. :)


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