The Weight of Silence
It’s time for another Indie Ink Challenge. This week I was challenged by Kayla. I challenged Aimee. I will share more information on that at the bottom. Enjoy!
It was not always like this. For three generations I had kept time, my yellow cuckoo peeping out at the top of every hour, my whistle at every quarter. It was always this way, every day. Unless they forgot to change my batteries, which happened once in a while until they missed my cuckoo or the whistle of my chime.
I have no idea what time it is anymore. My whistle stopped before my cuckoo, but once my cuckoo stopped, I stopped remembering to move my hands. I had been moving my hands forever. It feels foreign and strange to be still. This house is so quiet now that the children have all grown and moved on, just as they always do. Their swollen baby cheeks grew gaunt and thin, bringing in their own chubby handed and swollen baby cheeked miniatures until they too disappeared into that place where people go. No more baby giggles to tease the cuckoo out of his hiding place. No small voices demanding the clock work now! No little stamping feet that grew into gentle caresses. They are all gone now, save one. One left in a metal cart, muscles barely strong enough to maneuver the giant wheels that have replaced her legs. It is too familiar now, this quiet, I must confess.
I can smell the dust gathering along the shelves. It has been quite some time since I have seen anyone. I have heard no clattering of dishes, no metallic cadence of pots and pans, or the hum of the refrigerator. No wheels creaking the floorboards with their weight. The light is never bright enough anymore, always seeming filtered, as if I am looking through a haze. My cuckoo has grown heavy; she is weary of standing in one place. We are all tired.
I am lonely. My wish for someone, anyone, has died long ago. I do not know this emptiness. I am glad my hands have stopped moving, for I am afraid that my cuckoo, in shattering the silence, would make the house tremble, its fragile glass to break. For once I am glad that my batteries have not been changed. This silence is overwhelming, yet I dare not betray it.
Voices pierce the air and awaken me. My view is dim. I have lost my eyesight, and my hearing is going as well. Hope surges within my bowels. I would wave my pendulum if I were able to. I bid my cuckoo to emerge just one last time, to let us go out in a blaze of glory. Hope overriding sensibility, my eagerness to draw attention to myself consuming every gear and screw within me. It has been too long and I am weak, too weak. The voices fade away and silence wraps her chilly arms around me once more.
I do not know how much time has passed but the voices are back. I cannot understand them anymore. I only know that I can feel them hovering below me. A slight tickle of wind on my face clears my vision slightly. They stab at my head, causing acute pain, in an attempt to make my cuckoo emerge. Unsuccessful, I feel warmth on my sides as I am removed from my lofty perch, only to rise and fall with the motion of the human holding me. My imagination sends shivers through my body, down through my pendulum, all the way to my cuckoo. I am placed in cardboard, cushioning beneath me, crushed velvet softening the blow. Downy softness blinds me and smothers me and darkness erases the light.
If only my mind could stop as easily as my body has.
Kayla challenged me this week to “write about your greatest loss.” This is what I came up with. Constructive criticism is always wanted and welcomed.
I challenged Aimee, whose simply FABULOUS response you can find here. Her challenge: “You are being executed for a crime you did not commit. Using stream of consciousness writing, adding in idioglossia language (aka James Joyce style) and nonlinear narrative, what are your thoughts during the last fifteen minutes of your life?” I’m telling you she met and jumped the fence with this one. Must read!!!
Have you taken the challenge? What are you waiting for!!