Calamitous Silence

published 05/05/19

You closed your eyes. 25 years you had been working in this place. 25 years you had been pushing buttons. 25 years you had come to work and sat in the same chair. 25 years is a long time.

Where was it all going? What goal were you trying to achieve? What was your purpose in this place? You sighed. 25 years.

You felt the cool air as a breeze pushed gently around you and brushed through your hair. You enjoyed the small amount of relief that it carried as it ever so briefly lingered around you. The breeze.

You smiled a bit as you realized: this was it. All your life had been leading to this moment. This was what you had been waiting for, just the small feeling of peace that this breeze brought you: an experience of absolute serenity and refuge. It was this breeze that you had been waiting for.

There was some kind of stone under your feet, or some kind of fake stone. It wasn't quite concrete but it was definitely similar. It was definitely hard and felt coarse to the touch. Not that you could feel it. You were standing on it, embracing the calamitous silence of the city at night: still loud, but oh, so quiet.

A pigeon cawed somewhere to your right and interrupted your reflection. It wasn't so harsh that it drew you out of your tranquility entirely but it was definitely noticeable. But you didn't focus on the noise it made so much as the bird itself. You pictured it as you stood there. You imagined the bird's dark wings, flapping not quite majestically, but still beautifully, carrying it through the air.

Then you began to wonder how anything could soar in the sky for so long without falling. You remembered the basics from school: the bird's bones were lighter, thus allowing it to lift itself into the air and stay there. But why could birds fly and not humans? Why were the birds so special?

You inaudibly scoffed and cursed the pigeon for being able to fly, how dare it boast its abilities to you in such attitude? You could fly too, you knew you could.

Then you stretched out your arms on either side of you and began to flap them. You would have looked ridiculous to anyone watching the spectacle, an adult trying to flap their imaginary wings in an attempt to join the birds in their flight. But you didn't care. You leaned forward and, without bothering to gain speed, you leaped.

You were soaring. You were flying. The wind was rushing through your hair and you could finally feel the absolute escape that the breeze could offer you.

This was it.

This was what you had been waiting for.

You were finally free.

You opened your eyes and then hit the pavement.

I have written a lot of stories and poems over my life, because I enjoy world building, and it used to be my primary form of entertainment and escape. Unfortunately when I acquired regular access to computers I started writing pretty much everything using them, which meant that I had to store my writing digitally as well. A few years ago I lost the bulk of all my work when a hard drive died and I forgot the password to a MEGA account. This was hugely demotivating to me because writing, and thus the things I've written, is very important to me. Despite the way I present myself to the internet and despite the way some people who are close to me may describe me, I'm not actually very talented and I don't actually have a lot of potential. I believe that what I've written will be my legacy. So the loss of that much of my work, including some of my personal favourite pieces, was, honestly, emotionally devastating to me.

Recently I was going through some of my old accounts on websites I don't use anymore, but that I used to use to distribute some of my stories and poems, and I found that on one account, two of my favourite pieces still existed. This is one of them. It was originally published in 2014 as "The Silence," and I believe it is one of my best. Though, since rediscovering it, I changed it slightly in some places for better phrasing.

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.

Also, when I originally wrote this story back in 2014 I also did a dramatic reading to accompany it. Unfortunately I was unable to find that video but I redid it.