Speaking in Silence

by R.T. Allenson

These were the fearful times – moments when his heartbeat raced and jumped, when he felt like his life was ticking away with every second that passed. He was afraid for some reason.

He thinks he’s made a mistake.

He stretches his arm forward, extending his hand outwards to the sky as if to touch it. Presently he snaps his fingers but there is no sound, there’s only a lingering silence that encompasses all and he feels his mind ache from the sense of foreboding. He thinks back to the previous day, the things he’s done but everything is a blank and it pains him to remember. His breath is stale in the air, mixing coldly as the morning grows ever colder.

A crowd of people had arrived at the station, waiting as he was, for the morning train to arrive. There was noise, finally, but the sounds were muffled and this disturbed him more. He hid behind one of the station pillars when a couple of women, students, stood across where he had placed himself. Closing his eyes, he began to listen…The words were there – he could hear it, but it was soundless, almost as if they were speaking in silence. Shadows were playing at his mind, anxious thoughts beckoning him to give in to fear. He was afraid, this was true, but his curiosity as to what was going on was overriding fear, a fact that he acknowledged as something as a double-edged sword.

He felt sick inside, his stomach churning as the dread and the anxiety boiled within him. He was afraid to approach – to touch and feel, he was afraid that they would vanish as soon as he attempted to do anything remotely social. He fumbled about himself, trying to reason and decide as to what to do next. The words were there, he could hear it, but it was soundless. Almost as if everyone was speaking in silence. Eventually, he steps out from his hiding place – just in time as the train was approaching; even its bellowing call was muffled into silence. The world was slowing down, it seemed. The people, monotonous as they moved at a snail’s pace as his heart began racing…beating faster with each second that passed. Fear and silence was all-encompassing, but there was a certain clarity in his movement. He knows he’s made a mistake. He knows what to do.

Walking towards the edge of the station, he turns to the sky and begins screaming as he jumps into the oncoming train. The sound that came after echoed throughout his being until it too, faded to silence.