Noise. Short Story.

Todays short story is quite short, sorry about that, I have to go watch some horror movies for an essay. It doesn’t help I don’t actually like horror movies, nor that I’ve never done a film essay before and I have no idea what I’m doing.

I’m hoping they will continue in the vein of the one I watched yesterday, which followed the general story line of kinda boring with some bad acting thrown in for good measure. Those kind of movies I can deal with. It’s the AH SHOCK that I don’t enjoy. Or the whole prolonged terror of oh my god. It’s right there. It’s there. Oh god. It’s going to get them, no seriously, it’s right there! Oh. It was a lamp. Nevermind. holy fuck no it isn’t! RUN!

Or straight up gore. I don’t get that. What’s the point? Like it isn’t engaging, there isn’t a good twist or story line to it, it’s just watching a bunch of people get mutilated for the hell of it. Of course, there are exceptions, like Se7en that’s fairly gory, I enjoyed that, that was a good movie. Speaking of which, I was in a restaurant, and they had a list of “Se7en” deadly sins cocktails, yes, they spelled it that way, and yes, all it made me think of was the last scene with the box and what was in the box. Trying to avoid spoilers there. I think I did ok.

I can read horror, reading horror is so, so much easier and more enjoyable than watching it. I can deal with that prolonged fear much better. Though books tend to stick with me more so than movies.If I watch a scary movie, I might be freaked out for a half an hour or so after it, then forget about it, but books can stick with me.

Ok, I’m rambling here, and yes, trying to procrastinate so I don’t have to watch horror movies alone.
On with the show!

————————————————————————————————

Noise.

Her bracelets jangled discordantly as she walked, knocking against each other with each step. She seemed to be the only one enamoured with their sound, oblivious to the harsh noise, a charm bracelet hung on her other wrist, each charm a tiny bell, each clanging softly in their little prisons. She liked noise, no, she needed noise. She couldn’t stand silence, it was so demanding, so oppressive. She was always tapping or drumming her fingers simply to prevent silence settling down on her. She stopped in the middle of the bridge and looked over its edge, looking at the rivers surface, it was a habit she had, with each passing, she checked the water level. The river was low today, a few pebbles stuck out of the glistening surface, drying in the warm sun. she turned from the bridges edge and continued her journey, her fingers going to her ear and untangling a wisp of hair that had wrapped itself around her earring. She had a busy day ahead, first, there was coffee with Jason, then she had to meet the girls for lunch, then she had to go with her sister Amanda to look at bridesmaids dresses and finally, she had to go to her parents for dinner. She would have liked to get more done, but Amanda demanded they look at the dresses. She didn’t see what the problem was, it was another year and a half before Amanda was even getting married. The wind tugged gently at her dress, pulling her forward, rushing her. She increased her pace, she was running a little late after all.

When she reached the coffee shop, a small place that had been crammed full of tables, Jason was already drinking his coffee and reading a book. He always brought a book with him when they met up, he expected that she would be late. It was a perfectly ordinary coffee date, nothing unusual happened, at least, not obviously, but she felt stifled towards the end. Like the room was getting smaller, the air hotter, thicker. She managed to stick it out until they had both finished and until Jason finally stood to leave. She had to force herself not to jump up, slowly, maddeningly, they picked their way through the maze of tables to the doors and freedom. Outside she felt a little calmer, not much, but a little. She hugged Jason, bracelets jangling as her arms wrapped around him and they left each other with promises to meet up again soon. Once he turned his back, she started walking, trying to get away from the strange heavy feeling. She would have to go to the restaurant soon, she had planned on cutting through the park and taking her time, but the thought of lunch made her shiver. She didn’t want to meet her friends, she didn’t want to be around them. She didn’t think she would be able to stand it. Someone bumped into her shoulder, “Sorry I-oh, Jessica, hey, sorry, I didn’t see you there.” “Thanks ok” It took her a moment to place her face, “Alice, how have you been?” “Oh, not to bad, I’m-” Jessica drifted off, the conversation was too much, it was all too much. Suddenly, Alice hugged her, “It was good seeing you again, we should meet up for coffee sometime” “Yeah, you too, we really should” Then she was gone. Jessica had no memory of the conversation she had had with Alice, and hoping nothing too bad was said, she continued walking. The park, that’s what she needed, big empty open space.

Once there she again felt better, she moved deeper into the park, past the screaming children and their doting parents, past the dogs and their walkers, until finally she was surrounded by trees on all sides, with no one in sight. She sighed, suddenly relieved and sat on the ground, it was hard, but not as hard as she had expected. The ground was dry, so carefully, she lay back until she was lying down, staring up at the canopy of leaves above her. Shards of bright blue burst through the green leaves, giving her small glimpses of the sky. She shut her eyes for a moment and breathed deeply. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t see the girls. Jessica didn’t know why, there was no reason for it, she just knew she couldn’t. she lay on the ground, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with her, she had been fine until the coffee and then everything seemed to change. Oh god, there was Amanda’s bridesmaid dresses. Christ, Amanda would kill her if she didn’t turn up. She opened her eyes and stared at the rustling leaves. It didn’t matter, not really. Sure Amanda would be mad, but Amanda would forgive her. She’d have to, they were sisters after all.

It was peaceful here, alone amongst the trees, away from everyone else. It was kind of nice. Around her she could hear birds calling out, the trees whispering secrets to one another, it was all so loud, so alive. She closed her eyes once more and allowed the sounds to lull her gently to sleep. The sun was warm on her skin, small patches that fought their way through the canopy, a small smile tugged at her lips as around her the trees continued to whisper.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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