The Screaming Silence

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The Screaming Silence

Post by AbroadHawk on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:14 pm



This story starts like few other stories have started. A man named Wayne has assured that. Instead of beginning with speech, it will begin without. In a robust attempt to conjure understanding from you, the reader, for Wayne, the protagonist of this tale, his viewpoint will be realized with utmost clarity in these paragraphs.

In a brief few words of summary: Wayne cannot speak.

Wayne could not speak for quite some time.

This story will begin without speech, but with sound. The sound of rain. Wayne enjoys sounds such as rain especially because he can produce none. During these dark times, however, there are few comforts such as music and singing for him to listen to, due to the Universal Union's restricting regulations on free expression. When music does come, it is typically without lyrics. To Wayne this makes no difference, and he makes a point of enjoying it while it lasts.

In the particular moment however, there is no music. Not even the blare of a jazzy trumpet or the romantic curls of a violin to soften the constant blows dealt by the Universal Union's...local militants. Even as Wayne struggles to get to his feet as soon as he hears the stomping of steel-toed boots up the hall stairs, he focuses on the rain. He relies on the pattering, relentless sound of it to keep himself sane in the face of metropolice scrutiny and violence. Soon, they are at the door. Wayne turns his dim lamplight off, gathers the things he had written, and calmly heads to the door. The door itself, he notes, is polished oak. Certainly a door such as this was more costly for the pre-war landlord of this apartment block than a typical metal storm door. It has a surprising many designs etched into it. Possibly Scandinavian.

At the conclusion of his last thought (What had he been thinking about? Scandinavians?), the door is pounded on so hard by a thick, shiny, standard-issue-gloved fist that it nearly splinters. Wayne, silent and calm as ever, unbolts the door and opens it. In seconds he's tackled to the floor. He is given no time to even blink in surprise as the officers storm his apartment. He counts the pairs of feet circling around as he's flipped onto his stomach and forcefully tied. Two officers, plus the one tying him. He hears another pair of boots scuffing the floor behind him, entering the apartment.

Wrong again. Four officers. A breaching team, and the one walking in is the leader. Shouts of "CLEAR!" emanate from the adjacent room as he's raised back to his feet and thrown against the wall.


Last edited by AbroadHawk on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Screaming Silence

Post by Sheeplie on Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:03 pm

I enjoyed this, definitely wanna hear what happens next!

Keep up the good work. Smile
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Re: The Screaming Silence

Post by AbroadHawk on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:48 pm

Wayne is an attentive man, especially to sound. Just like he pays extra attention to the occasional jamboree echoing from an underground bar down the block, he pays extra attention to things like footsteps, vocal cues, creaking floorboards, and rapidity or lack thereof of breathing.

As such, he notices the masked metropolice officer's filters hissing and convulsing behind him. The officer could be afraid, angry, or just plain out of breath. Wayne notes this, but remains staring at the wall he's been thrown against. If he so much as glances backward, the result could be a broken arm or pelvis, like his neighbor three weeks before. The sounds of the mask's air filters stop as the mask's vocoder clicks in. Of all sounds that Wayne tries to enjoy, the most difficult one for him is the sounds of standard-issue vocoders. It both amplifies the voice and distorts it into a deep, monstrous, asexual growl.

"You better have a good explanation for this." The officer growls, gripping Wayne's arm with such force that it hurts.

Such an ugly voice, Wayne thinks, Why would you purposely make your voice so ugly?

Wayne knows the answer, though. He knows why their voices are ugly, why their faces are hidden, and what they do with the stun batons they are issued with. The officer spins Wayne around to look at him. Wayne has a chance to glance quickly to the side. Two others are watching the ordeal. One is guarding the door with his back to the room. Wayne is forced to stare at the officer in his bright-blue, glowing eyeports. The metrocop is holding up a sheet of notebook in his left hand, his fingers clenched over it and shaking.

"You're going to explain this, citizen. Now."

Wayne only blinks in confusion, and in the next second he's on the floor. The officer had shoved the tip of his stunstick, on full charge, right into his stomach. The electroshock pain is almost unbearable, and yet Wayne could not even utter a grunt this time. Not so much as a cry or whimper of pain escaped his lips. He simply bites his lower lip and curls up into a ball on the floor, tears at the corners of his eyes. He can hear the hissing of the filters close to his ear. The metrocop had squatted down, the activated stun baton in one hand and the page in the other. He holds up the page so Wayne can read it.

It's opened to a poem. One of Wayne's. Wayne enjoys expressing his thoughts and feelings on paper, when it's available from the local Civil Worker's Union of course. He hadn't imagined it could be anywhere but stuffed somewhere in his desk drawer or mattress...unless he had fallen and it had slipped out of his pocket. Surely that was it.

Ah, yes! Wayne could remember now. That morning he had been walking on the sidewalk near the ration distribution terminal, when a stranger had bumped into him in a rude fashion. Most likely late for something, Wayne had thought. Now, it seems, that man could cost him his life, or his time, the only two things Wayne still moderately values.


Last edited by AbroadHawk on Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Screaming Silence

Post by AbroadHawk on Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:44 pm

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Re: The Screaming Silence

Post by Noahleahy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:05 pm

I really enjoy this story AbroadHawk, it's very well done. I hope you make a sequel of sorts so I can know more about this character.

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Re: The Screaming Silence

Post by AbroadHawk on Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:25 pm

Wayne is helpless. He can do nothing but stare into the menacing, glowing eyeports of the metrocop. The cop is now standing over him, the notebook hanging out of his hand like something contaminated or dirty. Wayne glances at it, sweating and hurt yet still unperturbed by the officer's extortion. He returns his blank gaze to the officer's mask.

"...Hm." A bored, possibly tired huff of air whistles in the filters.

The officer suddenly tosses the book behind him, not bothering to look where its trajectory is headed. The book hits one of the other officers, one of the two that were watching, in the chest and he actually drops his pistol with a clatter while he scrambles to hold onto it.

The cop, obviously a recent addition to the MPF (that is, Metropolice Force), quickly picks up the pistol and holsters it. Too late. The breach leader's gaze is affixed to the (younger?) officer, with clear deliberation, most likely on how he will handle this later. He sighs, an action that makes his filters whistle again.

"04, return that book to where it belongs." The breach leader bellows, not without a hint of aggression even with the vocoder.

Wayne grimaces. Hell, he means. Units, not even citizens, are allowed to mention heaven or hell in this city, because it implies worship of something other than Combine rule. Without saying it, the unit said, Send that book back to Hell.
This touches one of Wayne's nerves. He had filled that notebook with hours of contented journal entries and poems, even stories inspired by the people he had met. He would be so sorry to see it go, and perhaps they would even change his data to prevent him from acquiring a new one from the CWU. Internally, he moans and loathes himself at that thought.

The 04 officer, rank identified by both armband and the breach leader's calling-out, nods and carries the book out of the apartment, brushing past the guard at the door. The breach leader looks at Wayne again, an action which sends a shudder up Wayne's spine that he takes major efforts not to show.

"You're getting off easy, today. Any other day I would skin you alive, understand? Write anything else like that, and I will make sure you burn."

Wayne stares up at the officer. After a moment, he nods. A barely audible whisper comes from the filter of the officer's mask. It's a sigh of contentment. The officer, even though he has taken great measures to hide his emotion, still just showed Wayne that he did not truly want to be here.

Then what, Wayne questions, are you in such a hurry for?

It takes nearly ten seconds for the officers to cut Wayne's ties and vacate the residence. After those ten seconds, Wayne leans out into the hall. Empty. He shuts the door as best as he can, then wipes his forehead. Another point added to his data.

Just what I need. He thinks.
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Re: The Screaming Silence

Post by AbroadHawk on Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:12 pm

Wayne's waited too long and he knows that. Today has to be the day. He opens the sliding closet door and searches the nearly empty interior. His navy blue suitcase lies open at the bottom of the closet, where it has sat and gathered dust for the past several years. Wayne tries to conjure up the memories of where he originally came from, but it's lost in a foggy haze. He's stopped caring one way or another a long time ago.

His consciousness returns to reality, rather than searching for ghost memories. His deep blue eyes, described to him at some point in a far off place as "oceanic", remain transfixed on the suitcase. Wayne breaks his reverie, picking up the suitcase. Bits of dust fall onto the cracked floorboards.

No time to clean. It occurs to Wayne he's not sure what time it is. He knows the morning trains could come any minute.

Hurry. Wayne throws the suitcase to the middle of his floor and goes to his couch, grabbing the four other pairs of clothes that he's saved up. It's more luxury than some can afford these days, more than one set of clothes. He folds the rough, frayed denim pants and jackets into the suitcase neatly.

The soldering iron. Yes! Wayne had almost forgotten. He would need the old, malfunctioning soldering iron he had found in an abandoned machine shop. It would surely be useful.

Without a second glance at the dirty, crumbling facade of the apartment, he leaves with a white-knuckled grip on the suitcase. Was he really about to attempt this? Relocation takes weeks of preparedness, the City Administrator says. Relocation is either a privilege given to good citizens, or a punishment given to bad citizens. Wayne listened to the broadcasts but didn't believe them. That's a thought crime and Wayne knows it, but the thought police haven't reached into his head to find out that he can't talk yet, have they?

Wayne knew what city he would go to. Forms filled out or not, he would take what belongings he still had and go to that city. It had to be better than what was here, just had to be. The people on the street had said so themselves.

It's better there. They had said.

It's safer there. They had said.
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