This is the shortest story from ‘Tales of Crime & Violence‘, (Volume 1) which falls into the ‘Violence’ category… but not how you may initially think… which is all part of what these books are about.
I pulled the car to a halt, two wheels on the grass verge and switched the engine off.
Immediately the engine died the radio seemed dreadfully loud.
So strange the way you get used to the noise of a running engine. The way your mind cancels out the rhythmic growling.
I wondered if it was always that way, if we have the ability to disregard repetitive or intrusive sounds?
I mean, did the cavemen do such? Was there a need? Maybe during a storm or a gale, they could close their ears to the sound of the howling winds or the consistent noise of heavy rainfall, maybe?
Or it could be a newly acquired skill since… since when?
At first, I supposed it would be during the industrial revolution. The sound of looms, presses and steam engines; thumps, clashes and clanging’s, a metallic cacophony the likes of which had never been heard before.
But then, before then, there was war. Iron forges for portcullis and armour, stonemasons chasing rock into blocks for castle walls; the incessant repetitiveness of hammer, of chisel, of mallet.
Then the battle. Masses of men, horse and oxen meshing and mashing themselves into bloody quagmires of gritty bone and blood.
If ever there was a sound to blanket I believe I would choose to smother that one.
Especially after the events of this morning.
Those screams sent sensations tingling the entire length of my spine. I could not tell if they came from the nape of my neck and ran down, like a streak of lightning to the base of my back, or if they started there, at my coccyx and travelled upwards to strike my atlas bone.
You see, it was not the volume, the earth splitting frequency of those elongated screams which caused my vertebrae to quiver. It was the intensity of which they were emitted.
I actually felt them. Felt the full ferocity of their energy within every organ, every cell of my entire being.
That ferocity was only equalled by the way she fought. Limbs flailing like broken masts in a force ten gale. Vicious nails, the talons of werewolves, and sharp teeth with the uncanny ability to locate exposed skin without conscious effort, seeking to rent chunks of flesh from my arms and face.
It took me a long time to subdue her. My face was gashed, long rips of bloodied skin hung from my cheeks. My arms were cut, bitten and bruised, as was my ego.
It was during that process, while I was trying to overpower her, I could have done with the capability to eliminate noise. I am certain I could have restrained her far quicker had she not been screaming so loudly, so constantly.
Even now, as I sit in my car with the radio on, volume so low it is barely audible, I can hear her screams echoing in my ears, my bloodied hands still shake a little, the remnants of the violent trembling the episode left with me.
I know her screams shall be a sound I shall carry within my memory forever, carry to my grave.
Fortunately, before she could do further damage before she managed to totally dismember and disembowel me, other nurses came to my assistance. Together we were able to subdue and sedate her.
As I left the ward I looked to where she now lay, sedated and sleeping. She looked so calm and serene, so peaceful and content.
I cannot help but wonder what demons inhabit her tortured soul.
Tonight, I shall pray for her.
You can find all three volumes of ‘Tales of Crime & Violence’ on Amazon and other good bookstores.
They are available as Paperbacks
or ready to download eBooks/Kindle