Write Stories

Matthew Santiago

The Sound

Sometimes if you listen carefully; not just close your eyes but clear your mind, you can hear it; a gentle hum, an annoying ring, or in some instances, a soul-piercing scrap like a lousy violinist. You’ll know it found you when…well, let’s say it starts subtly. Some say it feels like a siren call from the distance. Your brain can’t quite tell, so it tunes the sound for you. Like a radio, you begin to hear it better, but something isn’t quite right. The brain fights to associate the sound with familiarity, struggling to make any association, but nothing matches; that’s when you know you’re trapped.

The sound claws at your brain as it enters and every fiber in your body stops to focus. You know the sound and its origin as something ancestral, but what exactly; no one has figured that out. Are you a musician or a singer? I hope not. They delve deep into the sound; continually trying to match pitch and use music theory to find the origin but to no avail. All notes are wrong; all melodies are off. Nothing can be beautiful, like the sound.

Perhaps you’re an artist? Maybe a writer? The sound can inspire to a deadly degree. It takes control, and you can almost visualize it. Words take form, light gains texture, taste turns into sensations of color. Yet, deep inside your cells will scream at you to run from this foreign invader. They know the danger of the ancient sound and watch helplessly while the body destroys itself.

Remember the upcoming artist from the paper? No? Some art fanatics began showing odd and exotic pieces of art. Started with weird metal pieces, then macabre paintings. A few days later, her landlord called the police, strange smells coming from her studio. The paper left this piece out, but the grapevine says she cut herself and painted with her blood and body parts. All over the walls were symbols and questions like, “What is it?” and “can you hear it?” On her face, though, was a huge smile like she had finally accomplished a life goal.

Speaking of the newspaper, did you read the story about a family torn apart by their crazed son? Well, that was the sound too. Don’t believe the newspapers, though; it was a cover-up. The paper said the son went off his medication and killed everyone. Here’s the truth: the father was a computer scientist, and he broke the sound down into a formula. The problem is he never finished because it was impossible. The wife, she was a manager at some retail store. It affected her differently. Have you tried to learn a new topic or series of information and get overly worked from your brain being shocked by data? That happened to her. She couldn’t make sense and gouged her eyes out. The sound took over, of course, and she mutilated herself in a fit of insanity.

Don’t worry about the baby. You don’t need the details; however, she didn’t make it either. Poor thing, rest her soul, didn’t deserve to experience that. The boy was special, though. The sound made perfect sense to him. Have you seen those websites pop up with sophisticated algorithms and wild symbols? Many people dismissed them as hoaxes, but that is the sound. See, he was already mad. The sound, when asked, “was a beautiful melody of perfect harmony among the senses.” The kid is only ten, but somehow, he managed to work out complex theoretical algorithms involving quantum physics. Crazy right? Anyway, the kid understood this and uploaded all his work. Prosecution won’t let him out, probably death penalty; but that’s what the sound does.

Don’t worry, though; the sound doesn’t exist, right? It’s only an urban legend from the internet. After all, sounds don’t kill people; people kill people. I’m sure that the new radio tower is only a radio tower, right?



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