Pure Silence

by Laurella B.
(USA)

He can’t stand the sound of silence or the stark-white walls that enclosed him in his small square prison.

The walls are white. His clothes are white. The floor is white. White, white, white. It’s so peace, he can’t stand it. There is nothing but silence within the white walls. Every day since the day he came, he sits there, listening to the sound of no sound at all.

Every Sunday, though, Samantha comes to visit.

‘Samantha,’ he thinks every Sunday, staring expressionlessly at her face as she speaks to him in a soft voice. ‘Do I know a Samantha?’

Today is Sunday, the seventh Sunday since he’d begun having to endure the white walls.

‘Samantha should be here soon,’ he thinks. He’s not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Every week it’s the same; he’s starting to get annoyed with it. Bored, frustrated.

On cue, the door slowly opens. A girl with long brown hair tied over her shoulder with a violet ribbon steps inside, her bag slung over her shoulder. “Hi, Derrick,” she says quietly.

‘Derrick? Is that me?’

She steps up to him and slowly sits down, smoothing her light gray uniform skirt over her knees. “How are you, Derrick?”

He’s not sure, so he doesn’t respond.

“Look, I-"

It‘s coming back to him now.

“Go away,” he spits at her, glaring.

“No,” she tells him. “I’m staying right here until you admit it.”

“It’s not true!” He shouts. “I’ll beat you! I’ll win, I’ll win!”

“No, Derrick, that never happened! Hush, be quiet now.”

“No! You’re going to lose.”

Samantha screams in frustration.

‘Yes,’ Derrick thinks. ‘I remember this. This is how it was last week, wasn’t it?’

“It was just a game! You’re just a boy, you’re not evil, OK? You have to believe me.”

Derrick shakes his head.

“Listen to me!” Samantha shouts, her ability to stay calm fading with every thought, every word. “It was a game we played as kids! It was just between you and me, no one else, but you took it too far.”

He doesn’t want to hear this.

“You killed him, Derrick, you’re not a monster, I know you’re not, but you’re here because you could potentially become one. Just like the game…”

Derrick shakes his head again. “You’re not going to win. You’ll never win.”

“There’s no game to win!”

“There’s life. You can lose at life.”

“But I-“

Slowly, he reaches into his white jacket and pulls out the knife, the one he hid there when they brought him here. Samantha screams as he brings it down on her heart. She chokes on blood.

‘Stupid humans,’ he thinks. ‘So stupid and weak.’

Samantha coughs and falls to the floor as Derrick sits and watches, her words running through his head.

‘It was just a game, you took it too far, you killed him.’

The white floor is stained red with the blood of his childhood friend.

“Well,” he mutters, “that takes care of the white.”

Samantha’s chokes and gags cease, and eventually, so do the echoes of her words in his head. He sighs and stares at her body and thinks, ‘Drat. It’s quiet again.’

He still can’t stand the sound of silence.

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