Monday, February 2, 2009

What the Whispers Said

Alrighty... so here is one of those times were I started a short story with NO IDEA where it was going. And then, it took an unexpected turn, and ended up in the most bizaar place ever!!! So, feel free to comment and write a better ending, or at least better idea of how it could have ended.


What the Whispers Said

It began in midnight’s dark. I guess I should say something ominous or dramatic such as that. But really, it was just another night. An ordinary night. The wind didn’t howl, the rain didn’t beat, the sky was not torn by lightning or thunder. No, meteorologically, all was still, a soft, dulling fog laying gently over the entire town and probably over the towns around us too.

But even though it was an ordinary night, I guess you could say it was extraordinary. It was, after all, the night it began. It was late, too late, and I stumbled wearily to my cold bed, falling on the lumpy pillow and pulling the rumpled sheets over me. I lay there in the still, softness of the night, my weariness leaking out of my soul and into the mattress.

As I lay there, I was faintly, ever so faintly, aware of the sounds of the night. It was nothing out of the ordinary. The distant sloshing of the dishwasher in the far off kitchen. The sound of the house’s timbers creaking ever so softly as age sagged upon them. From the street the sound of a car passing on the road was barely even registered in my brain. The sounds of the night in the suburbs of the city were soothing, a blanket of white noise to comfort the strained and wearied mind. And then I heard it.

It was like a creak. A creak were there wasn’t suppose to be one. A creak too loud to be the house’s timber for at least another decade or so. The creak was an out of place creak. As if someone’s foot had fallen suddenly outside my door. At first I was sure that was the case. But who? I got up immediately and walked to the door, but found that it, and the hallway and the room beyond, were all empty. In fact, I was the only being awake in the house.

I went back to bed, and that was that. Until the next night came. This time, the sound was not a creak, but a rustle. As if leaves were in my room, being blown by unseen wing across unseen pavement on an unseen fall day. It was winter. There were no dry leaves left to scammer anywhere. Especially not in my room in the middle of the night.

I sat, staring at the ceiling, breath short as I listened trying in vain to reason away the rustling leaves. Finally, the leaves faded and the white noise again took over. And so I slept. But even then, my dreams were haunted by the creaking and the rustling and a strange whispering voice, barely touching on the edges of my mind.

The next day went well, and the following week’s evenings were all uneventful and nothing else happened. It seems as if it was all something I could just file away in the back regions of my mind, left to be forgotten with a host of other strange occurrences and coincidences. But it was not meant to be. Because the next night, everything I knew changed.

I lay in bed, my heavy lids sinking lower and lower once more. But even as my eyes began closing I heard it again. The creak was loud this time, as if a tree branch outside was readying itself to fall into my room. Even though there were no large tree’s anywhere near the house. And so I simply lay there and waited and listened. And as I listened, the rustling also came and in the rustling of the leaves, a hollow voice, as if someone was gently whispering.

“Another one, dead.” said the rustling voice.

“At this rate, we will be forced to do something drastic and soon.”

“Whose there?” I asked fearfully towards the darkness above me.

“Do you ever get a feeling that the humans speak at just the right moment, making it seem as if they could hear us?”

“Don’t give it another thought! They can’t hear us. There hasn’t been one of their kind in many centuries that could hear us.”

“Um… actually I can. Whose there?” I asked apprehensively my entire body beginning to shake with fear.

Both gasped and they fell to silent whispering for a few moments as I simply lay there, quivering and trying to reason with myself. I was sure that I had gone crazy, off the deep end for sure. I was hearing voices, in an empty room, in the middle of the night. And they were deliberating whether they should continue speaking with me. Obviously something was not right.

“Human, if you can hear us, stand up and walk out of your house.” said the creaking voice.

“Hurry! Hurry! You must if you can hear us! Before someone else speaks!” spoke the rustle with urgency.

So slipping into my robe and hurriedly sticking my feet into slippers, I scampered out the front door and tripped over the stairs, falling with a hard smack into the grass. As I lay there, I heard the voices this time, louder and with much more force. There also sounded like more voices were with them this time, all speaking at once.

“Whose there? What do you want?!” I remember calling as I stood up.

“He can hear us? He can hear us?” The voices all called one after another, the cacophony growing louder and louder as I threw my hands over my ears, spinning a round and round.

“What’s going on?” I faintly remember the words from beyond the noise.

But that was all. I remember, thought it’s like a dream, so I it might not even be true. But I remember being held down. I remember voices, and yelling, and then flashing lights. I remember someone talking to me. Someone telling me I could let go of my ears. But I couldn’t because of the voices. They even made me take my hands off, and it nearly killed me.

And so I sat here, still and quiet, the voices finally gone. Well, almost. There remained one. She spoke like all the voices together, as one, all speaking in perfect harmony and unity. When she spoke to me, the fear melted, and my soul became still and soft as I waited for her to continue.

“Son of man.” She called me.

“Yes. I am here.”

“Long have your kind dwelt upon me. Long have I and my children cried unto you. Long have we called to you to stop.”

“Who are you?”

“Some of your kind call me Mother. Though, I was not the one to give birth unto you.”

“So why can I hear you, and no one else?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe you have a part to play.”

“In what?”

“There is a great war coming. Long as we called unto mankind have we also sharpened our swords and spears. The war will come soon.”

“So you mean, all of nature, against mankind? But how?”

“You will know soon enough. For now, I will set you free. A way will be made for you. You shall become our voice to them that rule over us.”

And even as she spoke, a small tendril of some kind of vineing plant grew into the window and curled around me. Its vines wrapped around more and more, and began searching. They found the clasp on the jacket, and freed me. Then the ground shook, and the walls quaked. The two walls suddenly jerked and fell towards each other, making a small V shaped cavity, protecting me from the rubble falling all around.

And then the ground seemed to sink away, like waves pulling back from the ocean. The vine lowered me down into the darkness. And so it happened and so I was saved from my own kind, to be the herald, the bringer of the war. I walked many years through secret glades no man knew of, ate of fruit that no man had ever tasted, long kept from our kind. And now that the years are done, she has sent me back. She sent me back with this message to all my fellow men.

“War is upon you! Too long have you stood, rulers and conquerors over nature. But nature has not lain silent in waste, oh no. She has been waiting, watching, testing to see how strong you are. And now her time has come. Fear humans, for her vengence is swift like the fingers of lightning in the storm. Her wrath is great, like the fires of the dark places that burn at the very hearts of the mountains. And her hand will wash away all the works of man, like the waves of the deep. Fear, dispare, and surrender!”

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