Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Fiction

From his seat on the leather couch, Michael glanced up and saw it was after midnight now. He'd been watching television with the sound down while listening to the never-ending storm rage against his windows. It had increased in intensity sometime around ten o'clock or so, signaled by the tooth rattling return of thunder coupled with blinding flashes of lightning that had been the storm's hallmark when it first began almost two weeks ago.

He had shut the sound off because he wanted to just listen to the storm, realizing then how grateful he had been during those weeks for the boom of thunder in the nighttime, because it was a natural sound, and helped drown out those other sounds -- the unnatural ones -- that he knew had been out there all along.

Just before midnight, the storm finally began giving up the ghost. There was a booming finale that would have been worthy of a hundred July Fourth's, but it was soon obvious the storm was in its death throes. Now, ten minutes after its cacophonous climax, Michael heard only the occasional sound of a renegade raindrop pelting itself against a window, or heard intermittently the bathroom sound that a gutter makes as it drains itself.

With those other sounds gone, there was nothing left to stifle the unholy clatter being made out there by his brother and his former friends. He heard them knock every now and then against the vinyl siding, or bang away at the windows.

What was worse, they had mastered some kind of 'fingernail on a chalkboard' sound that was in the process of driving Michael positively batshit. But of course, his late brother would know exactly the sorts of sounds guaranteed to do just that.


Aaron Polson said...

This gave me a touch of the chill from I am Legend...when Neville's neighbor calls out to him all night.

Batshit is a great word, IMO.

Unknown said...

Oh yeah, storms are rolling into my town, and you just gave me the jitters.

Martha said...

I want more of that!

Brendan P. Myers said...

Thanks, guys. "I Am Legend" was one of my favorite books as a kid (and "The Last Man on Earth" one of my favorite flicks) and the reference is spot on.

Martha - You have more! It's a snippett from "Applewood." Still waiting to hear from that small press on it, though. Ready to go to print with it myself if that falls through. It deserves far better IMHO, but alas . . . life is short.