Thursday, February 18, 2010

IN BETWEEN SOUND

This past week I found out six of my flash horror pieces will be included in 365 days of horror, by Pill Hill Press and E/Fiction Magazine accepted a piece. Details forthcoming on when. Now, for this weeks 3WW and #fridayflash.

IN BETWEEN SOUND

Savannah stared at the night sky, in between blades of grass. Rough ground pressed against one cheek. Light pollution glowed along the horizon. A plane's red taillight flashed before the stars. She located the Big Dipper, Orion's Belt, the dots of light against the backdrop of closed eyelids.

Hot ragged air blasted her cheek in time to grunted "whore, you like this, whore" but between, that was where Savannah tried to hide, between the clouds of sick, aside from the onslaught of sweat and rotten attraction; behind a night owl's hoot—no hoots, two times, two times—yes, Savannah could count two because the pause, a long pause between, and in between those two hoots a lifetime could occur so she listened harder and heard the chirps, the cricket chirps but that sound swelled and abated, so crickets took breaths, they had to take breaths, if she could count his breaths, her breaths, cricket breaths she could listen in between and hear the watery swoosh of distant traffic, but even tires rolled there had to be a pause and gap and if she could hear it, maybe, she could muffle the roar of blood over his pounding muscle (it's not a heart, this is not a man it is just a muscle and skin and bones—and don't go there, don't go there, listen) LISTEN and find the silence and if she could just hear the blissful silence, or not hear the silence, not hear anything for a moment, a nanosecond, a lifetime she could hide and if she could hide she could be. Again. She could be again and she could live and continue and after, after she could put this into a tidy little box and hide it in a compartment of her brain, the corner she never visited except late at night, very late at night when she thought she heard nothing but the menacing wisp of soundless screams but that wasn't silence because there was always the refrigerator hum or her jack-hammering heart or her roaring blood flow, her blood was flowing so she had to find the real silence, true silence and listen to nothing and hide inside the non-noise, the absence of sound, so she strained to hear while the rock jabbed her back and he slapped her face in time to the taillight blinks and the searing ramming and the chirping cricket and the smooth roll of tires against asphalt in between one tread roll after—

—after the nothing the crickets chirped and the owl hooted once and the swoosh of traffic rose to the blinking stars that ignored the red eye traversing the sky over her torn blouse and her bleeding back and her bruised cheeks and her raw snatch but she could breath. She could breathe and be again because inside the silence, the blissful nothing she had hid and she had survived the eternity of violation, of violence and inside the silence she hid from that eternity but found infinity and inside infinity she found she could just be. Again.

Savannah heard his footsteps recede. The grass caressed her cheek, the night breeze whispered against her skin and her sobs eclipsed the night.

27 comments:

Diandra said...

Very intense. I found myself not wanting to read on, which with this topic probably is a good sign...

(Well, the last sentence did not work for me, not really, but the rest was really good.)

austere said...

OMG.
My head hurts.

My head hurts, and its your fault.

quin browne said...

peggy..oh, peggy.

you bring us there, to her emotional stress, her pain, her need to put things away in order to survive.


well done.



ps is it irony that my verification word was gelded?

David Masters said...

Peggy,

Congratulations on the pieces to be published.

This story was intense and horrific, yet told with careful compassion. It's engaging without being voyeuristic.

Eric J. Krause said...

Very powerful story. It was hard to read, but in that good way of a painful story.

Tim Remp said...

This is an incredibly powerful piece! I could feel her pain and wanted to be with her in the silence / solitude. I was truly blown away by this.

You completely pulled me in and held me there throughout.

An amazing job, my friend. Truly.

ThomG said...

The power of this piece is amazing. It takes the reader there, makes them watch the horror, be a witness, feel the pain. Truly, deeply good.

Marisa Birns said...

This story is a powerhouse of emotional intensity!

Heartbreaking, especially when she has to remind herself to be clinical, that it's not a man, just muscles and skins, and bones...

Very hard story to read (and write, I'm sure) but well done.

And six pieces in anthology? That's truly wonderful, congrats!

John Wiswell said...

Firstly, big congratulations on saturating the market! Six stories accepted to just one project. They must love you!

As for this story, what a rush of "ragged air" - one of the sparkling phrases you turned here.

Kim Batchelor said...

The stream of consciousness of the narrative seems just right for this horrific situation. Very strong work, Peggy.

Laurita said...

What a powerful piece. The pacing is magnificent.

Christian Bell said...

I like the flow of this piece from the outset—it has a manic/frenetic intensity that is suited to the material. Somehow, even through this intensity, you’re walking a line and not losing control with the story, if that makes sense.

Overall, the work is brutal (good brutal) and you pull no punches. Great stuff.

Kelly Lynn Thomas said...

I have always been fascinated with silence, and the things one can gather from it as opposed to the things one can gather from sound, and the idea that one can hide behind sound. Your beautiful use of imagery definitely brings this story to life. Thanks for sharing it!

Andy Sewina said...

Phew, a powerful treatment of a difficult subject with some intense description.

Neat!

Linda said...

Peggy, this is how rape is. You captured the violence and the coping terribly perfectly. Very, very powerful. Peace, Linda

walter conley said...

The best writing makes you forget you're even reading.

See above.

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Wow. I feel raw myself now.
Very, very strong piece.

Laura Eno said...

Powerful, emotional impact with this piece. You described a brutal subject well, while trying to find the 'spaces between' of silence for the victim. Awesome job!

Congrats on the antho! I have 6 in there with you. We rock! :)

ganymeder said...

Congratulations on your pieces getting published!

Also, the way you got inside her head was wonderfully (if disturbingly) told.

thebokchoy said...

What an amazing story. I loved this, as much as you can love a story dealing with such subject matter.

Jay Thurston said...

Peggy, kudos to your publishing successes!

The sentence that starts "Hot ragged air..." is a roller coaster onto itself... never certain when it was going to flip, speed up, slow down, drop the stomach, or level out. And it did not stop there. You continued the intensity throughout. Wow, just wow. Fantastic writing once again!

Cathy Olliffe said...

Loved the way you wrote the story, the long sentences that didn't give you a breath, which made you feel almost like you were drowning... just wow.. that's all. Wow.

Alan W. Davidson said...

The comments of the others have said anything I could say about this powerful story. The long sentences do leave you breathless and with the feeling of so much happening and being observed in just a moment of time. A realistic and violent tale told with a lot of compassion. Well done, Peggy.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Well done on the anthology. This is very powerful. I like the repetition of silence, and if only she can retreat into it she will be. Great stuff.

Donald Conrad said...

Wow, congrats on the six stories. After reading this one, it's no surprise. Well done and thank you.

Michael Solender said...

congrats on your placements, I'm there with you at PHP, the above is terrific..

Dee Martin said...

How did I miss this?? Holy shit. That and everything said above. I wanted to kill him. I wanted to wrap her in a blanket. I wanted to kill him again. Wow.