A boy called Silence

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Silence.  He lived on the outskirts of the village, and from the first moment of life, quiet surrounded him.  He could not cry for food, for love, nor warmth.  Most people didn’t know of him.  Even the schoolteacher ignored him, through no fault of her own.  Sounds forgot to make noise on him, in him, around him.

One day, he was walking on the other side of town, past the dark tower.  One moment the sun warmed him.  And the next, night, inky and thick, settled on him.  He stopped, looked around.  The night moved from a loose deep blue, to its darkest point.  Where she sat.  Her hair and eyes were black.  She hummed some old tune.  It tumbled from the window and down to him like a leaf.

He closed his eyes, listened as the notes fell, sank into him.  Her music faded.  Light beat at his eyelids.  He left his first gift for her then.  A poem about his eagerness for the night, and the sweet melodies it hid from the day.

He crouched before the door, eased the paper through the crack at the bottom.  Barely a day passed before he came back with another.  And another.  Soon, that wasn’t enough.  He eased open the door, crept into the night draped about her.  He began leaving the poems at her feet, watching her from the corner of the room for as long as he could.

***

She stepped.  Something crinkled.  She froze and stared at the floor where the paper waited.  They started appearing weeks ago.  Blank pieces of paper.  The first one she got made her smile.  Some one cared about her, she thought.  Maybe it was a song, a poem.  Maybe just a simple letter.  But when she picked it up, and inspected it on both sides, it was blank.

Empty pages.  They were useless.  Worse, they were like splinters of broken glass, the kind that evaded the broom and that you only discovered by stepping on them with bare feet.

Her lips pinched together.  Her fingers disappeared in darkness.  She wanted to crumple that piece of paper, tear it into shreds.  But there was never any sound of the destruction.  There weren’t many sounds anymore.  She grew darker, and darker until it seemed she folded into herself.  No hint of light.

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