#73 Murmurs

by Lisa Pellegrini

Garbles have infected the inner sanctum of my walk-in closet. Whispers are the invisible piranhas who chew the back of my bureau. Their heartbeat is the obnoxious paste that I can never wash out of my shirts.

The ticking clock on my nightstand struggles to break the silence but is not loud enough to combat the murmurs. Sweat rolls down my skin like ants on speed. I pray that God will take me before I fall asleep, because it feels like slumber has aligned itself with the murmurs. Damn sleep for turning against me.

I’m afraid to eat alone in the office lunch room. It lacks a television to keep the murmurs at bay. The only time I’m comfortable using a public restroom is when music is piped into the walls. Then I can wash up while an orgasmic ripple washes over my nerves like warm ocean waves. I have conquered the murmurs, temporarily at least.

I simply cannot make friends with silence, because there is no such thing. I see the sidelong glances of co-workers. The stares of friends—those I have left anyway. Everyone keeps mum out of fear. But my dear Camilla could never fear me.

Then again, she didn’t know me until the following year. She wasn’t there the day it happened. She doesn’t know what set me off. She didn’t hear the sneers. The taunts. The screams. She doesn’t know that it wasn’t my fault.

Even I’m not so sure anymore.


Jonathan Riley said...

The opening line is one hell of a hook. Also, "Sweat rolls down my skin like ants on speed." This might just be my favorite simile I've read in the contest thus far. Overall very cool story.

Lisa Pellegrini said...

Wow, thank you, Jonathan, for the high praise! Good thing I changed that opening line. Originally I had written, "I hear garbles in my closet." Then I decided it needed more pizzazz, so I am glad I rewrote it.