Sudden Fiction: Back to Quiet

(164 Words) Spring 2016

by S.R.A. Markin

I cannot stand the quietness any longer.

Today is one of the coldest days this winter has had, and I have not stopped walking. I walk knee deep in snow far from a trail. The sun is behind the clouds. My frozen mustache pricks my nostrils and melts into my mouth. My finger tips are white and numb. With each breathe I inhale, I exhale slowly and cough. My mind wonders.

Then from behind me, I hear a tone. A whistle, like a bird chirping from a high branch. The same tone I would hear from outside of my window at home during the summer mornings. I enjoy the tone. I bathe in the nostalgia. I chirp too. I chirp as if I am singing along to text that runs along a screen of an old TV during karaoke night. I chirp as loudly as I can, as if the intoxicated locals are harmonizing along with me.

I hear a branch snap.

Back to quiet.