Sudden Silence

I don’t usually jump genres like this. In fact, I almost never write something that might turn into a science fiction piece. I’ve only written one so far this year because I try to leave that to the experts…but today my prompt took a bit more of a turn than I was expecting so here it is, my friends. An honest to goodness comedic attempt at a quick science fiction piece. I hope you like it!


Sudden Silence

Denise woke shivering in the deep dark of midnight. There was something in the silky blackness, something she could feel but not see. Before the woman could decide to be scared, she had to know what was sending goose bumps to pop up on her knee caps. After all, she was a strong woman who didn’t frighten easily. Rising to slide her feet into her soft lime green monster slippers, Denise opened her mouth to call out, “—-“. Nothing. No sound would emerge from her throat, no matter how much she strained to shout. Reaching for her bedside lamp, Denise was immediately thrown into a tizzy when the switch clicked, but the light did not.

Now that she thought about it, there weren’t any stars or street lamps either, and no car had driven by since she woke up. What was going on? Something bad probably, something alien maybe…or something her crazy brother planned out as a prank. That’s it! She groped around on the table until nudging the edge of her thin cell phone, but when she hit the button even the backlight stayed silent.

Now she was madder than a wet hornet and didn’t remember to worry as she marched downstairs, out the front door, and down the street in her oversized football jersey and bobbing should-be-glowing-in-the-dark-but-aren’t house shoes. Counting her steps in the way her friends and brother called ‘obsessive’ saved her from bumps and bruises as she glided through down the street and up her brother’s walkway, hopping up three stairs and dodging her niece’s fairy covered mini-rover. Banging on Joseph’s door, Denise tapped her foot impatiently, the sharp noises startling her in the best way possible and proving that not everything had disappeared from her life.

Inside the clapboard house was filled with sounds as Joseph and Julia woke and stumbled through the house, shouting in pain and surprise as lights remained dark and they tripped over Tabby’s scattered toys. “WHAT?!?!?” Joseph yanked the door violently, peering into the darkness as if he could see who was knocking by sheer stubbornness. “Who’s there??”

“Who is it Jo?” Julia called from mid-way down the stairs, having tripped over more than enough toys in the dark she was refusing to come further without good cause.

“I don’t know ye – oof!” Joseph doubled over in the doorway, an unseen hand having pinched his chest and elbowed his solar plexus. “It’s Denny,” he groaned. “Denise why aren’t you talking? Are you ok.”

In response she stopped his toes and giggled, albeit silently, as she scooted into the house. Julia stumbled down the stairs and met her sister-in-law on the landing, where they lit a tall candle and waited impatiently for Joseph to join them in the wavering ring of light.

“What is going?” Joseph demanded again. “Why is there an electrical outage when there isn’t even a storm??”

“—“ Denise still couldn’t force a sound out of her mouth, so she rifled through the drawers and, coming up with a receipt and a pencil stub, wrote out, “What did you do??”

“I didn’t do anything??” Joseph’s eyebrows furrowed as he tried to make sense of his sister’s odd behavior. “And why are you writing things out? Are you ok nise?”

“— – — —- —- – – — — — – -“ With hands flying, lips moving, and even spittle spraying Denise let her brother have it, all the things she had always wanted to say about how STUPID it was to ask people obviously having issues if they’re ok, how silly his batman shorts complete with half cape looked, and how absolutely RIDICULOUS his pranks were. Of course, no sound came out but having lived with her for all but the first two years of his life, Joseph got a very clear picture of what she was saying to him. “I didn’t do whatever it is that you think I did.” Jo held his hands up in surrender as she silently screamed at him. “I didn’t even pull a prank on the lights.”

“What happened to them then?” Julia asked suspiciously, knowing her husband’s great love of inappropriate pranking.

“I don’t…ooooh.”

“Excuse me,” a short, humanoid figure in hot pink shorts that shimmered over silver skin knocked on the front door and interrupted the family argument. “I hate to interrupt but could you give me directions to the Capitol Diner please? I’m supposed to meet someone there tonight and I’m hopelessly lost.”

Joseph promptly fainted and, though she never regained full use of her voice, Denise was able to bark laughter at her older brother as their visitor thanked Julia for the directions and went on her way, streetlights flipping back on once she passed by.

The three befuddled neighbors were the only witnesses to…whatever it was that had happened, and no one ever found out why the perfectly healthy thirty-something lost her ability to speak.

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