One Thousand Word Challenge 71: A Long Silence

It was a dark night, as nights often are. However, even in the urban expanse of the city it felt especially inky. Somewhere on the curb they were sitting, looking up at the night sky, trying to work out where it all went wrong and where they were to go from there.

A long silence stretched out and grew farther than they could know, but of course they still somehow knew. That was it. The joyous occasion had ended and it had ended not the way that they had expected. There was a lot to think about and there was plenty of time to think.

Perhaps if events had unfolded any differently, they would now not find themselves in their particular little situation, though of course, much like the silence and the night, it felt like so much more than something just little.

Like so many things, what had happened could not be returned upon. Violence and defence, though no blood spilled and no broken bones. Shared words, truths, all that kind of stuff. The shattering of friendships, the breaking of relationships. This was meant to be a celebration, but instead it felt more like the sudden and harsh breaking of bonds.

They were there, sitting on the curb, the two of them, staring up into space, trying to stare beyond the stars and make sense of everything. It all happened so fast and so much of it cut deep. How much had they themselves ignored, and how much of their friends had also ignored? Was there really anything ignored and pushed aside for far too long, or was it all about the picking of sides? The reshaping of allegiances? Even so, it seemed that all of that would only be temporary as the fractures well and truly formed deep crevasses within years of what were believed to be strong bonds. It was only a matter of time before the whole thing truly and entirely shattered, almost as though anything after the night was just routine post-script.

They sat there a long time. One of them decided that it was no longer productive to try and stare into the night and instead locked their fingers together, rested their chin against them, gently pressed their thumbs against their jaw, and looked down.

It had rained earlier, and so what light was obvious to them seemed to gain a reflective harshness on the road. It was a quiet night where they were, though then again that was the expected norm. Seldom it was that their particular area saw great amounts of traffic. A few blocks away it was a different story, for they were near enough to the city, but somehow where they were it was quiet. Along with the shared silence and everything was almost deafening.

The other closed their eyes, trying to imagine something beyond what was visible in the hopes that it would allow them to collate their thoughts into some sort of sensible order. They were looking for some sort of meaning, but at least at that point, other than the obvious, it all seemed so meaningless.

They had gone over to the gathering in order to celebrate their friendships with others. It was just going to be a small party just because; there was no reason required beyond something small, yet important to all of them. Everyone seemed happy, though in retrospect an air of tension lingered, only there to bear witness to the oncoming spectacle. A few misplaced words, almost as though a slip of the tongue shortly followed by the cutting of the tension with a sudden increase of volume and aggression. All was unleashed.

No one seemed to want to back away and some tried to resolve, but all became embroiled in shrieking, gnashing their teeth and howling. As much as the friendships had lasted as long and steadily as they had, it only took a few minutes to tear it all down.

And so, looking to extricate themselves from the situation, in the aftermath of it all two left without uttering a word, for as far as they were concerned, enough had been said. Rather than airing grievances, foundations were messily and easily dismantled, revealing that perhaps they never were as solid as they seemed.

The two walked for a little while, saying nothing, for there was nothing to say about such an overwhelming thing. Once far enough from the scene they sat on the curb and just wondered and tried to make sense of it all, though what was there to make sense of? Clearly there was a lot that had gone unsaid for a long time, though beyond that and what the resultant effect of speaking was, it all seemed unclear. It was perhaps a little too early to think about all of this, though at the same time they had to. So much lived with a continuous group and suddenly it was too shattered for something to which return was possible.

Done looking at the small amount of gutter and road in their view, they raised their head and put their hands down so as to help themselves get onto their feet. The other opened their eyes and looked over. The silence remained, and though it was tense, it was not the tension of some sort of further shattering between the two, though more the tension of working to comprehend what had happened.

And they looked at each other as the darkness of the night continued to hold its grip on the area, making it seem as though anything near a lamppost was its own pocket of reality separate from the next.

The one standing shed a few tears, as did the one sitting. They nodded at each other and the one standing walked off into the darkness. The one still sitting let their tears roll down their face and fall onto the curb as they stared into the night, hoping to find something to make sense of it all.

The time it took to write one thousand words: 26:00:01

So most of this was written pretty quickly, but the longer it went the more I slowed down.
Not sure how I feel about what I’ve written here. I like the imagery and I think there’s a decent progression, but I feel there’s repetition in a few too many places.

As a side note, this started from wanting to capture a certain sense of feeling and imagery I was getting from a part of song I was listening to, which was the last eleven minutes of Nadja’s “Thaumogenesis”, the title track and sole song from Thaumogenesis. It was somewhere in the second paragraph where the writing started to veer away from that, however.

Now that I think about it, the writing might’ve started veering in the first paragraph. Not sure.

Written at home.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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