The Hush

 I can’t remember the last time I could hear anything but the hush that roars within my head.  It lies heavily upon me with the weight of the ocean, muffling all sound of living.  I find it hard to breathe, hard to think with this constant echoing nothing. It fills me like a presence, obliterating everything but itself. 

I remember wishing so many times that I could just have a little peace.  How often did I yell at the Becky and her friends when their play became loud and boisterous.  “Inside voices! I can’t hear myself think!”  How often did I feel like my brain was melting when Greg blasted that Rob Zombie “music” loud enough to rattle the windows?  How many times did I wish never to hear the word “SCORES!” shouted by an over-enthusiastic hockey announcer? 

What I wouldn’t give to hear any one of those things now.  Instead, I hear nothing but my memories, and even they are growing fainter.


Beep…………… Beep……………beep……………beep

Will you stop that incessant beeping?  I was sound asleep and… 

Wait! Beeping!  I hear it.  I hear something inside the hush! 

“Is there any change, Dad?” 

“No, Becks, I’m afraid not.”

Becky! Tom!

“I know it’s hard, Sweet Pea, but please keep it down. Your mom needs to rest.” 

No! I don’t need to rest. No! No! No!  Please, talk to me. Help me!

I feel like I am shouting from the murky depths that have been my home for so long, but they can’t hear me. I’m kicking with all my strength, and I can’t swim to the surface.

“Dad, does her face look a little red?  Why is she breathing like that?  Maybe we should call the doctor.”

“I’m sure it’s nothing, Becky. The doctor is coming tomorrow anyway. We can ask him then.”

Yes! Yes! Tom, call the doctor. Do something! Please! Get me out of here!

If I can hear them, why can’t they hear me?  This is worse than hearing nothing at all. I scream until I can scream no more. I struggle to swim up to the surface until I can struggle no more.  My heart is pounding so hard, I fear it will jump from my chest.

DAD! What’s wrong with her?”


After living with the hush so long, I thought I wanted nothing more than to hear my life again.  I was wrong.


This is my offering for The Tenth Daughter Of Memory, where the prompt is "Silence Lies Broken."


  1. oh wicked write patti...it reminds me of the matallica video, which came from the movie..i cant remember but...nice...very...

  2. Ah I know that sound... incesant annoying sound.. not a sound, but a noise of all that we do not want to hear...try and listen instead of hearing it, who knows the message it can bring...


  3. Good one. One thing though... we won't ever hear that long beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. :)

  4. Good lord...I was a nervous wreck by the end of this...my my what a read. Great work, Patti :)

  5. This could be "Silence Lies." Yeesh, that would suck... I think I'd prefer pure vegetable. I just wouldn't wanna know.

  6. Oh, I got goosebumps with that one. That was excellent!

  7. this is a fear of mine, to be trapped inside and not be able to tell anyone...scary. thank you for stopping by.

  8. Oh what a great write! Your description of the silence was amazing. And you captured the helpless feeling of lying there in the bed, not being able to communicate. I've been there, you must have been there too? (14 surgeries...not fun...)

  9. ahg. i have night terrors like this sometimes. creepy.

  10. I'm a little ADD so I like short writes, but I wanted more here... Not in a bad way... When I saw it was about to end, I wanted more dialogue before the end.

  11. So, she had a stroke or some such ... but why was she not in hospital? And if she was not in hosptal what was the beeping ... and the flat-line at the end ... that is usually a machine, but the doctor had not been called yet.

    This reminds me of a French film from about 2008 called 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly'.

  12. Brian: Thank you. Sometimes wicked is good.

    Dulce: I love it when a reader sees something in a piece that I didn't see. And you did.

    Lou: Hope that is a good wow, and not a what-is-she-talking-about wow.

    Angel: Ah, one of the great unknowns, huh?

    Tracy: A nervous wreck? I like that. Capturing tension isn't easy for me.

    Jeff: Me either. Which kind of flies in the face of another of my fantasies, but maybe that's a story of another day. Or the other side.

    Willow: Yes, indeed.

    Jane: Goosebump. Oh, excellent!

    X: I think it is for many people. I've always wondered where they are while...

    Tina: This may be the greatest compliment of all. If you, as someone who has experienced this (and I'm so sorry you have, and so glad it's over for you) recognize it, then... well, wow. thank you! But no, I'm happy to say I have nver had to suffer being like this.

    Nessa and Tom: Mesmerizing and creepy are good too. Thank you.

    Jellyfish: Glad you wanted more, but dialogue would have been tough for her. Tom and Becky could have spoken more, I guess. or the doctor could have come. But in the interest of leaving them wanting more...I guess that worked for you.

    Julie: oh, my. Well. Sometimes too much analysis can spoil the stew. But, OK. She is at home, like many with chronic illness, with regular doctor visits (next one, tomorrow and too late) and hospice for personal care. She is in a coma, not a stroke victim, surfacing slightly, hoping to see and hear her family, "seeing" and hearing the flat line instead.

    I wasn't familiar with the film you mentioned, so I looked it up, and I vaguely remember hearing the story. Yes, this is similar, except that Bauby was actually awake, but paralyzed. My lady is in a coma, momentarily aware, but never awake.

  13. it felt original, but i agree with Jellyfish that it would be better if you make it longer. Beautiful opening paragraph

  14. *shudder* someone muttering "inside voices" gives me the shivers. I wonder if I'll say that to my own kids one day...

  15. Oh poor lady! Aargh, to realize your blessings too late. This kept me on tip-toe! Where are my noisy babies...I've gotta go!


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.