They stopped looking when they saw those signs. It had always been like that. That’s why we’d put them up, so people would forget. So people would stop looking. We put the signs up, because we didn’t want anyone knowing. Knowing what we were, knowing what we’d become. It was good to be safe, that’s what Dad had told me. Before I saw him disappear before my eyes. Before I saw him die.
It was harsh out there, in the outback, living with the bush as your company and the dirt as your pillow. You got used to it though, the silence, though you can’t really call it silence. It’s a different sort of silence you hear out in the bush. It’s a continuous buzz that fills your ears, broken by the occasional yell of a lost bird. It’s a silence of a wind that whispers through the trees. Or the silence of a brook as it tumbles over stones, worn smooth by the repetitive gush of running water. This is the silence I talk about. The soft hum as you lie on your back and shield your eyes from the burning sun. This is the silence that is always there, close enough to touch, but far enough away that your fingers never reach it.
This is the silence that is covered by the city lights, the city sound and the city life. So many people choose to ignore it, choose to fill their heads with mindless music, choose to sing and talk and laugh and yell and scream. They choose to do this, choose to block out the silence and what it is. This has been happening since time Became. So long ago that the human has forgotten what silence was. What the silence used to be. They decided to ignore it, but the silence does not tolerate ignorance. This is the silence that screams when you try to escape it. It fills up your ears, swallowing everything you’ve ever heard. This silence is dangerous. This is the silence that killed my father. This is the silence that will kill mankind. This is the silence that will destroy every particle of matter and turn it into dust. Unless I can make the silence forget.
I know the way to do it. Dad had explained it to me since I was a little kid. He’d told me in bedtime stories, when I’d thought it was just a fairytale, magical, twisted. He had it drilled into my head, word for word, so I would never forget it, even though the silence would want me to. It has power beyond your imagination; it has power out of this world. But there is one thing the silence has that it tries to hide. It has a flaw, small and insignificant, but still a crack in its perfect exterior; it doesn’t understand humanity. It doesn’t understand the power of mankind. And this is what I will use to defeat it. I will uncover it deepest imperfection and destroy its soul. Yes. The silence has a soul. And it feeds on death and destruction and that is why it never dies.
There is always so much death, so many people, day after day, fall into a dark slumber and never wake up. The silence follows death. It follows everything that causes death. And one day it will be death itself, but not yet. For now silence will follow death, hand in hand, and cause havoc wherever possible. It cannot manifest itself for long, as loud sound brings it pain, and this is lucky, as the world would have died long ago.
Technology keeps silence at bay and this is what it can’t understand, though it tries its best to disrupt us, destroy us. We have all had an encounter with silence, or heard about it from another, or on seen it on TV. It uses bombs, plain and simple, and invades our senses the instant one drops or explodes. It has been waiting so long for this chance, and this is why everything goes silent. This is why you can hear everything and nothing at all at exactly the same time. You can sense that sound is just beyond your reach but at the same time you can feel it pressing in all around you. It is a knowledge that something stirs around the edge of your senses but each time you try to place it, it slips away from under you. This is the silence. This is where the silence can be found.
I don’t know how long I’ve been waiting here, trapped inside these white walls, days, months, years maybe. There are tubes, so many tubes sticking out from my arms and my legs and my chest and my head. I hurt. I always hurt so much, but at the same time I feel nothing at all. They don’t believe me. I tried so hard to explain to them what I was doing alone out in the bush, with the bomb testing signs all around me. I told them that they had to go away, that it wouldn’t work while they were there, while their car hummed continuously, too mechanical for the silence to come. They strapped me up, put me into their van, and took me away. I remember the walls, soft and padded and white, then a sharp pain in my left arm and the sensation that a foreign liquid was spreading through my veins too quickly. My eyelids had drooped until all I could see was a bright glow from behind closing lids and then blackness. I know I had woken up a long time after and until now, everything had been foggy.
I heard them talking now and again, every time they’d come and check on me. I could see them murmuring behind the soundproof glass. It was so quiet, but if you had concentrated, you could hear the soft sound of movement in the far distance. The silence would have liked it here. It could’ve grown here, morphed here. I hoped to god it hadn’t followed me. It’s strange the way they’d treated me. How they’d cover up and wear plastic masks over their mouths. They would say things to me, wonder out loud why I’d been standing in the middle of a bomb testing field, they gave me medicine, and they’d said I had radiation sickness, enough to kill an elephant, but I didn’t seem to die. They were scared, so, so scared. They stared at me with shining eyes full of fear, and though they’d been told not to touch me, a brave few had, withdrawing their arms so quickly, you would’ve thought it may have been a trick of light.
I don’t know how long it’s been silent, sitting in this cold white room. They left long ago, all those people in white with their sharp needles and drowsy liquids. I remember the sirens going off, and the continuous flashes of red light as everyone around me left their stuff where it was and fled. It had been so loud; a sharp wailing that filled your ears and surrounded your mind, forcing your senses to surrender to its power. Gradually it has stopped, as each light flickered and went out. I think that is what had saved me, the technology of my white room.
I am alone now, I know that for sure. Everyone would have been outside when that bomb hit, and the silence engulfed everything. I heard it, the sound as it came down to earth, echoing off every rock and tree and blade of grass there ever was, and then everything went quiet. I was saved by the ignorance and stupidity of humans, they forgot about me, left me here to die. If only they had listened. I had told them what would happen if they locked me up, but they ignored me, they thought that I was crazy. They deserved to die.
It’s harsh out here, in the outback, living with the bush as your company and the dirt as your pillow. There’s really nothing left now, just a continuous stretch of reddy brown dirt, for miles and miles and miles. I used to live out here, a long time ago, when the silence was a just a twisted fairytale, and I was just a kid. It’s so quite now. There is no wind, there are no trees, the sky has no clouds and all the animals have gone. Everything has died, and now it’s just me and the silence for my company.