Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Voices in the Night

The figure walked through the empty street, his hat shadowing his face. As he walked, the flickering of a lamppost above caught his attention. His head lifted and gazed up at the light. His head twisted suddenly as if in deep pain, and then returned to normal. The figure walked away.

A few streets off, a man stumbled out of his taxi into the night sky and was soon left swaying at the side of the street alone. He was a chubby man, in his late forties maybe with a bald head and stubble covering his face.  He chuckled to himself and began trudging towards his apartment, humming as he went and thinking about the ham sandwich he was going to have when he got home. He loved ham sandwiches, only he ate them with neither ham nor bread.  Then again, butter on its own does taste rather nice. He always thought like this when he was drunk. His trail of thoughts was stopped by his tripping over and a roar of laughter escaped him. He began to talk out loud to some imaginary person next to  him, but this soon faded to whispers, and then to nothing.

The figure was sweating now.  Sometimes you would hear him speak, “Stop laughing..... ...please” to 
some imaginary voice. Each time his pleading increased until the man was left whimpering. “No, I won’t do it” He repeated this several times, each one with progressively weaker confidence over the imaginary being. Eventually, this stopped, and silence was left in the street.  The man kept walking, puzzled, but a closer look would reveal he was actually showing fear. The last that was heard of him was a single word worse than any other. “OK”.

On the other street, the fat man began whistling some dirty song, and when that had finished he began another. A huge grin spread on his face and he let out a chuckle. A scream echoed out from somewhere, but the fat man was oblivious to it, his whiskey breath polluting the air around him. He laughed again.

The figure only heard the voice now, pounding in his head, constantly laughing. He began to run trying to get away, but the voice could not be escaped. As he ran, a fat, drunken man appeared through the darkness....then nothing. Relief spread through his veins. The voice was gone. The figure stood in the street happy for a few moments unsure what had happened, and then suddenly he was in pain again. It kept laughing. The figure, screaming now turned and span around confused. Then he saw the fat man... laughing. He was the voice. The dark figure pulled a knife from his coat.  

by Adil Anees