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Unsettling Silence

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The day started out normal, or as normal as any day can get where John worked. He worked as a security guard at the bank. His job was pretty boring, nothing ever happened. But it was loud. John hated how loud the lobby always was. He hated the noise in the offices, the break room, and even the bathroom. You'd think a bank would be quiet. John thought about working at a library, since it was so quiet there, but he got more money as a security guard, and he wasn't exactly rich. He sipped from his coffee and tried to distract himself from the noise. And it worked.

As the day progressed, everything started becoming quiet. Incredibly quiet. Too quiet. John walked out into the lobby to see what was wrong but, to his surprise, everything was normal. The day was progressing as it normally did. The customers were talking to the bankers, the janitor was sweeping the front steps, and the manager was yelling at Roger. Again.

But something was odd. No one was making any noise, not a peep. He cautiously walked towards his boss and called his name. No answer. He tapped on his shoulder and the boss turned around. He couldn't hear what he was saying but at the same time, he knew exactly what he was saying. John "told" his boss that he was going on break. And the boss simply nodded.

By noon, John was beginning to become unsettled by the silence. And after some time, no one had even acknowledged his presence. No one responded when he touched them, or even walked in front of them. It was becoming unbearable. Was this his punishment? For wishing so willingly that everyone would be quiet? After about ten minutes of wandering aimlessly, things started getting worse. Stuff seemed out of place, the town seemed... empty. John could no longer hear himself think, and stuff was just gone. He began screaming (although he couldn't hear it) and ran in what he hoped was the direction of his home.

John marched into his house and turned on the TV, the radio, dropped stuff, etc. Anything that could possibly make noise. But to no avail. John had given up trying to make noise and sat down on the couch, hoping that this would end if he just relaxed. After another hour of the complete silence, though, John lost it.

He took out his gun and held it up to his head; his last attempt of noise. He pulled the trigger, and then everyone heard the noise. John was dead. But at least he had existed, despite feeling otherwise. The police showed up shortly after John's death. News reports claimed that a delusional man was running through the streets, yelling to be acknowledged.

And he was.

Short story by BelowXero

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