Thursday, January 21, 2010

The sounds

Sometime on early Tuesday it started. The girl became aware of the sounds around her. Outside her window the pitter patter of rain falling on the deck caught her attention, gentle at first, gradually building into an harder more desperate rhythm. Water rushing down downspouts was the next sound she heard and then the wind.

The rushing wind that blew gustily, blowing the rain drops in different directions, whirling in a circle, causing the wind chimes to sound. The wind that rushed through the trees outside the window, then blew a pail over, causing it to clatter. The wind that kept the girl listening intently for a sound that never came, the cracking and crashing of trees falling.

And then the sound of three beeps from inside the window. Silence reigned. No rumble of a refrigerator motor or hum from a phone. Just silence. There were footsteps above her, coming down the stairs, into the room next door, light flashed beneath her door, hands rummaged through drawers. The footsteps retraced their path and then the silence returned inside the window.

Thunder was next, though the flashing of the lightening was a warning of the impending rumble. The sound of furniture moving in heaven? Bowling? God laughing? It rumbled so deeply the window shook as the wind carried the sound farther and longer, rushing through the trees, over the earth, through the rain. Even with the lightening warning that the thunder was on its way, the girl still paused in utter stillness as the rumble began, hoping the earth stayed still underneath her for rumbling doesn't always come from the sky.

As the sun came up the silence was outside the window. The wind had slowed, the rain had slowed. The piercing beeping of a garbage truck broke the stillness. A stillness that wasn't normally there. The steady of hum of tires on pavement didn't rush up the hill and through the window. An eerie silence marked the first clue that all was not the same down the hill. The click whoooosh of the furnace moved the girl from her intent listening. The power was on! The sound of footsteps and hurried movements were her own, the hiss of the shower began. Alas the hum of the hairdryer was not to be...three beeps sounded again and silence returned inside the house.

Later, through the car window the sound of wipers moving across the window kept time to the sound of songs on the radio. Underneath the tires water, leaves and small branches crunched and splashed. There were few sounds of cars driving around her. This was a different weekday then normal. No sounds of cars rushing kids to school, no sounds of kids in school.

Outside her window at work, the wind blew through the trees, causing creaks and cracks that had the girl looking out the window every so often, waiting for the branches to fall. But the sight never came, no sound of branches falling, just the CRACK! of a branch letting loose from it's home a little. Inside the window was the sound of the days. Voices talking, laughing. Doors opening and closing. Footsteps walking up and down hallways, overhead, inside it felt like a normal day, but every so often, the voices would express a moment of worry. Is there power? How much more will it gust and drip outside? Tomorrow is going to be worse, the voices said.

Tomorrow was about the same. That tomorrow night, the girl sat listening again. The sounds were different than the previous day. The rushing of cars on streets below drifted through the windows. The constant hum of generators in the distant reminded her that all was not the same as before. But there was a new sound, something that the wind and the rain had brought out, a sound that brought a smile to the girls face. A chorus of sound that delighted her ears and brought a smile to her face. "Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit," the singing of frogs danced through the air. "Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit," the singing frogs lulled her to sleep.

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