Home Flash Fiction Editor’s Choice—A Succession of Silences, by Electra Rhodes

Editor’s Choice—A Succession of Silences, by Electra Rhodes

Moonlight, Strandgade 30 1900–1906
Vilhelm Hammershøi

A Succession of Silences

There are seven susurrating blood-worked silences, and in my paper-crackling echoed chambers I can enumerate them all.

First, the silence of mornings. No blurred noises from the kitchen, no pipe-rushing water, no distant liminal beat of your fragile waking stutter-word heart.

Second, the silence of journeys. No chitter-chatter of nothings, no back-seat exasperations, no rushed rosaries of expectations, just a woman-wife-love shaped space where those noises used to be.

Third, the silence of cafés. No bickerings over what to have and to hold, no pleas of a bite or going halvesies, no murmurations over the tip or how good on a scale of 0-5 the tiramisu sweet-mouth sang.

Fourth, the silence of cinemas. No squeezed hands in imperfect darkness. No busy-shoulder muffling all the shock-surprises. No pocket-warm coins for richer poorer liquefying ice-creams. No leaving before the credit-rolled hope of additional come-back-again endings.

Fifth, the silence of evenings. No debates over what to watch or tea or cocoa. No slipped snuffled snoring through all the good bits, no nocturnal excessed rehashings please.

Sixth, the silence of midnights. No waking fearful and clammy hand to hold through the darkness imminations. No susurration of soothing sympathies in sicknesses or in health. No peace. No peace. No peace.

Last, the silence of memories. No reminders and reminiscences, no revaluations. No excavation and examinations of the tedious which forsook all others’ boredoms.

There’s a succession of silences shaped like you thrumming through my arteries. 

Maybe, maybe, maybe soon they’ll clog up my emptied heart.

E.E. Rhodes is an archaeolgist who lives in Wales and Wiltshire. Her work has been widely anthologised in both prose and poetry anthologies and has placed in more than sixty competitions. She’s the Prose Editor at Twin Pies Literary and teaches CNF for The Crow Collective.