The Thief of All Sounds

The quacking of a duck startled me awake.  It was more a honk actually.  The first time I heard it in the middle of the night, it was a horrific sound.  Because I couldn’t place it.  I never expected to hear a duck in the middle of the night where I live.  But we have a pool, and they like to land in the pool sometimes.

In the middle of the night, some of the sounds that are innocuous or even unnoticeable during the day trigger worry or fear.  The creak of a stair.  The weird sounds that fridges make when they’re cycling through their…cycles.  A duck honking.

The epitome of sound is music.  I lie awake and listen for it.  The chirping of crickets is the chorus of the night.  But they have some accompaniment.  The distant barking of a dog, answered by another.  Engines revving, droning or trumpeting, as cars pass by on the nearby cross street.  The sounds begin to sooth me.

I slip off into sleep.

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The Shallow Book

At last, a job she could enjoy and do in peace without interruptions or distractions or disruptions. Fara had been assigned to the “back room.” It wasn’t exactly in the back of anything. When the museum was housed in the old building downtown, there actually was a back room where the less apparently interesting items acquired by their adventurer patron ended up for later cataloguing and study. On the new grounds, the main museum occupied a gorgeous brick façade building with high windows that faced into welcoming hallways that then led into darkened interiors that housed all the light-sensitive treasures. There were gems and jewelry and weapons and wardrobes and tablets and tomes and more, all of which was proudly displayed and painstakingly maintained.

Then there was all the stuff in the back room.

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