In the previous post I referred to The Dark Room, my entry in the recent 250-word story contest held by the lovely Alison Tyler. Our instructions were to write about sound and hearing, or lack thereof. Feeling like I'd missed the mark with that piece -- which seemed focussed on a different sense -- I assembled another 250 words to make up for it. Enjoy! No earplugs necessary:
© 2009 by EllaRegina
I couldn't have invented better upstairs neighbours. No television, loudspeakers, not even a radio. The previous occupants' sonorous electronic lifestyle had regularly bombarded my senses, so I was quite relieved at a change of tenancy.
They kept apart, not speaking to others in the building, smiling at me whenever our eyes aligned; walking arm-in-arm, both nattily dressed, trailing plumes of hypnotic scents. I envisioned them artists from some exotic land.
She was a cluster of staccato taps, a path over my head -- likely travelled wearing sexy heels -- traversing my sitting room ceiling, an invisible moving dotted line. His full frame lumbered through their flat with a distinctively masculine gait. Normally, such aural evidence of human ambulation would bother me but with them it did not, given the other sounds they provided...
I most appreciated their proximity at night, abetted by open summer windows. She moaned fifteen feet above in a bedroom mirroring my own, cooing like a pigeon in a beguiling indecipherable sing-song. His outbursts were deep and guttural, synced to her sonic erotic dance; their rhythms parallel, complementary. A hand met flesh in resounding slaps; I imagined his palm on her nicely rounded behind. She'd whimper following each blow. Words were never used; their language seemed purely physical.
Months passed before I first encountered them beyond our building. They sat outside the cafe, each gesturing in a fast-signalled lexicon of fingers, something between a puppetless puppet show and how the ancient black-clad women crossed themselves in church.
Copyright 2009 EllaRegina. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without prior written permission from the author.