Edward Owen – Author

Ray Bradbury Challenge #17- The Silence is Deafening

This story came from my idea file. I think it will make good novel, a twist on the post-apocalyptic tale in the vein of Stephen King’s “The Stand”. I’ll probably work on another title. If you’re not familiar with the Ray Bradbury Challenge, my friend Arial Burnz explains it here.  As always, comments are welcome and appreciated.

The Silence is Deafening

It’s getting harder to hide from them. I’ve heard that losing one of the senses makes the others stronger. The way they sniff the air makes me believe this is true. They also get around in the dark better than I do and light attracts them like bugs. If they ever learn to be quiet, I’m screwed. Right now they stomp around like cattle on coke. I can usually hear them coming from a mile away. They learn fast. It’s only a matter of time before they figure it out. There aren’t many of us left, not nearly enough to fight them.

Today is March fourth, exactly six months since the world went to hell. I was one of the few unaffected by whatever it was that changed about ninety-five percent of the population. Lucky? I’m not entirely sure I would use that word. If I didn’t have such a hard time sleeping I’d be one of them. I don’t know exactly what happened. I went to bed with my ear plugs in and when I woke up the world had gone deaf. A few scientists managed to broadcast some information about an energy wave that hit Earth that night but the transmissions stopped after a few days. Three weeks later there wasn’t any electricity on anywhere. Society fell apart in less than a month.

At first those of us who could still hear tried to help them. There just wasn’t enough of us to hold things together. Then they changed. I don’t know whether that energy messed with their minds or going deaf made them all crazy. They don’t speak but they are communicating somehow. The strange part is they can tell that we’re not like them. I saw a woman pretend she was deaf and move around like they do. A hoard caught her and tore her to pieces right in front of me.

I have a stockpile of weapons but even if I killed a thousand of them a day there would always be more. My only hope is to find other survivors. I found a motorcycle with a small trailer so I have a way to travel. I’m getting out of the city and heading north. Maybe the winter killed some of them off in Wyoming or Montana. It’s worth a shot. I really miss having someone to talk to. The days are long and the silence is deafening.

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