Thursday, April 22, 2010

It all began with a tick

  It all began with a sound, a soft tick that came somewhere near him. He was looking around when her wife asked her what it was.  “Do you hear any sound, a tick like a clock, or maybe a bomb?” he asked. Her wife said no and living in a time when terrorism was not yet a word, she dismissed the question without a second thought. However the ticking did not stop, so he decided to go and see the doctor.

    “Your ears are fine and there are no injuries whatsoever,” the doctor said as he stowed away his tools, “and you are quite young to be experiencing any hearing loss. There is probably nothing wrong so I suggest you get some rest and a good sleep tonight and soon you will no longer hear the sounds again.” The doctor sent him off with a cheerful smile on his face, bidding him to come back if anything happens. He went home and followed the doctor’s advice with a bit of doubt, doubting whether the ticking would go away. The doctor’s words happened to be true; the ticking was no more by the next day. It was instead replaced by voices.

    At first these voices were like mumbling and no coherent thoughts could be heard from them, but after a few days they began to take shape. It was as if the speakers were talking in a ballroom and only now that they noticed a newcomer and began to address him. However the voices were in some foreign language, some were guttural while others hissed and not to mention the few that shouts unexpectedly in random intervals. The man was able to identify only a few languages from the lots of speeches and surprisingly the number began to dwindle as if the speakers were fed up speaking to the man, who didn’t understand a word they say, minus the few. This few consisted of two men’s voice, one with a sonorous voice, the other was slow and becalming, and another voice was a woman’s, laced with a French accent. The woman’s voice however disappeared as soon as he told his wife about them. “Maybe they are people in your head?” her wife replied.

    It was not a comforting thought, having peoples in your head, so the man soon began to feel agitated and restless. He began to pace to and fro in his study room, when one of the voice spoke. It was the one with the becalming voice. The voice asked him to sit down and began to talk, though the second voice quickly began to facilitate the dialogue more often. Soon enough only the second voice could be heard, though the man knew the one who initiated it was still there. The man knew but he did not actually see them. He was once asked how he could manage to talk to people without seeing them, he answered, “It is like hearing voices from a friend of yours who is sitting on an armchair near you, while you are writing a letter to your aunt. It is not exactly difficult, since a letter to an aunt contains much the same every time but you need to look at it anyway in order to write it.” It was understandable then that soon enough, there was a whole lot of papers documenting his dialogues as he had taken to writing while they took place and as he quickly ran of aunts to write to, he began to write the conversations on paper.

    The story of how it came to published was never certain but it was said through various mistakes- the wife taking the wrong letters and posting it, the aunt leaving it on the wrong place, the maid mistaking it to be posted again- that the letter arrived to the editors of a newspaper company who decided to published it, which received great interest from the public. They demanded more.

   The writer was seek out and upon discovery of his abundance of notes, they were all pressed for the public to read. The man soon became a household name and the name Sir Richard Bradsworth was stamped in history as a famous writer, with his Tales of Lost Voices. Although  no one ever knew if the Sir Bradsworth actually sent the letters themselves to the editor or not, but when asked about how he came to write it in the first place, he always started by saying, “It all began with a sound, a soft tick.”

Clearly style of writing influenced by Susanna Clarke in her book Jonathan Strange&Mr Norrell.
Thanks for reading.

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