All These Voices

This week it is my turn to share a little writing with Pen of the Damned and our readers. I have written a story about a man who feels out of sorts with the rest of the world; a man who at once feels as though he understands more and less than everyone else; a man who has nothing and wants for nothing else, except perhaps a little peace and quiet. I’m not sure enjoy is the right word, but I hope someone finds it an affecting read.

The sound of the tape slides soothingly into Nicholas’ ears. Not the music itself, although that is certainly pleasant, but the mechanical whir of the reels as the tape’s innards wind through the machine. He doubts if he could write so well without the quiet whirring. He doubts if he could write at all with the noise of the world at his window and under the soles of his feet.

The pub beneath his bedsit is busy tonight. Voices slice through the floorboards as though the wooden planks do not exist. He might be sitting at the bar himself, submerged in the chorus of cries and thoughtless laughter: the White Ship on stormy, booze-wracked seas. Pouring a glass of wine he sits back in his chair and drinks.

Sometimes he can make out word-for-word the different conversations at the bar. Drunkenness seems only to increase people’s volume, as though…

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