Green Leef Turning Gold
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2001-10-10 20:02:47 (UTC)

short story

The Pounding Scream

There she is walking along on the concrete…cars passing by.
People moving around her, but she is known to none but
herself. The insistent pounding of her heart is all that
she can hear. Thump-thump…thump-thump. She marches almost
defiantly through the streets, feeling as though the ground
beneath her refuses to move just to spite her. She will
make the world hear her. How many times can she say to
herself, “Yes keep moving it’s all just nearby, it’s all
just around that next bend in the road. ”Thump-thump…thump-
thump.” Damnit, she can’t make it stop. “Thump-thump…thump-
thump.” Nothing is worse than this torture. Well almost
nothing. She remembers simpler times, when she was just a
simple girl. When the incessant “Thump-thump…thump-thump”
didn’t plague her as it does today. She fought tooth and
nail to get where she is, but now she wonders, “exactly
where is here?” I mean after all she’s just a child really.
And a child can’t get very far. That’s what he told her,
when he grabbed her. That’s what he told her when she
cried, when she screamed. “It’s all over.” he said. Those
were the last words she ever heard.

She learned, push and push all you want, but they will push
you back. And the strongest is the one left standing in the
end. But she wondered, “At what cost?” She keeps walking
though her she fears her face and her eyes, yes those weary
eyes will betray her. They say, “the eyes are the windows
to the soul,” “but do I have one?” she thought. Perhaps,
perhaps not. He sure didn’t have one, did he? Only a
soulless creature would prey on the innocent she
was. “Thump-thump…thump-thump. Thump-thump…thump-thump.”
Her heart is racing now, just the idea of it all. She makes
a quick look around her, and then over her shoulder of
course, because everyone knows that’s where “They” come
from. Behind you, when you’re not looking. Making a mad
dash across the busy street, she reaches her destination.

“Hello” she says to the people who know her. She wonders if
they hear how loudly her heart beats…”Thump-thump…thump-
thump.” She looks away from them and gets ready to work.
They’re talking about her again. If only she knew what they
were saying. No one is laughing, she thinks maybe they just
feel sorry for her. But they don’t have to, because she
feels plenty sorry for herself as it is. “Thump-thump…thump-
There it is again. Her eyes dart quickly around the
room, “can anyone hear that?” she wonders, but probably
not. But that’s the only sound she really hears in her
paranoid little body. Her nineteen-year-old chest thunders
with that sound and that is all she’ll ever hear again.

What a haven this place has become for her. She stares
around at the rows and rows of books. She doesn’t need to
hear here, “what’s the number on this book, author’s name,
title?” is all she need know. She is now more thankful for
her sight then she was two years ago. “BOOM!” “Thump-thump…
thump-thump.” Eyes darting again, “oh, stupid girl,” she
thinks…it was just the sound of a book dropping. “Really,
though it wasn’t the sound of someone beating you about the
ears, so many triggers.” She shudders almost violently at
the thought. “Thump-thump…thump-thump.” She laughs quietly
to herself, “its okay, its okay,” she tells herself. No one
is coming for her, “yet” she thinks.

She begins putting her books away methodically, number,
author, title, and so on. She feels a hand on her
back. “THUMP-THUMP! THUMP-THUMP!” She whips around to see a
young man smiling at her. She must have looked terrified,
because he took a step back, but continued to smile. His
lips parted, they were making words, but no sounds came
out. “Stupid girl! Of course you can’t hear him you’re
deaf!” She makes a sorry attempt to smile, and then
interrupts his soft lips that are moving, “I can’t hear
you, I’m deaf, if you need help finding something, please
ask someone at the information counter.”
He smiles again, but less broadly this time. He nods slowly
and gives her a pitting smile and walks away. “Go on,” she
thinks, “walk away, pathetic.” She’s only mad because, she
now can’t stop thinking of the way his soft lips parted,
and how his smile seemed to brighten when he looked in her

“No, I can’t do this, it’s not safe!” She tells her self,
in spite of how she feels. “If only things were not so
complicated”, she was thinking on her way home. If only.
That’s all she thought about on the way home. As she
reached for her keys to her apartment, she barely realized
what she didn’t hear or think about on the way home. But,
he was there, in her home, in her bedroom closet, waiting,
waiting to remind her. She threw her things down.
Frustrated. Tired. Her stomach empty. Suddenly something
moved. “Thump-thump…thump-thump.” She felt the floor move,
as if it were creaking, like someone was walking, but she
couldn’t hear it. She thought maybe she imagined it. She
moved into the kitchen and grabbed a beer, “I will dine in
tonight,” she thought. “Dinner for one.” She said aloud as
she opened her can.

After a solid swallow, she felt it again, and the eerie
feeling now passed over her that she was being
watched. “Thump-thump…thump-thump.” Her eyes fell onto her
open bedroom door and onto the closet, which faced her
kitchen. And then she noticed something she had been to
preoccupied to notice before, that smell. That unearthly
evil smell. Like sweat and cologne. Her grip on the beer
can suddenly so tight that it caused it to crunch and pop
slightly, though she couldn’t hear the pop, someone else
did, someone else was there with her. “Thump-thump…thump-
thump. Thump-thump…thump-thump.”

Her hands shook silently. Putting down the beer, she
reached for her longest kitchen knife, with the serrated
edge. She’d cut a bagel with it just this morning. Barely
taking her eyes off the closet door, her eyes linger on the
empty phone charger. He took the phone. “Thump-thump…thump-
thump.” The sound of her heart beating like a freight train
in her ears, was all she could hear, she held her knife
tighter and closer to her pounding heart. She began moving
towards the bedroom, her footsteps creaking loudly, almost
defiantly. When she reached the middle of the room she felt
the floor beneath her vibrate again as if someone near by
was shifting their weight.

The closet door burst open and he lunged at her, knocking
the knife from her hands and pinning her to the floor. Her
eyes widened when she saw her attacker, those soft lips,
that smell…and then though it was only in her mind she
heard him say, “It’s all over.” She struggled and fought
him as he pried her legs apart. “Thump-thump…thump-thump.
Thump-thump…thump-thump.” “Noooo!” She howled.

But he had made his first mistake, to allow one of her
hands free while he was ripping apart her clothes. Her eyes
began looking everywhere for a weapon, anything would do,
one free hand she had and that she knew would make all the
difference. Carpet stupid carpet was all she could seem to
grasp. He was working on his own clothes now, her body
exposed to him, he was ready to take her again. He slapped
her hard. And she was sure he was laughing. She’d never
seen his face before, and she suddenly remembered how he’d
touched her in the library. Anger was surging through her
now, and then she felt it, the tip of the blade as it
nicked her finger, she didn’t dare look in its direction,
or he would see.

As she used her fingers to pull the knife into her hand,
she told him in a scream, “This will not happen to me!” She
could see his penis now, erect with evil. He began hitting
her again, about the face and ears. He didn’t seem to
notice she had something in her hand at all. She was dizzy
with pain, but she did, not cry, she did not scream. Then
something happened, that which she couldn’t believe. In his
frenzy to beat her, he’d let go of her other hand. She
brought the knife beside her, and he struck her again,
grabbing one of her breasts hard, he stared into her eyes,
and she reached up and grabbed his penis, and sliced it
right off. He looked so shocked as she started laughing
insanely. She shoved it in his open mouth and quickly
removed his testicles. “You won’t be needing these
anymore!” she screamed into his shocked face.

Now he was the one screaming, pathetically holding him-self
where his genitals once were. She slapped him with the
knife nearly severing an ear. She looked around the room,
and spotted her alarm clock. “Do you remember this?!” she
screamed. “Well I do!” She tore it from the nightstand
ripping the plug out of the wall and she swung it around
and began beating him about the head with it, while he
screamed in terror. Blood splattered the walls around them,
and that’s how the police found her there, after the
neighbors called 911. Her face and body covered in his
blood, she smiled at the police.

They were talking to her, but she couldn’t hear them, but
she didn’t care anymore about that. If she didn’t know any
better she’d have told you she thought her heart had
stopped beating all together, no more “Thump-thump…thump-
thump.” And that’s when she realized what an important
lesson she had already learned, “Push and push all you
want, but they will push back. And the strongest is the one
left standing in the end. But she wondered, “At what cost?”
Now she knew, and this time she wasn’t the one to pick up
the bill.

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