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Flash fiction is an umbrella term used to describe any fictional work of extreme brevity, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as twitterature, the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words)

The house stands on a cliff, well away from others in the vicinity. Stark, and small, and firmly standing its ground against the harsh winds that blow from the sea down below. The endless blue of the sea as far as the eyes can see, never failed to soothe me, but the music of the crashing waves was what I really loved.

Growing up, my days and nights were filled with the rhythmic sound of waves beating against the rocky shore. At night the sound lulled me to sleep, a better than any lullaby my mother could have sung to me as a baby. In the mornings its rhythm filled me with energy to start the fresh new day. The sound followed me around everywhere during the day, when I played in the backyard, ate my meals, helped mom or dad with the chores, only briefly letting go when I walked to school.

Later, other sounds joined the crash of waves, laughter like a clear mountain stream cascading down an incline that came to reside with me permanently. Pots and pans being moved around in the kitchen suddenly had different ring to it. Occasionally there were snatches of songs being hummed that I heard above the noise of the waves and which filled my heart to the brim, joy overflowing. Soon there was the wail of a newborn added, and sound of rattles that would turn those wails to instant smiles. The occasional tantrums, the patter of feet, first one pair, then another, were all additions to the symphony of the waves.

My world had become a perfect cornucopia of all the sounds I loved.

That is why this silence scares me.

It was a drunk driver, they told me, the policeman with the kind face and the neighbors who had gathered that fateful day. The man swerved his car the wrong way in his drunken stupor and had silenced them forever. I would never hear my loved ones again. What is strange though is I stopped hearing the waves too. They still crash endlessly against the rocks. People tell me they make the same roaring sound as before. But I don’t hear a thing. And it scares me, this eerie silence I now have to live in.

© Shail Mohan 2019

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