Tuesday Tidbit: Subtle

It was subtle, the way the mood shifted in the room.

One minute we were all laughing, joking, smiling, the next, we were weary. Paranoid in a quiet way.

In the corner of the room, where the glow of the fireplace couldn’t reach, we heard it start.

It was subtle, yet terrifying.

The noise started as a low hum. After a few moments of silence that we all felt we couldn’t break, the noise shifted. Now it came from above. A louder humming, a soft buzz in the floorboards of the upstairs bedroom.

A joke or two was said again, though no laughing or smiling ensued.

As if they were all collectively holding their breath, the room became a symphony of quiet fear. That type of fear that is unspoken yet present, almost tangible.

Jeremy stood up suddenly and stared out the window. The noise seemed to grow just then, and it shifted into the kitchen.

From low hums to high pitches, the noise bounced around the pots and pans.

It seemed as though we couldn’t move. Jeremy was stuck at the window. It was unsettling.

His mother, Linda, stood slowly and went to the window on the opposite side of the room.

At this point, the sound was everywhere. It was intruding their thoughts. Fear slithered through the room again.

All in one instant the house buzzed all around them, Jeremy and Linda started pounding on the windows as if they needed to get out at once, and the rest of them stood and looked around, looking for anything, any noticeable source of panic.

The glass broke, and our daughter screamed. She didn’t stop screaming, either, until the sound stopped and Jeremy and Linda had disappeared.

The house was quiet again, a calm settled over.

There was a sense of tranquility mixed with terrific hate amongst the guests, but it was subtle.

-D.R Breshears (D.R Bopp)


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