Sometimes when he closed his eyes and concentrated hard enough, he’d hear what they’re saying. Although their voices were muddled and dulled, like he was hearing them through a waterfall, it was distinctive enough. For the most part, though, they simply remained a constant, unending hum – a buzz of information flowing through his mind rapidly, slipping from his consciousness and his memories as soon as they entered.
They never bothered him much, and it was easy to forget that he was the only one who could hear them, forget that they were even there in the first place.
Until when they wouldn’t shut up, wouldn’t leave him alone, wouldn’t keep it down – suddenly, they’re drowning everything else out, leaving him unable to think anymore, because he truly couldn’t hear his own thoughts.
It was distracting.
And it kept him from being able to hold a thread of thought long enough to figure out just what was wrong, how – how did he even get here in the first place?
There wasn’t much he could recall – splotchy bits and blobs of sketchy memories that overlap occasionally, his mother his brother – where’s his father – school – where did everyone go where’s home where’s here – Tabby her –it. It?
He slowed a little, concentrating, trying to catch the fleeting impression, fast fading and slipping away. He had to know – it’d help him. Help him get out, help him recall remember.
Not now, one of the voices urged – not the right time.
The door – his exit…
It erased his previous train of thoughts, becoming his sole focus now. He sped up, flat out running, reaching, scrabbling for the knob… He looked down in horror.
But it was there just a moment ago!
Even as he searched, the shadows crowded in.
For the first time he could remember, the voices remained silent.