In the Silence

By Ginger Fortune Smith All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Drama

Broken Silence

Jiggling the keys in the lock with aggravation didn’t provide the results he wanted; pushing against the door while jiggling the keys in the lock only served to increase his disdain. Slamming his palm against the wall beside the door provided only a stinging sensation and a spouting of profanity between clenched teeth. The landlord promised to fix the lock weeks ago and claimed he’d done it…poor bastard.

Pulling the key out and jamming it back in with a jerking twist did the trick and the door flew open with a bang. Jason stepped into his apartment and slammed the door, turning quickly to slide the bar and hook the chain at the top. He breathed a sigh of relief and then stooped to slide the bar at the bottom. Next, he stood and twisted the deadbolt into place, leaving the lock on the cheap busted knob alone. Damn landlord hadn’t done a thing to make it work. Jason smiled to himself. No matter now.

With long strides into the kitchen, Jason Morgan slipped from his jacket, tossing it across a chair and turned to the fridge for a long awaited cold brew. He flung open the door and grabbed a bottle, quickly twisting off the cap and taking a long draw on the cold elixir until he lowered the half empty bottle. Before closing the fridge he grabbed another bottle and pushed the door to with his hip. Then he retraced his steps to the living room and sunk down on the threadbare sofa where he finished the first bottle tossing it to the floor. Silence greeted him in his apartment, silence that he relished with satisfaction.

He grabbed the remote and flipped on the TV and subsequently muted the sound. That used to drive Jillian crazy. He smiled again. She hated it when he watched the pictures in the quiet room at their high rise apartment. Well it wasn’t really a high rise…six stories, but it was much nicer than the one he had now. He laughed to himself. Not really since the explosion. Too bad that fireman got hurt when the building blew from the broken gas lines, but still, Jillian had joined the world of silence that day. Besides, the fireman only suffered from a broken leg.

Jason had feigned sadness after for the sake of family and friends, but in truth he was glad his ex-wife would no longer look at him the way she used to. Oh she said a lot of things…yelled them really, but it was her eyes that he remembered the most. The way she looked at him with such pity when she asked him to leave. You could see anything in a person’s eyes, a lot of things you might not really want to see, a lot of things that hurt to learn. It was the eyes that served as windows to the depth of hate, the truth of regret, and Jillian had deep regret for marrying him.

She claimed she loved him even though he had issues. She’d known about his problem before they married and had promised that she didn’t care. But that promise had faded just like all the others. They had been silenced too. It was regretful, but necessary. Jason couldn’t allow them to interrupt his peace, and it was in a quiet room that he found time to reflect on the day. That’s why he muted the TV. He wanted to see the stories, but the jabbering reporters always got the information wrong. All they ever did was speculate anyway. They didn’t know the truth. They never did, so why listen when he already knew the details.

He twisted the cap off the second bottle and tossed it on the floor beside the first. This was his place and the clutter didn’t bother him.

Sirens pierced through the thick curtains on the windows and across the expanse, echoing off the walls and stabbing into his ears. He’d been found, poor bastard.

Jason smiled at the scene he knew was happening on the first floor. The poor bastard’s wife had come home to find her husband, his face awash with a silent stare; his features frozen in fear. He’d heard her scream as he stepped onto the landing just below his floor. He knew it was a matter of time before the authorities would converge on the building. They were fast this time.

He’d barely gotten inside his own apartment thanks to that damn lock.

He turned the now luke warm bottle of brew up to his lips and said a toast to the silent room before drinking.

The two beers lulled him into sleep on threadbare sofa while watching the breaking news on the silent TV. That is where he was when the S.W.A.T. team broke down the door to his fortress. That is where the silence was broken forever.

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