Unheard by Kim Hutchinson

“If a tree falls…”

He didn’t want to have this conversation, not tonight, not for the hundredth time since this morning. He stamped his freezing feet against the sidewalk.

The muzak played Hark, the Herald Angles Sing. For some reason, it pissed him off.

“…does it make a sound?”

Once his brother got onto something—a question, a catchphrase, a snatch of song lyric—he clung to it, repeating it again and again and again until it rung in your head like a bomb had gone off between your ears.

“Spare change?” he asked the couple heading into the cineplex. They glanced at his brother, saw something was wrong with him, then at him, noting his dirty and disheveled state, judging them to be human flotsam in milliseconds. They passed without a word, not even a head-shake.

“So does it?”

“No, it doesn’t.” He sighed and lit a butt he’d found under a park bench. “It makes sound waves. Someone has to hear it for it to become a sound.”

A man with a black bar in his ear walked by, talking to someone somewhere else, maybe across the world.

“Spare change?”

The man didn’t hear him.

.

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12 Comments

Filed under Kim Hutchinson

12 responses to “Unheard by Kim Hutchinson

  1. And they are the trees… Nicely done.

  2. Kim Hutchinson

    Thanks very much, ganymeder and Susan! Merry Christmas!

  3. Kim Hutchinson

    Thanks, guy! Glad you did!

  4. Fantastic, your details and how I ponder at the end, re-read, then ponder more. Happy holidays, Kim!

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    Thanks very much, Robert! Happy Holidays to you!

  6. The rhythm reveals it all!

  7. I love the silence from those upwardly mobile shoppers who do not hear a sound – neither the sound of the Salvation Army bells nor the voices of the homeless. A great story – a stab to the conscience of everyone who fails to hear. Doris

  8. Pingback: Week #32 – Silence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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