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Unwelcomed Silence

Listen to this piece on season 1 episode 24.

Slats of pale blue pre-dawn light streamed through Hazel’s half-open shutters. The wakefulness of her mind told her the exact time. She rolled onto her opposite shoulder and waited the four minutes and 55 seconds she had left until her alarm sounded. Except she didn’t like silence of this particular morning. An unnatural silence. The silence stirred her where soft whining should have been. Hazel tugged the charger from the cell with her thumb and index finger in one smooth motion.

“Muffin?” Hazel called out. Her voice echoed against her four walls in an unrecognizable manner.

She craned her neck left then right to unstiffen her shoulders. There were still a few minutes left of sleep to be had. But that sound. The sound of nothing at all. Not even the birds had congregated on her windowsill this morning to sing their cheery songs. Hazel reached for the lamp on her nightstand and turned the switch on.

“Muffin?” she called out again, louder this time.

Soundlessness greeted her once again. She turned off her alarm, stretched up to a seated position, and peeked over the bed to her spot. Her one and only spot. She was soundless. A 14-year-old Yorkie, gray at the muzzle. As still as a desert cactus with no breeze. Hazel leapt out of bed. Her hand trembled lightly as she reached out to touch her.

“Muffin,” Hazel croaked, petting the stiff, cold body of her only companion as tears streamed down her face.


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