The Sound of Silence

Max pushed the sides of the pillow over his ears, hoping to stop the constant, annoying ringing he was experiencing in both ears. He knew that trying to silence the ringing by pressing the pillow over his ears would do no good. The sound was coming from inside of his head and he was the only one who could hear it. But he just wanted it to stop.

Max used to be able to ignore it when he first experienced the ringing noise in his ears called tinnitus. It would only enter his consciousness when he thought about it. Or when it was very, very quiet where he was. Or when he didn’t get much sleep and was tired.

But lately the noise was constant and almost unbearable. Max went to see his doctor, who referred him to an otolaryngologist, who referred him to a neurologist. But each patiently explained to Max that there was nothing they could do about it, there is no known cure, and he’d just have to learn to live with it.

He thought back to all of the many loud rock concerts he attended in his twenties and thirties. No one ever warned him that frequent exposure to sounds of that volume could potentially lead to tinnitus. He cursed his stupidity for not wearing ear plugs at those concerts.

Max sighed, turned on his side and thought how he would make a deal with the devil if only he could experience just one silent night.

Written for E.M. Kingston’s Weekly Word prompt, where the prompt is “silent night.”

Five Word Weekly Challenge — Happy New Year

“I can’t believe that it’s already going to be 2023 next week. The seasons and the years are flying by,” Elliot said.

“Tell me about it,” Carol said. “I’m looking at 2023 as a new beginning and I’m making a New Year’s resolution to make the most of it.”

“Let’s drink to that, babe,” Elliot said, holding up his cocktail glass. Carol held up her glass and clinked it against Elliot’s a little too hard, causing both glasses to break and to spill their drinks all over both of them.

“A fit ending to a shitty year,” Carol said. “I am so happy that we’ll be turning the page on the calendar and to a brand new year next week.”

Written for Greg’s Five Word Weekly Challenge, where the five words are: cocktail | beginning | resolution | calendar | season.

Truthful Tuesday — Influenced By Ads

Di, of Pensitivity101, is our host for Truthful Tuesday. This week, Di asks us:

Are you influenced by advertisements for holidays or anything else for that matter?

Yes, I am especially influenced by ads like these that appear on posts of my fellow bloggers who have free WordPress accounts. I click on almost every one of these ads and often buy their products.

Just kidding!

Actually, I mostly watch commercial free TV or fast forward through commercials on network TV shows that I recorded on the DVR. I never read ads in the newspaper and in the car I have SiriusXM satellite radio, which is also commercial free.

So to answer Di’s question, no, I am not influenced at all by advertisements or commercials. What I am influenced by, however, are reviews I read on Google, Yelp, Amazon, etc. for products or services I’m interested in purchasing. Bad reviews may dissuade me from proceeding and lots of really good reviews may influence me to proceed with my purchase.

Immediate Family Only

“I think we need to discuss this situation further,” Andrew said.

“Don’t bother,” Jessica said. “I don’t want to start this argument anew.”

“You can’t stick your head in the sand, Jessica,” Andrew said. “We need to make a decision one way or the other before the birth.”

“We already decided, Andrew. How many times do we need to review this? We agreed to limit the size of the gathering to just immediately family,” Jessica said. “I don’t want it to turn into a circus.”

“It’s a merry occasion, Jessica,” Andrew said. “Don’t you want to share the news with as many of our friends as we can?”

“Andrew, I adore you,” Jessica said, “but your exuberance and your tendency to overshare can be overwhelming to me. If we’re going to do this at all, I’d rather we keep it small and intimate.”

“But, Jessica, this represents such a big milestone in our lives,” Andrew said. “I want to shout it to the world.”

“I know, sweetheart,” Jessica said, “but the world can wait until after our baby is born to learn whether it’s a boy or a girl. We agreed that we’d only reveal the baby’s gender before it’s born to our immediate family, so that decision has been made. There’s no need to revisit it yet again. Immediately family only at our baby’s gender reveal party, Andrew, and that is that.”

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One Word Challenge (discuss/situation), The Daily Spur (bother/represent), Word of the Day Challenge (anew), Ragtag Daily Prompt (birth/adore), My Vivid Blog (review), and Your Daily Word Prompt (gathering/merry)

Fandango’s Story Starter #78

It’s time for my weekly Story Starter prompt. Here’s how it works. Every Tuesday morning (my time), I’m going to give you a “teaser” sentence and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a story (prose or poetry) around that sentence. It doesn’t have to be the first sentence in your story, and you don’t even have to use it in your post at all if you don’t want to. The purpose of the teaser is simply to spark your imagination and to get your storytelling juices flowing.

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:

When Andrea found out that she wasn’t really his daughter, she knew exactly what she had to do.

If you care to write and post a story built from this teaser, be sure to link back to this post and to tag your post with #FSS. I would also encourage you to read and enjoy what your fellow bloggers do with their stories.

And most of all, have fun.