The Sound of Silence – Sunday Fiction

Copyright John Brand


Annabel did silence well, and I learned that if silence were my first course in our daily encounter, guilt would almost certainly be the second; liberally served, allowed to cool, before congealing into a suffocating, glutinous mess.

Her silence wasn’t really silent though.  It involved plates smashing, carpet-sweepers banging, and the odd hissed expletive to send the dog scurrying under the kitchen table.

Since she left, there is a different kind of silence in the house;  the gentle ticking of the clock, the occasional snore from the dog’s basket as he dozes peacefully, and the murmur of lawnmowers from neighbouring gardens; all things unheard before, as Annabel thundered silently about her business.

There is still the business of guilt to deal with, though that has been sublimated somewhat, blunted by the glorious peace of my daily existence.

It’s the dog who’s been my undoing of course; his exceptionally acute hearing convinced him that he could hear the silence under the cherry tree in our back yard.  So much so he felt compelled to dig up the source of the noise, to check whether it was that which he’d imagined.

As indeed it was, much to the horror of my neighbours.


Sunday Photo Fiction invites short stories of up to 200 words in response to a photograph.  This photograph reminded me of this story, which was published by Postcard Shorts a few years ago.  A little judicious editing was necessary.


About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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29 Responses to The Sound of Silence – Sunday Fiction

  1. Sue says:

    Yeee-ikes….you’re back!


  2. Joe Owens says:

    There is a peck of murder coming with this prompt. Neel also has blood coming from his story. This is a good one Sandra.


  3. JS Brand says:

    I loved the language in your story Sandra – how do you do that? When I last tried my hand at flash fiction, I always ended up agonizing over which words to take out to meet the limit. The turns of phrase that I liked most were usually the ones that had to go.
    On a different note, I don’t know whether you looked at the two stories I posted for this prompt, but there’s a spooky similarity with yours. The strangest aspect for me was that we’ve both included a dog and cast it in the same role. Hand on heart, I’d never heard of Postcard Shorts, let alone visited it, so any similarities are entirely coincidental. Great minds and all that … ?


  4. Iain Kelly says:

    I figured once she had disappeared she would be cropping up under the tree! Pesky dog. Lovely writing.


  5. I like the banality of the horror, and silence congealing is a wonderful image. Well done.


  6. Lovely writing, the dog hearing the silence under the ground, brilliant.


  7. Dee says:

    Lovely take on the prompt – knew there would be either murder or mayhem, ot both … you haven’t lost your deft touch with this genre. Dee😀


  8. James says:

    That tree has seen a lot of murders this morning.


  9. A pesky dog would certainly sniff around under the earth. Love the sheer casualness of your prose. Brilliant is too small a word.


  10. yuhublogger says:

    Fantastically written! I loved it. The mystery slowly unraveling!


  11. kittysverses says:

    Silence is wonderfully explained. Enjoyed reading the beautiful writing.


  12. ceayr says:

    Exquisite as the blossom, the use of silence is just brilliant.
    What a delight to see you here, twice the words, so twice as good as FF!


  13. Ha, ha, that’s the Sandra I know, love, and expect. 🙂



  14. Lorraine says:

    Lovely building of tension and suspense. Figured Annabel was under the tree — loved how the dog heard the silence.


  15. michael1148humphris says:

    Perhaps she should have put the dog under the tree also. Just kidding 🙂


  16. Dale says:

    Oooh… you are good, Sandra. Much as I know you like to show your killer soul, I was not expecting that immediately. Thought maybe Annabel had decided to leave – of her own free will!


  17. athling2001 says:

    Great story. Undone by a dog.


  18. Nice story Sandra. I love the implications there. It’s great


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