“Hear that?” My brother, Andrew, asked.

“Very funny.” I replied.

Andrew looked as if there was something far away, making a captivating noise. Distracting him. He described it as sounding like a police siren, repeating over and over again, barely heard above the cricket chirps of the night and the low humming of the nearby freeway.

“What…is that?”

“I don’t know, but it’s late. Let’s go to sleep.”

I woke up and saw my brother at the window of our room, head cocked to the side, as if listening to something very carefully. He looked confused and almost…sad. We went downstairs to join our parents at breakfast.

My Father moved his lips, “You guys sleep okay last night?”

Both my Brother and Mother replied with a “No.”

“Me either, kept hearing the cops outside, must’ve been a busy night,” my Dad said.

“No way,” my Bro exclaimed, “I had the same problem!”

“Same here.” My Mom added.

I noticed my family looked somewhat distressed.

The day went along as usual, but seemed a little… slower, and gloomy. Whenever I was in the company of a family member, they seemed distracted, disinterested in whatever task they were currently involved in. That night we all sat together, watching television. There was a report on the news about many people complaining of an annoying police siren.

“L.A.P.D. states they are not responsible for this, saying that they are aware of the problem and are investigating with their best efforts. We are urged not to worry, as it doesn’t seem to be related to a rise in crime.” The reporter explained.

“I guess you guys aren’t the only ones.” I said.

No one responded.

“It’s getting closer, Jr.” Andrew told me, later that night, as I played video games. “It’s so annoying. It’s like… right in your face. I hate it.”

“What? That noise? It’s all in your head. You’re just tired. Let’s get some rest.” I answered.

“Yeah…yeah okay. Night, Bro.” He was staring at the ceiling, wide-eyed, as I drifted to sleep.

The next morning, I didn’t see Andrew at the window as I awoke. Instead I saw him sitting at his bed, with his hands over his ears, crying.

“Hey, what’s wrong man? You okay? Why are you crying?!”

Between sobbing and tear wiping he managed to tell me to go check on our parents. Confused, I still obeyed and went to downstairs. What I saw devastated me. I almost collapsed.

My father was on the floor in a small pool of blood, centered around his head. Makes sense, considering he had stuck small kitchen knives in both his ears. My mother had used duct tape to surround her entire head in the sticky material. It looked like she used the entire roll, effectively suffocating her. I swear I saw her twitch, making me rush back upstairs, to my bedroom.

“Why? Why did they do that? Hurt themselves. Why?!” I asked, frantically

“It’s the noise!”, He screamed.” It’s so close! I can’t hear myself think. I can’t handle this! Ahh! Make it stop! It won’t go away. It killed our parents…” He trailed off and looked directly at me.

The whole room seemed to shake as Andrew pounded his head against the wall as hard as he could. I was so surprised, horrified, and grief stricken to do anything but watch. The fifth slam caused blood to spray on the wall, yet he still went on, hammering the barrier with all his strength. He had managed to form a deep crack in his skull. His deep red blood poured out like juice from a pitcher. He collapsed, his hands still at his ears. It looked almost as if he were about to smile.

I never heard the siren that destroyed my life, and presumably everyone else’s.  I couldn’t. I knew my Brother had envied me that moment when he looked in my eyes.

I am deaf. I don’t know if this is a blessing, or a horrible, punishing curse.

What I did know was that the sound was what made my family want to die, and probably many more people.

I knew I was going to be very lonely and sad.

I knew there was no longer the hum of cars from the nearby freeway.

Credit To: GT: PsyckoMantis

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