I was gone when the Silence ended this year. They awoke alone.
It took a morning, a lifetime, for them to understand that the Silence was gone. Hundreds of them, with faces, eyes, arms, legs, walking around, waking up. As they watched each other, unsure how to react, unsure how to take this awakening, unsure how to approach the world around them, they mourned. The wake—a ritual served for endings—felt the most fitting here, as the silence had come to an end. And while there was much to see, losing the silence was truly sad. Losing it meant losing the sleep they had known and losing that meant losing everything. Instead, they were now in rooms, endless halls of rooms, with beds and signs and stairs and kitchens and chairs. They walked, searching for the point, for the meaning, while some searched for the Silence, hoping they could find it again.
Yet, the rooms felt barren and homely. Without threat and without life.
So eventually, they gathered. Lost, and unsure what else to do, they began to talk.
Some talked about the Silence, wondering what had happened to it, some talked about the Noise that had taken its place. Some talked about the rooms they were in and what they were for. Some talked about themselves, discovering who they were, trading names and ideas.
They gathered in a hall, a large hall, with long tables, benches too, stretching on and on. It could fit them all, if they wanted to stay there, and it did not seem to have any other reason to exist other than letting them be.
There was a long black board on the end, strange in its size and scope, stretching up far into the black void up above they thought was a ceiling. Yet, outside of that, there was little in there other than themselves.
“Shouldn’t we try to retreat back to the Silence? Isn’t that what we want?”
“Why not explore what’s here? Maybe the Noise isn’t bad?”
“I don’t know that we can do either. We’re here now. Who are we to control the Silence or the Noise?”
“We must have awoken for a reason.”
“But how can we know? Not like there’s anyone to ask.”
They looked around. There wasn’t anyone, indeed. They couldn’t consult the Silence, they couldn’t hear the Noise clearly enough to understand it. It was just a humming, a static, a vibration that shook, tingled their ears. Some went exploring again, trying to find the source of the Noise, hoping they could hear it louder, hoping they could shut if off. But no, it just remained, ever quiet, but always there. They found new rooms, stacks of things, huge warehouses with stuff, whatever you could imagine, wood, tree, gold, iron, string, paper (so much paper), cardboard, LED’s, switches, fabric, and plastic and plastic. And there, in all the rooms, seemingly, the only two repetitions were the door they entered—always grey wood with a brass handle—and a single black dot: A sphere, no larger than a hand, encapsulated in a white ring, with black metal and wiring and lenses.
A camera. One in every room. It took them long to question it. At first it seemed so natural, so obvious, there was no reason to think about it. There was a door to the room, so there was a camera. It was the same. It was like air, all impenetrable, and with a buzzing red light.
See the other days here.
If you enjoy this Christmas Calendar, please post a comment, let me know on Twitter, or follow the RSS.