Listen to Audiobook
Listen with Closed Captions
[15 | The Noise] Download or Read PDF
“The noise. It has to stop. Please, God, make it stop. I cannot live like this. I need it to stop. Why. Why do these people have to keep moving like this? They won’t stop moving. It is driving me crazy. I am going to have to kill them. I tried to leave this place, but I cannot seem to break free. It is like some sort of sick twisted joke being played on me. Apparently, no one else in this building has had any issues with the sounds I am hearing. I have to have quiet for my work. It requires deep concentration without interruptions, and all I hear all fucking day long is these psychos and their nonstop activities. I swear to God, I won’t lose a wink of sleep if someone murders the shit out of them. I pray that they die. Just die. Dear God, please take them out.”
“Fuck! It won’t stop.”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Gaaaaaawwwwwwwddddd!!! Christ! Fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck – that’s it! Someone’s going to die. If I have to warp space and time to find these pricks—these fuckers are going to die.”
On his way back from the lobby, the ax was again resting by his door. He had instinctively brought it in and set it on his counter. He grabs the ax off the counter and takes a shot of Jack Daniels, and then another. He swings the ax up and rests it on his shoulders, holding its knob in the palm of his left hand. He uses his other hand to grip the neck of the whiskey bottle. He says to himself, “Heeeeeeere’s Jimmmmy.” Pretending that he is Jack Torrance from The Shining.
“Yep. They are going to die. Tonight’s the night.”
He puts the ax back down, resting it on the countertop. He then twists off the cap of the whiskey bottle, takes a hefty slug, filling his mouth full of the burning liquid. He swallows it down, trying not to activate his gag reflex. Once it is in his stomach, lining the walls with warmth, he walks over to the mirror on the wall and examines himself.
“Are you ready?” “Indeed, sir. We’ve been ready for some time now.” “Do you think we can follow through?” “Without question. We must, for we cannot reside in such an environment for a night more. It must be done.” “Who do you think is the one that makes the noise?” “It is unclear. There are hundreds of units within this building that could be the source. They are all connected by metal and wire. The origin could be from anywhere. Clearly, it wasn’t the running skeleton above you, so we must search elsewhere.” “I shall begin with the ones I’ve seen exercising daily.” “Are you sure you should be so open about your solution? We will surely be found out.”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Goddddddddd! Damnnnnnnnn! Ittttt! Yes. We must end it tonight. I cannot tolerate it one night more. I don’t care if I have to spend the rest of my life in a cell—at least I’ll be able to get some sleep knowing I am surrounded by cement bricks and not this fucked sound conducting speaker system of a condo.”
The whiskey courses through his veins, now bubbling his brain with ethanol. He goes back to the counter and grabs the throat and belly of the ax. He has every intention of breaking down all his neighbors’ doors until he finds the one that won’t stop moving around all day.
His anger takes over, and without thinking, the ax swings into the wall. He pulls it back, ripping it from the drywall, and swings again and again. Chunks of sheetrock break apart, falling to the ground. He continues ramming the blade into the wall over and over again. He swings it like a golf club up into the ceiling, hitting the light fixture. Glass shards rain down over him. He then takes another upward swing, and half of the frame holding the drywall falls to the ground while still connected to the ceiling. He then swings the ax like a baseball bat into an unscathed wall, repeating until none of the living room walls are fully intact.
BANG-BANG-BOOM-BOOM-bang – BANG-BANG-BOOM-BOOM
BANG-BANG-BOOM-BOOM-bang – BANG-BANG-BOOM-BOOM
He continues hearing the pounding and thumping, which only fuels his anger more. He holds the knob and throat of the ax with both hands holding it over his head and turns to take another plunge into the wall when he sees himself in the mirror. His eyes are bloodshot, and his hair is twisted up and greasy as if he hasn’t bathed in months. He is wearing all white—a two-piece outfit—with sandals. His lips are scrunched up, and his face crinkled. He does not recognize himself. He is possessed with hatred and frustration. The ax comes down over his head, smashing into the reflection of his face breaking the mirror into a thousand pieces. “I guess that’ll be another seven years of good luck for me. Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha”
He stops and calms down after the mirror decorated the floor with bits and pieces of broken glass. He swings the ax’s shoulder over his shoulder and grabs the whiskey bottle by the neck. The cap is already removed, so he takes a sip while still gripping the throat of the ax. He then slams the bottle back on the counter and says, “We are ready. Let’s do this. Time to die little feet in my ceiling. Time to die. I am coming for you. All your running won’t help you now. I am coming for you. If only you knew your passive behaviors would lead to your death, maybe you would have changed your selfish ways—time to die, little ones. I’m coming for you. I’m coming, and I am coming now.”
He walks down the narrow hall of his condo to the door, still holding the ax and whiskey. He pushes the handle down with the base of the bottle and pulls it open using one finger. When he opens the door, Jack Tripper is standing at it. He says to James, “There’s Watson. I must have left him here after our last meeting.” “Meeting?” “Don’t worry about it. Here, give that to me before you do something stupid.”
“You hear that man?” “Yea. Sounds like someone working a punching bag or running real hard on a treadmill.” “Yea. Jesus fuck, man. I am going to kill these fucks. I cannot fucking take it anymore. Do you have any idea what it is like to be awoken every hour on the hour twenty-four seven for months on end?” “I imagine it’s like having children.” “Yes! Goddamnit, exactly like having children, except you can strangle the child. I don’t know who or where this is coming from. I thought it was that running skeleton bitch, but she is dead, and I still hear the pounding just as much as ever.” “Relax, man, you gotta lay off the brown liquor. Especially Jack Daniels.” “Shit. I know. I was watching The Shining earlier, and I kind of got carried away. Fuck man, I feel like I am being driven nuts just like the dude in the movie. The building is fucking possessed, man. I swear to God it is. I have been trying to study for months, and every fucking time I touch the pen to the fucking paper or try and do any critical thinking, the pounding begins. Then, when I think I have a break from it, it disrupts my sleep and wakes me up. I am on fucking edge, man.” “Maybe I can help.” “How’s that?” “How about you don’t worry about it, and I’ll fix the issue with the noise?” “Dude. You fix the noise, and I won’t worry about a thing.” “Alright then. I will, but I’ll need you to do something for me.” “What’s that?” “I need you to get that notebook of yours and let me have it.” “My notebook?” “Yes. I will give it back, but I need it now.” “Why would you need my notebook?” “Don’t worry about that.” “Alright, but how are you going to stop the pounding?” “It’s just a numbers game, my friend; a simple numbers game. Just give me your notebook, and I will fix your noise issue.”