I took part in this month's spoken word competition in Bridport called the Bridport Story Slam. Our voices this time where viewed and judged on screen. I was pleased to be awarded a second place in a competition heavily influenced by Lockdown and Covid 19. This is my entry, based on the strangeness of the silence that cocoons us. It became a piece where I was also able to bring attention to the increased number of domestic violence incidents that are taking place, when partners are not safe in their own homes.
The silence was the strangest thing.
“Those bloody birds, can’t you hear them? Listen!” He thrust his mobile phone in her face.
“You recorded them?” she asked, rubbing her arm.
“They’re driving me mad!”
Apart from the radio at five, her own inner monologue, and the “bloody” birds, it was silent. No cars, planes and the only footfall the occasional visit of the postman to their box. Their neighbours had packed up and headed to the coast weeks ago. It was just the two of them now. And no pub to steer him to in the evenings. No work. Instead, he watched her. Even when she was in the shower.
Out in the garden that evening, the blackbird on the seedball took flight alarmed at a low shriek, followed by a crashing thud which echoed through the wood. The silence resumed. No-one would be coming. She calmly wiped the knife blade on the grass.
Karen lives and works in Bridport Dorset. She is currently working on her third book in the Abbotsbury Series, books for children aged 8-12.