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Frank and Margaret

Page 2

Peter Symons

Despite the silence being present, it was not as strong as it was at home so he decided to stay at the motel. He found a little pleasure in his fortnightly payments from his superannuation fund. For Frank, it was a symbol of his hard work over forty-five years. When he was working, every time he signed a piece of paper or put a file away, he imagined a 20 cent coin being deposited in his superannuation account. Now he did not have to imagine that. He could spend those 20 cent pieces. However, his payments, no matter how many times he checked them, still did not stop the silence.

One evening, while he was checking his payment on the telephone, the silence overwhelmed him. It travelled through the telephone receiver and snaked itself around his throat. He dropped the receiver and fell to the floor.

He awoke soon after to find his back sore from his fall. He replaced the receiver and sat carefully on the end of the bed. The silence now inhabited the room and he could feel it beginning to seep into him. This frightened him even further as he knew he was now going mad.

Although it was the evening and dark, he packed his bags quickly and left the motel. The silence sat with him in the car. The gear stick was difficult to move, as the silence was thick around it. Eventually he made it to his home, to where his wife lived. He stopped the car and sat with the silence. He was still afraid. Every sound was muted: the tapping of his fingers on the steering wheel, his breathing, the movement of his feet on the floor. He forced the door open and stood outside the car. It was a little easier to breathe outside. He looked towards the house where Margaret, his wife, lived. The house felt safe.

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