They say that I'm a mute.
I've simply been silenced.
They call me dumb.
I cannot fight it.
They say I'm different.
I'm just as human as you.
It's been a long, long time.
This is my only form of communication, and I've become adept at it. Writing is my passion...but not by choice.
I was silenced, just as they were.
If you think you're safe, you're not.
It all started two years ago. I wasn't into the big video game craze of the 80s and 90s, so it never rubbed off on me in the present day. But at that time, my son was a huge fanatic, specifically of Pokemon. One day, he wanted me to play it with him. Something called Pokemon or something, I don't know. He dragged me upstairs to his computer and plopped me in front of it.
It was weird. From what I'd seen, Pokemon games had always been on handheld devices, and even my son was saying how it was "a weird game" and "you should play it dad". So, I did.
I started out in this weird tower thing. It looked like there were graves all around, some kind of morgue or something? I noticed there was no music playing. As I moved around, I noticed there were some stairs. My son told me to go up them. At this point, some kind of "music" started to play, although I'd hardly call it that. My son had the volume turned all the way up and, no matter how hard I complained, he wouldn't turn it down on the speakers.
I ended up in this pitch-black room. My son told me to use the "flash" move, so I did. The room lit up, and it was this blood red...thing. Kind of creepy. Throughout the game I progressed, with the careful advice of my son.
Eventually, though, he got tired. He told me to finish the game and went to bed. I was actually getting kind of interested in this game, so I did. I had reached the top of the tower (which was a graveyard, as I had learned from my son) and was at the beginning of a long aisle. This music was getting louder and louder, and I eventually got sick of it.
So I turned it off.
Biggest mistake of my life.
I walked down the aisle to see a lone person. I walked up and talked to him, and some kind of event happened. It was..a battle? I was in no control of it, and once I got to the end some curious text popped up on the screen:
"We have been silenced."
"You refused to hear us."
"Now, you shall be silenced as well."
This was freaking me out. I closed out the window and prepared to go to bed; I was very tired. But, something curious happened when I yawned.
No sound came out.
Nothing at all.
I froze mid-stretch and checked my ears. Yes, I could still hear-I wasn't deaf.
I tried to say something and I could still speak.
Hm...I thought to myself. I must've just been really, really tired, so I headed off to bed.
I woke up later than usual. It was a Saturday, and I didn't have work.
Or should I say that I got woken up?
My son was on my chest, and as soon as he seen me wake up he shouted at me.
"Come on, dad, you have to finish the game! You didn't finish!"
I tried to scream out of surprise but I couldn't--my mouth just hung open.
My son turned his head at me and asked me if something was wrong.
I slowly said, "nothing, son. Now, let's go finish that game."
He led me back to the computer. The game was already loaded up and back at the battle with that character. I sat down at the chair and played--well, watched. It was more a cutscene than anything. I noticed the music was still off.
"Son, did you turn off the music?"
"No, I didn't...? I can hear it fine!"
That was odd.
The cutscene ended, as usual. This time the dialogue was different:
"You are ignorant of us, yet we are still there."
"You can't hear our pleas or our cries."
I was startled. I turned to my son and asked him if he just read what I just read.
"But he didn't say anything, Dad."
I slowly paused and decided to quit.
"I'm done, son. This game is just too weird."
It was too late. I had walked out of the room. I didn't want to admit to him that I was legitimately scared.
The rest of the day went normal, besides the constant nagging from my son to play that stupid game.
My wife asked me what this was all about. I just told her he wanted me to play some scary game, and that was enough for her to dismiss the matter. Simple woman.
I started to get gradually more worried. Everyone was telling me I was getting quieter. Tomorrow was the start of the work week, and I needed to get over this voice thing.
I woke up at 5:00 the next morning, an hour before anyone else would get up and did my daily morning routine, then hopped in my car and drove into the city to start my boring desk job. I wish I had noticed that I couldn't hear my humming at that point, but the music I was humming to was too loud for me to really hear anything but it at that point.
I must've looked like the stupidest person alive, walking down the cubicles just opening my mouth with no sound coming out. Everyone looked at me funny like I had something on my face. I mouthed the words "what?".
Then I realized I had completely lost my voice. Not even the raspy deep-throat voice you get from being sick. It was completely gone.
I stopped dead in my tracks and immediately started to sweat. I put my hand over my mouth and slowly removed it. I tried to scream, to whisper, to say anything. Nothing came out. I just decided to sulk my way to my desk and start working.
That would've worked on a day without a meeting.
And you know who was presenting?
This is it. I'm gonna get fired. I thought. There was no way I'd be able to present without talking.
I decided to face my fears and got up there and started mouthing words like a jackass.
My boss's face immediately went sour.
"Jenkins! What the hell are you doing? Is this some kind of joke?"
I mouthed an arguement to him, something about "MY VOICE HAS BEEN STOLEN OH GOD PLEASE HELP".
Too bad he couldn't read lips.
I got fired immediately and skulked back to home, dreading having to explain this to my wife somehow. Driving home I kept thinking about that stupid game. Was that really the cause or was I going insane?
She left me.
She just fucking left me.
She took the kid.
She took everything.
Why did I play this? Who would do this to someone? What kind of sick joke is this?
All these thoughts were running through my head.
I could only come to one conclusion:
Nothing to do but play that game one last time.
I had to. It was the last time, I swore.
I booted it up and, instead of kicking me to the tower like it usually did, a simple text box popped up in the window. The words on the screen resonated in my soul:
"You have been silenced."
Probably not my best. Sort of a challenge to come up with a ridiculous premise and make it at least somewhat creepy. I mean, a game removing someone's voice--really? Where the hell did that come from?