When you walk into my house, you can hear a ticking sound. Tick, tick, tick. It sounds like the clock on a bomb, counting down to your death.
It is the timer on the table lamp in the living room.
If you brush your hand against the walls, you can listen to the sounds before. When you hold your hand against the door, you hear the ringing of a bell and cheerful greetings. In the living room, the crackling blare of the television. In the kitchen, the clatter of pots and pans, and the whistling of a tea kettle. The dining room speaks of murmured conversations and the computer has an aura of music and stifled laughter. Up stairs that creak with years of weariness, there are rooms that are filled with the static of clock radios and the brush of feet against the floor.
And everywhere there is screaming.
Loud, defiant wails, punctuated with choked sobs, thicker in some rooms than others. Years of anguish and jealousy and fury piling against the walls, turning the air into something choking and heavy, suffocating you. Until you have to stumble outside to breathe, dazed by years of hateful shrieks. Pressing your hands to your ears, wishing that it would just stop. Shutting it all out until you can only hear the sound of your feet against the pavement.