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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)

TITLE: Voices
By Leola Ogle


My sigh echoes in the stillness of night. I toss and turn, finally flipping my pillow over in hopes the cooler side will help me fall asleep. The incessant hum of voices has gone from annoying to downright irritating. These people! They have invaded my life and wonít leave me alone.

When my husband and I finally had an empty nest, I found I loved the quietness that blanketed our home. It was bliss! Not that I didnít love my children. I did, and do Ė very much. I used to worry that I would lose purpose when they were all gone. But Iíve discovered Iíve plenty to occupy my time.

Then these pesky people moved in Ė at my invitation, it seems. At first it was just a few, but more kept coming. They are so demanding of my time and attention, more so than my children ever were. Maybe if I was a different person, I would send them packing. I canít seem to do that, though, so I took the coward way out. I killed off a few of them, ones that I didnít really like or need. Iím not heartless. I did grieve a little, and even miss some of them. But I had to do it. Some of you can surely understand.

I really am a nice person. I think most people like me, and I like most people. In fact, there are very few people I donít like. So I guess it wasnít that I didnít like the people I annihilated, they just werenít as useful as I wanted them to be. Itís all about choice, and whatís best for everyone.

Things have been hectic within our family the past several weeks -- a tragic loss, a few crises, some minor, some not so minor. I havenít had much time for these other people. The truth is, I havenít had any time for them. They hate to be ignored. Like I said, theyíre so demanding of my time.

The past several mornings as Iíve come down the stairs, the hum of their voices fills my head. I want to scream, ďLeave me alone,Ē but I donít. I promise them that maybe tomorrow Iíll have time for them. I admit, I do miss them, although they donít seem to know that.

Thatís another thing about all this time and attention they want from me. My husband is really a sweetheart, very kind and understanding. He wonít admit it, but I know heís a little jealous of these other people in my life. It takes away from time I could be spending with him. Our brains are just wired differently, I guess, so he doesnít understand why I allow them in my life. He knows I feel frustrated with them at times. ďCome, sit with me,Ē he says. Sometimes I do, sometimes I donít. It depends on exactly how involved I am in my time with these people.

Itís not easy to explain my relationship with these people. Of course, some of my friends do understand. They even understand why I chose to kill off some, why I felt driven to do it. Alas, my poor husband doesnít get it. Iím grateful heís as supportive as he is. I donít take that for granted. Not all spouses would be as gracious.

Today I will devote the whole day to these ďI-will-not-be-ignored-any-longerĒ people. The hum of their voices canít be stilled. I sit in my comfortable chair and smile. I flip open my laptop and tap the On switch. Thereís a faint hum as the computer powers up.

I canít give my time to all of my characters at once, though, so Iíll have to choose. I click on Documents and scroll down. I have several manuscripts Iím working on. Which shall it be?

Although I havenít spent any time with my characters, I have listened to their voices. In my mind, Iíve changed a few things, rewritten a few chapters. Thereís no need to kill anyone off today, though. Well, itís not really killing them. I donít write murder mysteries. A better word is I eliminate or delete. I guess it would be delete, since thereís no eliminate key on the keyboard. I had to get rid of them. It was for the best. They were just incidental characters.

At first I canít remember all the little nuances of their personalities. Perhaps I shouldnít ignore them for weeks anymore. No worries, itís all coming back to me.

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This article has been read 264 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Genia Gilbert06/14/13
This sounds like the heart and mind of a true writer, obsessed with those characters, and wondering what to do with them. Well written and thought provoking.
Fiona Stevenson06/15/13
I am sure you delete them kindly and painlessly. Sometimes the extras get in the way of telling a story in the most 'telling' fashion - it is not always a case of the more the merrier. Good story. God bless you.
Ellen Carr 06/16/13
I really enjoyed reading this. I didn't guess who the 'pesky people' were at all until you revealed it. I was waiting to find out. Of course - the characters in your mind. Most entertaining!