A Chapter by Hannah Rose

Sixth and final chapter of Harper’s City of Silence.

In her city there was no shouting.
In her city there were no maddening cries.
In her city there was no bouting.
In her city there were no “whose wrong or rights?”

After weeks of listening to Progress's pattern of sound, Harper began to make her own. She found it helped her work faster, and as she became more familiar with "rhythm", she began to notice Prune had an audible pattern to his work as well. This surprised her since he had always come across as a stickler for the rules, and the making of “rhythm” was definitely not in any rule book within the silent city.

Progress seemed happy enough with Harper's acceptance of his practice of "listening" in this way. However, he had bigger plans for developing Harper’s own ability to listen.

One afternoon, as all the factory workers were leaving, Progress caught Harper's attention and, with a wave of his hand, beckoned her to follow him down the side of the building. She gave him a questioning look, not being able to fathom where they'd be going. He beckoned again and Harper hesitantly followed.

He lead her down the alley way around the backside of the wooden factory building, where a small door was located. The door was the same color as the rest of the building and almost blended in perfectly. He opened it to reveal a small closet filled with cleaning and yard work supplies. There were boxes on shelves lining the walls of the closet. Long cleaning brushes to clean the sides of the wooden building, silent lawn mowers, and silent weedwhackers, filled the floor of the closet making it too crammed to enter.

Progress reached inside, moving boxes around, in a somewhat noisy manner, until he found what he was looking for. A small box which held objects unrecognizable to Harper. There were multiple small, rectangular metal objects about the size of Harpers hand, with small screens. As Progress began shifting through the box, Harper did recognize other objects within the box. There were multiple sets of what looked like the earplugs they used in the pencil carving rooms, except they were connected with a thin chord. When Progress had found the object he was looking for, which was one of the smaller rectangular objects, he also took from the box, one of these sets of earplugs.

He smiled at Harper with these two objects in hand, and replacing the box back in the closet, he beckoned once again for her to follow him towards the back of the building. Filled with curiosity, Harper followed until they came to a ladder that lead up the side of the building. Progress motioned for her to follow him up the ladder.

The ladder lead to a maintenance level that circled the outside of the building about 30 feet from the ground. There were many doors along the circular walk way, which had no rails, and Harper expected Progress to lead her to one of these doors, but instead he lead her around the circular walk way until he seemed to find the spot he was looking for. He sat down comfortably and motioned for Harper to sit next to him.

The silent city stretched out before them. Unlike Harper's tenant building, the factory was near the center of the city, and the buildings blocked the view of the mountains. However, due to the strange architecture of the city, the buildings weaved away from the pencil factory, clearing a path down the center of the city, at the end of which, the sun could be seen setting over the horizon. Harper expected the view was why progress picked this spot.

Progress untangled the wire that connected the two ear pieces, and imputed a metal piece on the end of the wire, into an opening on the side of the metal object. There was a ring of buttons on the center of the objects surface, and clicking one of these, the screen lit up. Fiddling with the buttons which controlled the screens contents, Progress seemed to find what he was looking for. He handed Harper one of the ear pieces, and motioned for her to place it in her ear. After doing so he clicked one of the buttons on the rectangular, metal object, and sounds began to slowly flow out of Harper's ear piece.

It was not like any sound she had heard before, not even during the time of tragedy that flooded her city with noise. The computerized technology that shielded her city from unwanted, loud animals, worked the automatic light systems, and provided silent communication methods, had malfunctioned. As citizens began to panic, and noisy critters began to fly and crawl into the cities boarders, the city erupted with noise.

The sound that filled her sense over a decade ago, were stinging sensations bringing her anxiety and discomfort. They were loud images of angry faces, unable to deal with the state of confusion around them.

The sound she was hearing now felt like the soft melodic voice that comforted her senses while she coward, scared in the corner of a room, filled with other 6 year old girls, scared and uncertain as loud sounds flooded their senses.

The sound coming from the ear piece, brought forth the memory of the kind ladies face as she repeated the word “Harper” over and over, encouraging the small child to say it with her. That was the only word Harper ever said.

All Harper's guilt flooded away. She was not sorry for creating rhythm, for questioning her city, for liking the rain, or for "Harper". 27698 was gone, replaced by the precious melody, filled with forgiving harmonies.

Progress watched her carefully. As the sound began to fade away, Harper broke from her trance. She turned to look at him, her expression expressing her wish to communicate the feelings that had engulfed her, and that were still rushing through her veins.

Progress pulled a slip of paper out of the pocket of his yellow trousers, along with a wooden pencil. He scratched a sentence onto the paper and handed it to Harper.

"Sound never destroyed our peace, it was our inability to listen."

© 2018 Hannah Rose

Author's Note

Hannah Rose
I’m aware of grammatical errors, but still welcome corrections!

My Review

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Very creative, and such a powerful moral. How true it is today as it was yesterday. Sound is just noise, listen and one can hear the music. Well done, my friend! Loved it.

Posted 1 Day Ago

Hannah Rose

1 Day Ago

Thank you!

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Added on January 3, 2018
Last Updated on January 3, 2018


Hannah Rose
Hannah Rose


I am 20, a barista, and a student. I plan on teaching English as a second language in a foreign country after graduating college, and I love to write. I am also a Christian and hope to use my writing .. more..