The Sound of Truth pt.3 -Magicians B[F]light

The Sound of Truth pt.3 -Magicians B[F]light

A Story by Emily Lynn

The third and final componant of "The Sound of Trurh" enjoy.




Nora paced the waiting room with ever growing anxiety and impatience. The nurses rushed him in through the emerge straight away and Nora was left without knowing if her brother was dead or alive. She had used the pay phone in the corner to call her parents but it took a minute for them to understand what she was saying through her shaky voice. It had been her father who answered the phone and it had taken her a few seconds before she could form any words at all.


The waiting room was half full. A mother wandered with a wailing infant bouncing in her arms, singing softly, an elderly couple sat beside a stack of outdated reader’s digest magazines sharing a candy bar from the vending machine and a young woman sat rifling through her purse, discarding a handful of what looked to be old receipts of some kind.  Nora paced in front of the triage nurse’s windowed room and caught the occasional complaints. ‘numb foot for three days,’ ‘arthritis pills making them constipated’ the father and son that were in there now were explaining how the boy had stuck his tongue to a metal rack inside the walk-in freezer at his work six days ago because of a bet and still couldn’t taste anything.


Nora scanned the brochures and informative posters pinned up on the walls several times, her eyes always bouncing back to the domestic abuse and gall stone flyers with the need of distraction. She reached out and picked up a ‘how to quit smoking’ brochure and flipped through the pages absently before replacing it in its stack. She trembled as she waited. Maybe from the air conditioning pouring over the wet clothes which clung to her frame, or maybe from shock, she wasn’t sure which.


A loud thump accompanied by the rattling of metal sounded through the room, making her jump and she quickly searched for the source. A rather large man with greasy looking hair pounded his fist into the vending machine and cursed. Everyone in the waiting room glanced over briefly then returned to whatever it was they were doing and she did the same. The music was soft instrumentals: piano, clarinets, cheerful violins; the typical music heard in medical offices of any kind- dental, general, optical. Nora wondered for a moment if the composers of the music had shipped out copies only to those in the medical profession.


“Nora?” She spun around when she heard her father’s voice and saw her parents hurrying up behind her. They both had tears in their eyes, their hands interlocked. She noticed her fathers ashen face, her mother’s frazzled hair and smudged mascara and winced. It was all her fault.

“Mom, dad I-“ Her mother slapped her across the cheek, that sound; a flat and shallow smack now drawing the rooms attention, than stared at the trembling hand she had used. Nora’s cheek stung but she didn’t cry or move a hand to touch the sore skin. She breathed in deeply, the three of them standing in limbo for a moment before her mother pulled her into her arms and they both started weeping.


“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Nora whispered withdrawing. Her father’s blue eyes were damp, his lips pressed tightly together to keep from crying out.

“Why Nora?” Her mother asked sadly, “I told you not to encourage him.”

Nora shook her head, “I don’t know.” She shrugged shyly, “He was happy.”

Marianne scanned her daughter’s face, seeing the guilt in her eyes, the fear in the way her lips quivered. “He was already happy.” She glanced at her husband who furrowed his eyebrows, “most of the time.”

“No.” She said shrugging, “he wasn’t. He was in pain and miserable and afraid.”

Marianne pulled a tissue from her sweater pocket and wiped her nose, “Was he?” She asked, her voice cracking, “I thought- I truly thought-“ She dabbed the tears from her eyes.

“I know, but he wasn’t.”

She looked up from her tissue, tears running the mascara further down her face, “How didn’t I see it? You did.”

Nora wiped at her own eyes with her sleeve, “He’s not just my brother. He’s my best friend.”


“Mr. and Mrs. Young?” They all turned to face a balding doctor in his late forties wearing a clashing suit of bright toucan scrubs.

“How is he?” Nora’s father asked eagerly.

The doctor squinted and tilted his head, weighing the words he would use, “Ah, well, he’s lucky to be alive that’s for sure. He cracked his head open pretty bad, lost a lot of blood. His arm is broken; we need to perform surgery to put screws in place.” He handed a clipboard over to my parents, “consent forms. We also need to put him on dialysis for now, he did some damage to his kidneys but they should recover in time.” He turned his gaze to Nora and she cowered away from it, “you’re his sister?”

Nora nodded, “It’s my fault-“

The doctor waved off her confessions, “he wants to see you. We stabilized him but don’t be long, we need to start the surgery as soon as I talk it over with your parents. You can follow Nurse Bator over here,” He gestured to a woman standing by a large wooden door locked by a security code. The nurse waved. “She’ll take you to him.” He turned back to Nora’s parents, “Can I speak with you in private for a moment?”


Nora timidly went over to the nurse who introduced herself. She had wiry black hair wrapped into a tight bun and the slight shadow of a moustache. Her eyes were grey, aged and friendly. The nurse smiled leading her through the door and down the hall to the curtain divided rooms. “Your brother is in C4 hun. Go on in.” She hesitated before walking down the rows of numbers, reading each as she passed. She could hear soft chatter from a few doctors who stood just within a few of the curtains barriers and the smell of antiseptic and vomit made her scrunch her nose in disgust. C4 was near the end of the hall, the second one from the end and she drew in a deep breath before entering.


Her brother lay on the thin hospital bed with thick, blood stained gauze wrapped around his head. His eyes were puffy and swollen, already turning a deep shade of ugly purple and a heart monitor clipped gently around his right index finger beeped steadily. There was an intimidating looking IV taped to the same hand, the transparent tube leading to a metal hook where a bag of fluids hung. His arm was strapped into a foam and board rectangular splint, awaiting surgery.


“Noah.” She whispered sadly, remaining just inside the curtain. She couldn’t tell if he was looking at her or if his eyes were fully closed through the swollen tissue. Noah grunted and she stepped over to his side, taking his uninjured hand in hers.

“I’m so sorry Noah...”

He tried to smile but the effect was lost with all the gauze. “Thank you.” He croaked in an almost inaudible voice.

Nora squinted at him surprised, “thank you? “ She repeated, “For not protecting you?”

He shook his head very slightly and cringed, “for giving me hope.”

She stared at him for a moment, once again looking over the injuries she caused him, “Listen. Noah...” She didn’t know how to say the words that would undo everything she had manufactured for him to believe, “the magic-“

He smiled weakly again, “Is real.” She looked at him unsure of what to say. “You made it real to me.” He licked his cracked lips, “I knew you made it all up.”

Her mouth fell open surprised, “you did?” She asked incredulously, “then why-“

He squeezed her hand, “You made it real in my head and I liked believing. It made me happy to believe.”

Nora sniffed and only then realised her face was soaked with fresh tears, “why did you jump?” She asked softly, moving her gaze from his face.

“I didn’t.” Her eyes flashed back to him. “I wanted to feel what it would be like. To fly. I only wanted to sit up there and feel the wind, be able to look down instead of be looked down on. But once I got up there it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t help but stand up, get even higher.” Tears glistened in his eyes and he began gasping through choppy sobs, “It felt so good to stand up there Nora.” He smiled then, remembering the feeling of freedom, “But when I saw the look in your eyes I felt so guilty. I was about to get down but I slipped.”Nora kissed the top of her brother’s hand next to the IV. Her hands trembled.


Noah tilted his head in her direction, “Am I going to die Nora?” He asked with a shaky voice.

A fresh wave of tears ruptured any composure she may have been clinging on to, “Oh Noah.” She whispered, “The doctor’s are going to fix you up okay? You’ll be back to your old self in no time.”

Noah shook his head, his lip trembling, “I meant from the cancer.”

Nora sighed, “I know what you meant.”

“I’m not afraid Nora.” He confessed, the gauze encircling his face was now damp from his tears.

“Don’t talk like that; you’re going to be fine.”

“I don’t want to go back. It hurts all the time.”

Nora moved to curl up on the bed next to her little brother, “It hurts now, but the chemo is going to work. You just have to be strong and tough out the hard part okay?” Nora rest her head on Noah chest. His heartbeat thumped gently and she closed her eyes briefly, listening to the soothing swishing sound his lungs made when he inhaled.

“But what if it doesn’t work?”

Nora tilted her head up to look in his eyes, “It will.”


Noah was silent for a short moment, both of them lost in their own loaded thoughts.

“I don’t want you to talk like that anymore.” He said finally.

“Like what?”

“Like I’m not dying.”

Suddenly Nora felt like she was the younger sibling not the other way around. “I have to.”

She felt Noah shift beneath her, “Please.”

“What do you want me to say Noah?” Her voice wavered.

“That it’s okay. That you will be okay when I die.”

Nora felt the familiar heat rush to her face, felt the burning sting behind her eyes and the heaviness in her chest, “Nuh-uh. No.”

Noah squeezed his eyes shut for a moment and the tears streaked down his cheeks, “Please.” He said for the second time.

Nora bit her lip and tasted the metallic blood, “You’re my best friend.” She croaked through the thick lump in her throat. “I won’t be okay.” Her breath came out in choppy bursts as she struggled to contain the sobs that stuck in her throat. Beneath her pounding head she could feel Noah’s breathing change to match her own, his heartbeat quickening. “I can’t lie and say I’ll be fine Noah. You can’t die, I won’t let you.” She held a fistful of his hospital gown in her fist and clenched it tightly to her cheek. “But,” She said through shaky breaths, “I don’t want you to hurt anymore. I want you to be happy.”

“Thank you.” Noah said softly and the two of them lay there in silence until the doctor came to take Noah to surgery.





Noah Died three weeks later. His system had been unable to fight off any infection; weakened by his damaged kidneys and relentless cancer and after the surgery his body had been ravished by a persistent virus. Medication didn’t help, the cancer was only getting worse and when the doctor’s came to the conclusion Noah’s time was almost up, they brought him home from the hospital and let him die peacefully in a morphine induced slumber. Noah was born, he lived and he died. And the world kept on turning.


© 2010 Emily Lynn

Author's Note

Emily Lynn
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this is definitely your most evocative chapter , you tug at the heart strings with the dialogue between Nora and Noah . you have filled the scene with details and emotion that anyone who has spent anytime in hospital waiting room can relate too ..

Posted 10 Years Ago

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Added on October 11, 2010
Last Updated on October 11, 2010


Emily Lynn
Emily Lynn


Well. . . it's now 2020. I used to be an extremely active member here on Writerscafe before 3 University degrees, a kid and life happened. I haven't been active on this site in eight years but am now.. more..