• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 12
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Weighing Your Words

In sheer panic you grab the papers, looking for your name, looking for what you wrote, stupidly wrote, thinking they would never read it, it would not be recorded, not held in the balance, but you saw your name there, how it could be there’s no knowing. They must not see, so you ignore their shouts and now you’ve got his electronic device, the one he writes his words on (what he writes is another matter) and you’re scrolling through that, frantically scrolling but you can’t find your words.

A woman is singing into your panic, a melismatic melody spooling into the emptiness of the room. She is leaning against the wall, she must see the wooded hills beyond, and perhaps they are calming for her because she seems unconcerned that she doesn’t know her part, her voice tailing off. They’re recording her but it can be done again, everything can be done again, she just circles an arm. What secrets does she have though? Everyone has secrets.

Now you have a mop and a bucket of water, though the water is grubby already and the stains in the shower remain even though you scrub and scrub and scrub.

The world remains quiet and oblivious.

People sleep in their beds.

The darkness will shift and your panic will die down but you realise this – you must be careful what you write down, for it will still be out there somewhere, and however many times you press delete, on one device or another, your words cannot be erased and may, who knows when, be counted against you.