Right, it’s October…or as I like to call it HALLOWEEN!!!! That’s the only day in October worth talking about anyway. I was going to make a vlog to go with the blog but it would just be too scary…or maybe I’m going to Taiwan Film Festival and I just don’t have the damn time.
Woah! Not that close.
Anyway…One dark autumn evening, I wearily boarded the train home. The air was cold and sharp, like a steel blade and it was deathly quiet. If I weren’t deaf, I could probably have heard a pin drop…
(But I am, so I didn’t.)
The carriage was empty, a ghost train.
But just as the doors are about to close, a strange man enters and the train slowly sets itself in motion.
But why was he strange? Well, we have a whole carriage to ourselves but he goes and pops a squat right next to me…
We sit there in awkward silence and a storm begins to brew outside. Raindrops beat at the windows while the night sky is slashed with erratic stabs of lightning.
As we enter a tunnel, the fast rhythmic clacking of the wheels that mimics my heartbeat begins to slow and then suddenly….we stop.
But why? Leaves on the track? Body on the track?! I of course have no idea because I’m deaf and missed the announcement. So I turn to the strange man beside me, looking for a clue of how I should react. If he’s calm, I can probably be calm too.
He glances in my direction and everything seems fine at first but then I notice that he’s almost staring straight through me, as if he were a zombie…or I were an apparition.
As I’m about to start a conversation with the stranger, I’m distracted by a flickering of lights. All of the bulbs on the carriage start blinking, frantically. It’s as if their panicked by something, a danger that I’m not yet aware of.
But being deaf, the darkness seems thicker. It’s almost suffocating and I feel myself struggling to find oxygen. I’ve gone numb. The only thing I’m aware of, the only thing I can feel, is my own heartbeat.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
It beats behind my ribcage like an angry fist.
BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.
It wants to get out. It wants to burst from my chest in a mess of blood and guts.
Light floods the carriage as the bulbs burst back into life and I’m suddenly filled with a sight of unrelenting terror.
The strange man in front of me screams in agony.
His face seems twisted. His mouth stretched open to the limit like a snake about to devour it’s prey. His eyes clamped shut like a vice. I return his scream. It’s irrational I know but it’s a gut reaction. It’s what you do isn’t it? If someone screams, you scream. Its contagious….like a yawn….oh God.
It was a yawn, not a scream.
He was only yawing.
He wasn’t in pain.
He wasn’t scared.
And I’ve just screamed in his face…for no reason.
Great, now I’m the weird one.
Happy Halloween everyone, try not to scream at any tired people!
Read more of Teresa’s posts (with cartoons!) by clicking here.
Teresa is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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