Happy Friday everyone! I think my body is finally beginning to accept the time change. Still not happy about waking up in the dark, buit no longer thinking very nasty thoughts about my alarm clock. So that’s a step forward. earlier in the week I threatened it with dismantling and reassembly as a small robot that I would send into one of those robot battles with only a cocktail umbrella as it’s weapon. I’m not a fan of spring forward. But now the mechanical threats have stopped. So lets get on with the final writing prompt of the week.
I have to say this is the type of prompt I really like. The basic sentence that hints at something but leaves it wide open. I enjoyed this. Now of course I have to figure out what secret the town is hiding ans well as what is actually making the hum. And who the stranger is. Kind of fun actually.
Friday, March 19th: The hum was constant.
The hum was constant. It was the white noise backdrop against which everything lived and breathed. After a while, no one noticed it. It faded away as though it never was. Radios were turned a little louder, televisions as well. Conversations were spoken in a more commanding sort of voice that often made everyone in town sound a bit angry, especially to outsiders. Not that there were many outsiders who ventured into Thornville.
To say it was a town on the edge of nowhere would be a generous description. It had actually been several years since the last visitor. A man who’s car broke down. He was happy enough to find anyone that he didn’t really notice the peculiarities. He was beyond thrilled to find the service station and a working mechanic with a tow truck. His car was towed down from the highway and while he asked Earnest what the hum was, he seemed content with Earnest’s ‘local PowerStation,’ explanation.
He was more than thrilled to find that his car was repaired before nightfall and he was allowed to continue on his way.
He had a new job starting on the other side of the country and he was eager to get there and settle in. He said he was sorry that he couldn’t spend more time in a town as gracious and charming as Thornville. He Thanked earnest for his speedy work and thanks Mabel for her free slice of chocolate cream pie and endless cups of coffee while he waited. They waved him off, relieved that he was going.
Relieved he hadn’t wanted to stay the night.
The man and his new job were soon forgotten as he sped away and life resumed its normal course. Everyone breathed a soft sigh of relief that things were as they had always been. That things would remain as they were.
That sunny morning in July, when even the morning heat was causing ripples to rise from the asphalt of the town’s one main street, they all thought they were suffering from a mass hallucination as they say the car pull into the gas station. It glided to a halt at one of the pumps, no sign of any malfunction. Anyone near enough to the station to see from their windows, peeped around curtains and watched to see what the arrival heralded. Each of those watching clutched a phone in their hands, calling those who weren’t close enough to see. The entire town was a buzz as Earnest ambled out to see what was going on with the newcomers. Earnest was not the most talkative of men and didn’t always deal well with the people he knew. A few words here and there were all anyone could get from him.
The town held its collective breath.
They watched as he walked over. Saw the man get out of the care, smile and say a few words that didn’t carry past the hum. Earnest stepped closer. The man repeated what he said and rubbed his ears as though trying to get them used to the constant hum.
From half a block away Marjorie Taylor saw Earnest’s eyes go wide, his eyebrows ach all the way up to his receding hairline. Given the acre of forehead it was quite an achievement on their part.
Slowly earnest nodded and he pointed off down Ambrose Street. He gestured as though giving directions. The man with the car nodded, finished gassing up his vehicle and to the utter astonishment of the town, pulled out of the service station and instead of turning back to the state highway that would eventually lead him back to the interstate, turned onto Ambrose and continued deeper into town.