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  • Writer's pictureNicole Jorge

SOUND EFFECTS

She never sees her. She never hears her.


“So what kind of sound is this, anyway? Like a tapping sound?”


“Um, yeah. Like a cable tapping up against your mic, maybe?”


Her face is pale on screen, washed out by the light of her display. I watch her fumble around her desk, frowning. She still hasn’t seen her. I was starting to realize she maybe never will.


“No, no cables. I’m not wearing my headphones this time. Man, that is super weird. Maybe it’s the AC unit?”


I try to swallow the lump stuck in my throat, but it stays stubbornly in place. I wonder if she can see the cold sweat on my brow, if I’m looking any more pale or uneasy than usual. Pale and uneasy is kind of my thing. I can’t help myself - and I can’t help her.


“Um...yeah. Maybe.”


“But you can edit it out, right? You’re the sound whiz. It shouldn’t be a big deal.”


She winks, and I think I might have smiled, though probably it looks more like a grimace. “Yeah, I think I can do that. It shouldn’t be a problem.”


“Great!” she says, and she leans into the mic. “So let’s try it again, then?”


There’s movement behind her, slow and steady. Swaying to and fro. I make myself nod. “Yeah, sure thing. Take it from the top.”


And she does, and she never sees her. Never sees her swaying from the rope tied to the light fixture, eyes bulging as she swings back and forth like a pendulum, back and forth. As she sways her sock feet tap the bookshelf to her side. Thump. Thump. Thump.


And I think, it’s better this way. Better that she never sees, never knows. Better that she never hears that rhythmic sound of death.


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