Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence

The Weekly Writing Challenge was to take the theme of silence and explore it in your own way.  I used a fictional story and I hope you enjoy!


Mr. Rogers yelled, “Silence!”, and then in a more subdued voice said, “I don’t want to hear one noise out of you until everyone has completed this assignment.”

As I hear the sound of a pencil case unzip and watch a well-manicured hand plundering around for the right #2, I smirk at his choice of words.  The football player who had been leaning back in his chair picks that moment to let it slam to the floor so he can get busy.  The sound is magnified in the hushed room.  So much for silence.

Next, I hear pencils dragging across papers and tapping on desks and a student who suddenly reminds me of a beaver, is attempting to chew his in half.

More noise ensues as the instructor settles his large frame into his chair and rolls it under the opening in his desk.  He toys with his watch for a moment, and then he turns his attention to the stack of papers on his left and begins shuffling through them.  I’m still waiting for silence.

Someone is popping forbidden gum inside their mouth, a skill I have yet to master.  The round, black rimmed, school issued clock ticks away noisily reminding us that time is running out.  My own stomach growls loudly enough for me to try to quickly cover it up with a fake cough.

The instructor pulls open his squeaky right desk drawer and draws out the ever-present tin of altoids.  He opens it, selects two, pops them in his moustache rimmed mouth and immediately begins crunching them.  As I suspected, this action is indicative of his imminent stroll around the room to discourage would be cheaters.

Seemingly unaware of his approach, the girl in front of me begins humming and as he reaches her desk he raises his index finger to his nose, to dramatically shush her.  Spittle flies everywhere and I think I see the white flecks of undissolved altoids too.

He repeats the command to silence and I am more certain than ever, that his wish will never be granted.

Soon, papers start shuffling and chairs slide back against the floor as the first students to finish begin turning in their short stories.

I look down at my paper, pleased that I have satisfied the requirement to spend the last half hour of class writing about silence.  I title mine, “Silence is elusive” and turn it in.

Mitch Teemley

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