Cold Quiet
By Dana Quell
        A cold blast of air hit her as she opened the door and walked into 
the room.  Silence was the next thing that struck her.  Every occupant of the 
room was cold and silent, obviously reserving words for what would come 
        Aicka walked towards the end of the room, where another door 
was waiting, darkly, ominously.  Cautiously, she glanced around, then turned 
her attention back to it and pressed her hand against the silver knob.  It was 
cold, much like the room and its occupants, and she knew she had to see what 
was beyond the mahogany that was preventing her from doing so.  She 
wouldn't be, like the others, content to sit and wait for an eternity silently 
wondering what was behind the door, what was beyond the limits.  So she 
turned the silver knob and swung the door open without the faintest creak or 
        She was at the top of a building now, and, like the room she had 
just come from, all was silent.  A few birds- seagulls, maybe- flapped their 
wings silently in the distance, and Aicka had to wonder if perhaps this was all 
a dream, a very lifelike but silent dream.  Though, if it were a dream, she'd 
prefer to dream in sound.  Glancing around, she saw nothing much more 
interesting than the room and was about to head back when she out of the 
corner of her eye appeared a little boy.
        "Hello," she tried saying, but her throat wouldn't work.  No sound 
came out of her lips.  Silence still prevailed, and all of a sudden her view 
changed.  No longer was she on the rooftop, but now she was above it, 
watching the scene with cold disinterest play out like a scene from a silent 
movie.  The little boy pointed past the building's edge, where nothingness 
hung her grey, misty head.
        Aicka understood what he meant, and once again she was on the 
rooftop, watching the boy.  He was small, with a nose that Pinocchio would 
have envied, and had queer, little red eyes which seemed to speak to her in 
riddles, though nothing was actually said.  His pointer finger turned her to the 
edge, and she knew exactly what he meant her to do.
        She tried to communicate that she didn't want to, didn't have to, 
wouldn't, but again, silence was the only thing that could be heard.  The boy 
kept pointing, and her feet took off without her, making her legs pump and 
run towards the edge.  Again, she tried explaining to him that it simply wasn't 
possible, that she couldn't do it even if she wanted to, and she tried calling to 
him for help.  Again, silence.  
        The edge was rushing towards her, clear as a church bell ringing the 
black finality, marking the passing of some unknown.  Try as she might, she 
couldn't break her gait, and when the edge finally approached, she took one 
final jump, pushing the top of her body forward in an act of desperation.  She 
could feel the boy's fiery eyes upon her as the cool dusk air took her, 
enveloping her as it might a small child.
        Just when Aicka thought gravity would take its turn to hold her and 
she would plummet down to the miserable earth, the wind swept her up in its 
current, and she was flying.  She tried to calm her thoughts, rationalizing that it 
was just her mind trying not to face the harsh reality of death and if she tried 
not to think about what she was doing, she might be able to keep doing it.  She 
turned around to glance at the little boy with the big nose and red eyes, and 
found him no where in sight.
        And then the sound came, just as she spotted the seagulls and 
began flying for them.  A child's laugh, such like the tinkling of many small 
silver bells, sounded for what must have been miles around.  Pleased with the 
sound, Aicka continued her flight.