Altered Journal ~ And Thou Beside Me, Screeching in the Radiator
There is quite a difference between a sound so relaxing that it gives you chills, and one that makes your skin crawl off your body and seek refuge in the garbage disposal. Had you dropped by to see Sister Madly last Thursday at 3:45 AM- assuming you were safely armed with either a machete or a plate of cookies- and asked her to name 5 sounds that she is partial to, the answer would have gone something like this:
- bottle caps
- bubble wrap (also just plain fun to play with)
- clicky winged corkscrew thingy (again, fun to play with)
There is also a particular bag of saffron rice she likes to crinkle, but since you only asked for 5 sounds (and are more likely to be armed with the machete rather than the cookies) she would probably leave this one out.
Fun Crinkly Bag of Saffron Rice
Had you asked her about those which makes her skin crawl, she would have said:
- two forks stuck together
- metal grating across concrete, asphalt or other metal
- a certain family member vocally imitating a peacock, musical saw, or drumming her fingernails (NOTE: this is family member specific, as others attempting the aforementioned feats do not have the same effect on Sister Madly. Perhaps certain family member lacks finesse.*)
- the static that comes over the speaker when the train is struck by lightning
* No, Tallulah, it’s not you.
At 3:45 AM, Sister Madly was secure in her skin-crawling bete noires, which is important so that one can mentally- if not physically- prepare for any possible encounter; at 3:47, however, this was no longer the case. As for the two minutes in between, Sister Madly spent those firmly embedded in the ceiling, for it was within those two minutes that Sister Madly was introduced to the Banshee, who has taken up residence in her radiator.
Banshee as Sister Madly likes to imagine her-
which could very-well be accurate.
You see, despite the fact that Wednesday and Thursday were the hottest days of the year, the boiler- which had been dormant for over a month- decided to get in on the action and contribute to this record breaking heat by kicking on Wednesday afternoon. It would remain on at full-blast until midday Thursday.*
* The on-call maintenance imbecile said that the heat blasting for 20 hours straight on the hottest day of the year was “not an emergency.” Subsequent calls to the management the following morning proved the imbecile to be in error. Sister Madly will be dealing with him later.
Sister Madly attempted to subdue the inferno by closing the valve to the radiator, which in the past has been highly successful at keeping the pit of hell at bay; the Banshee, however, had other plans. She did not like the valve being closed (she gets hot, too) and expressed her disapproval by emitting the most abrasive, earsplitting, soul-sucking screech never before expressed due to its ability to peel the enamel from one’s teeth.
In other words, all the aforementioned evil sounds above, only ghost-pepper hot.
The Banshee was soon wailing at a rate exceeding 4 times per minute, and Sister Madly’s nerves, sanity and what was left of her skin could not endure a second longer. On top of that, it was just too risky: it might awaken Cthulhu, who lies sleeping on the other side of her wall. Not that these two entities shouldn’t have the chance to get to know one another and possibly date, but Sister Madly has a feeling that Cthulhu is not a morning creature and does not wish to be on hand when he comes out for breakfast.
There was no other choice but to peel herself off the ceiling and open the valve to allow the pit of hell to seep into her apartment. She wasn’t going to risk another screech that would send her back up there- she barely cleared the ceiling fan the first time.
The Banshee keeps to herself these days; she hasn’t vocalized since that night, and seems to have little interest in the food Sister Madly leaves out for her. It’s this quiet companionship that one looks forward to later in life, an understanding that comes from a mutual agreement to leave the radiator valve open at all times, regardless of the situation.
So as long as the Banshee keeps her mouth shut- and perhaps, contributes to the rent now and then- Sister Madly sees no reason why they can’t be friends.
In other news, Sister Madly Steampunked her journal. Kinda.
POST THEME SONG: Whisper to a Scream, Icicle Works