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:

  • bamboo
  • bottle caps
  • bubble wrap (also just plain fun to play with)
  • clicky winged corkscrew thingy (again, fun to play with)
  • rain

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.

Crinkly Saffron Rice

Fun Crinkly Bag of Saffron Rice

Had you asked her about those which makes her skin crawl, she would have said:

  • Styrofoam
  • 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.

Steampuck-esque Journal

POST THEME SONG: Whisper to a Scream, Icicle Works


27 responses

  1. Love the journal. I have a lamp almost exactly the same. Perhaps the light was keeping the Banshee awake?


    May 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    • Sister Madly

      I would like to think that the lamp is what’s keeping the Banshee at bay, but perhaps she has different tastes.


      May 14, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      • If she dislikes that lamp, she is the one with bad taste.


        May 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        • Sister Madly

          Indeed- especially if we both have the same lamp!


          May 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

  2. I too had a very similar lamp some years ago, until it was mysteriously flung at a door. Then it became a very attractive pile of scrap metal. I suspect a poltergeist rather than a banshee in my case.

    I do like the journal though. Also an excellent theme song for this post.


    May 14, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Why do poltergeists never involve the hideous old ceramic figurines we’re just dying to get rid of? Must they target awesome things like the lamp?


      May 14, 2014 at 5:41 PM

  3. At approximately 3:45 AM this morning, I woke from a nightmare where my hand was in a garbage disposal fishing out stray forks and spoons and someone accidentally turned it on.

    This must be connected. Astrally. Somehow.


    May 14, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Wow. I don’t even want to imagine that one! At least, someone didn’t deliberately turn it on (at least, that is how I would comfort myself…)

      But it is intriguing, the connection…


      May 14, 2014 at 5:47 PM

  4. We are, we are, we are the star children.


    May 14, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    • Sister Madly

      It took me years before I could actually understand the lyrics! 🙂


      May 14, 2014 at 8:49 PM

  5. Love the journal! Well written and engaging post. Hope the banshee simmers down


    May 15, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you! The banshee hasn’t made a sound since- unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the roofers next door- started at 6:45 this morning!


      May 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

  6. I love that journal! I need a steam punk journal to fill with random and quite false observations about people who live in my town so that I can casually leave it on a park bench somewhere. That’s a bit of mischief I look forward to. With the love for gossip that people seem to have around here, I imagine they’ll all be wailing like banshees in no time.


    May 15, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Love that idea! It has all the makings of a classic Twilight Zone episode.


      May 15, 2014 at 5:49 PM

  7. John Thursday

    Ghost peppers are dangerous. Also, the sound of styrofoam…the thought of it is grating my spine. I must bury it with a delicious late lunch. Perhaps an avocado chicken sandwich, with smoked paprika mayo and bacon.

    Banshee, Dodo, Cthulhu…you are a modern miracle, surviving such horrors.


    May 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    • Sister Madly

      I’ll trade you my ghost pepper-hot radiator banshee for your lunch! Even if it does come packaged in styrofoam!


      May 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      • John Thursday

        If only I had read this earlier…

        The nice weather has been keeping me away from the interwebs. My flimsy excuse for neglecting the fun of this community- and your fantastic stories and wicked recipes.


        May 29, 2014 at 8:04 AM

        • Sister Madly

          By all means, take advantage of the weather! I hope to, once it gets here.


          May 29, 2014 at 10:01 AM

  8. Oh, gah, I forgot how bad it is to have two forks stuck together. (Whimper.)


    May 22, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Perhaps this is why chopsticks are still in existence!


      May 22, 2014 at 10:54 PM

  9. Love the journal! And I’m going to have to feel a package of that yellow rice when I go grocery shopping tomorrow. I’ve bought it a few times before but don’t recall its sound.


    May 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you!

      I hope the rice bag brings you as much joy as it has brought me, although I have to get another one as I recently consumed the contents of the last one. 😉


      May 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM

  10. Your prose is wicked and cool. If you’d like an opportunity to write even more, I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. If you wish, you may pick it up here


    May 27, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you! I appreciate your support!


      May 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

  11. hocuspocus13

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    July 31, 2014 at 2:51 PM

  12. You’ve learned a valuable life lesson and acquired a carrot for your stick as well. Let em bleed out and they stop their incessant screeching and whining.


    September 30, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Oh, the Banshee will bleed, I assure you. One more screech like that and she’ll be bleeding all over the place.


      September 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

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