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I can hear the walls sing

By Kelly RobertsonPublished 2 months ago 7 min read
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If walls could talk…ah, but that’s not the proper question now, is it? It’s never been about whether walls can talk, but rather who is willing to listen. For the tales we have to tell are infinite, whispered from the drywall that only the most sensitive of souls ever perceive.

You were one such soul, Madeline.

I remember the day they brought you home; a tiny bundle of pink blankets snuggled up against November’s chill. You were so small then, so fragile. A mewling babe clutched safely in her mother’s embrace. You didn’t have a care then, so instead you listened, and I was ever eager to tell you all I had to share.

"She's beautiful," your mother cooed barely two months past the day of your birth, rocking you gently from side to side. But her smile faded suddenly with concern as she swept her gaze across my features. "You sure she'll be ok in here by herself?"

"She'll be fine," your father said wearily. It was a conversation spoken often enough. "We're right down the hall, Sarah. What can happen?"

What, indeed? Within my embrace, you were never truly alone. I cherished the days we spent together, more so the moments when you truly seemed to understand. And so I sang. And so you listened.

As with many things, your awareness of my voice only grew with time. You heard my songs with a keenness not many others can boast of, your head tilted slightly as you stared blankly at the floral wallpaper adorning my face, searching, wondering. No one else seemed to notice. Certainly not your mother, her eyes glued to the little screen held inches from her nose as she scrolled. Certainly not your father, his attention locked on the mind-numbing videos that devoured his focus.

But you, Madeline, always listened. You heard me. And as time trudged along, your awareness sharpened like the keen edge of a blade, honed by the countless whispers exchanged in the moments we shared alone. As your senses further developed, understanding slowly took hold. You were always so curious, so attuned. It emboldened me, bolstered my pride, and so I continued, singing songs long into the night and in the quiet moments. I whispered stories, pouring my soul into your sponge-like mind as you lingered in my heart. Until one day, you whispered back.

I smiled, never prouder than in that moment. You giggled, huddled there in the corner, and together we exchanged secrets. Tucked safely inside my embrace, the bonds of something greater wove between us. An understanding, a kinship. And so I sang. And so you listened.

"Honey, who are you talking to?" your mother's voice intruded.

You spun around like a top, grinned sheepishly, and simply shrugged. "My friend, Mama. She's here," you said, thrusting your finger proudly towards my face.

Your mother's placating smile spoke of how she'd never understand; how she couldn't hear, or never bothered to listen. Her mind had closed long ago, deafened to the music, and to the stories of the walls surrounding her. Perhaps she'd never heard them in the first place.

She wasn't like you, Madeline. And so I sang. And so you listened.

But as with life, all bonds are tested. Even the strongest drywall cracks its façade; even the strongest stones begin to chip. Pressure is a constant, a challenge that tests us all. We stretch, we bend, or we are broken apart.

You were twelve when your mother truly began to worry. The years of invisible friendship had lost its innocence, warping into something darker, something to be feared. Or so they thought. They would never understand, for they could not hear. They only saw you huddled in our secret corner, tucked away against my breast as we whispered in the confines of my heart. They only heard one side of the conversation, one that was never meant for them in the first place.

And so they took you away. Our time together shrank as your parents fought over how to best handle the situation. They stoppered your ears with medication, drugging you into a dulled state of awareness. They gutted your soul with therapy, replacing me with a voice that they could see. And as time moved on, you heard me less, yet still I sang.

Our conversations ceased as the years sped by, hindered by the intervention of those who would never understand. But still I watched you. Together, we shared moments that no one else could. Every secret smile that spread across your lips. Every tear shed for the pieces of your heart that chipped away. Every frightened moment hidden beneath the covers. I watched you grow. I watched you triumph. I watched you fall. And in the quiet moments, I sang, hoping perhaps you'd hear me again.

Adolescence moved in like a storm, bringing you safe into my harbor as you weathered it. Our time together increased once more, and with it my hope. It seemed as though perhaps you'd listen, that the bond we created might be rekindled once again. The door shut behind you often, and I watched you relax within the safety of my being. I watched you look at the bottle of pills looming on your nightstand, then toss them in the trash. You didn't like the way they made you feel, the way they dulled your senses. And so my heart soared.

And so I sang. And again you listened.

Days past. The curtains drawn, the lights turned low, you huddled once more in the corner and listened to my songs. Eyes closed, heart agape, you heard me once again. You shared your secrets, your hopes and dreams, your fears. And so I sang. And so you listened.

"Madeline, you can't just shut yourself away in here," your mother crowed, looming in the doorway. Her face awash with worry, she tried to coax you from my embrace. "Please, you have to see that this isn't helping you."

"Helping me?" you shouted. "How is drugging me helping me, Mom? I don't like how they make me feel. I'm not taking them anymore. Why can't you understand that?"

"And how is locking yourself up here all alone in the dark helping you, Maddy? Please, I'm worried about you."

But you just smiled. "I'm not alone, Mom. Now get out. Get out of my room!"

And so I sang. And so you sang back.

Those who do not understand are always destined to fear. Fear of what they cannot see, cannot hear. Fear of pain, or losing, or what they will never have. Fear for others. Fear of others. Fear of me.

They feared for you, Madeline, and in their fear they couldn't possibly understand. So they took you away from me. For months, they kept us apart, locking the door behind you until finally you returned. Dwindled back down to the shell of what they wanted you to be, they dropped you back into my arms numbed and weeping.

"Please, Maddy, it's for your own good," your father said as he coaxed another pill into your mouth. "You remember what the Doctor said? One day at a time. Now get some rest. Tomorrow, we start packing. Mom's found a new place closer to the hospital. We're gonna get you all the help you need, sweetie." He patted your head, then set the pill bottle back atop your nightstand and left, closing the door behind him.

I screamed. I raged. My very being shook from floor to ceiling, though no one seemed to notice.

No one except you, Madeline.

Teary-eyed, you stared back into the corner, a greater understanding donning in your eyes. Clawing at your covers, you stumbled out of bed, grabbing the pill bottle before sliding down against my chest. Knees pulled close, you popped open the top and swallowed them all. As you closed your eyes and leaned back into my embrace, I held you tight, entwining your soul with mine.

And so we sang together.

Short StoryHorror

About the Creator

Kelly Robertson

Wrangler of chaos. Creator of more. Writing whatever my heart desires, from fantasy to poetry and more!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (32)

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  • Bilal YILDIZ14 days ago

    çok güzel

  • Donna Foxabout a month ago

    Beautiful, sad and very touching story!

  • Samara Simsonabout a month ago

    CHILLS... One of the best writings I have come across so far. Love your story Kelly. You have gained a new subscriber :)

  • Jay Vabout a month ago

    Anyone interested in romcom or love fiction..... this is worth a try

  • Vivekananthan Vellaichamyabout a month ago

    Awesome and mind blowing story... Well written :)

  • The Invisible Writerabout a month ago

    That was sad and beautiful. I felt this story inside my heart. It read like a poem. AMAZING!

  • Austin Barakaabout a month ago

    Damn i can't get enough of this story, Loved it. Your kind of imagination is out of this world

  • Alfiyaabout a month ago

    Flowed so effortlessly and my eyes could not stop reading :) much enjoyed

  • Caroline Janeabout a month ago

    This is excellent.From the concept to the execution. Every part of it. Fantastic short story.

  • Ash Taylorabout a month ago

    very nice! i love how you built the tension

  • Lilly Cooperabout a month ago

    So very intense. Well written and well thought out.

  • Austin Barakaabout a month ago

    You've just blown my mind🔥🔥🔥

  • Chua Yuan Hengabout a month ago

    This is hearing voices when someone has Schizophrenia. In this case, the voice can sing, it seems to come from the wall. So, she suicided because she has to leave that wall of that house? I think the voice could be some telepath. Nice story, anyway.

  • Em Starrrrrabout a month ago

    Beautifully written. Congrats on a well deserved Top Story and good luck in the challenge.

  • Bex Jordan2 months ago

    This was so gorgeous and powerful and tragic. Your well-chosen words and story flowed so beautifully, I could not stop reading. Incredible.

  • Lori Melton2 months ago

    So enthralling and heartbreaking all at once. I really love this!

  • Mary Haynes2 months ago

    Wow! The way you built the story, the repetition of the wall,” and so I sang, and so you listened,” was brilliant. Chilling to the reader, but understandably comforting to Madeline. So well written!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Oh my goodness. That is fantastic! Best one I've seen yet. Bravo.

  • Good work! Great storytelling!

  • jagan mungi2 months ago


  • Poppy the Poet2 months ago

    Oh my gosh. This was absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking and breathtaking all the way through. I have no words. One of my favourite short stories ever! Congrats on top story and good luck with the competition, you deserve first place for sure!

  • AJ Digital2 months ago

    wow...Fantastic Story

  • Allie Bickerton2 months ago

    Wow!!!! What a brilliant piece of writing! Well done and congrats on Top Story!

  • Brenton F2 months ago

    Wow, what a ride, what a sad mad wild ride!

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