Screaming in Silence

The smell of toast hit her in the face. The warmth inside made her whole body tingle; she hadn’t realised just how cold she had been. She heard the kettle finish boiling, the whistle soaring through the house and then the hot water being poured into a mug.

            She walked through the archway and into the kitchen. Auntie Edna put the kettle back onto the hob with a slight wobble. Auntie Sis shuffled in her chair. Neither of them said a word. Crystal looked at the floor for a while before lifting her head and facing them. She looked into their worried eyes and felt something she wasn’t prepared for; anger.

            As tears began to build up inside her, she took a deep breath and controlled them.

“I’m not going to apologise for running away,” she said. “I needed… I needed some air.”

“All right,” said Auntie Sis.

“Did you… find the air you were looking for?” said Auntie Edna.

“Yes,” she answered.

“Good,” said Auntie Sis and continued as she got to her feet. “Well we should probably…”

“I don’t want to talk about it!”

“But I think you need…” started Auntie Edna walking towards her niece.

“I want to go to bed,” said Crystal firmly. Auntie Edna stopped short.

            There was silence for a moment.

“I think that’s a good idea,” said Auntie Sis.

            Crystal turned and left the kitchen. She felt a mixture of satisfied that she was able to steady her nerve and successfully managed to avoid the conversation that she wasn’t ready to have, and guilty for abandoning her aunts and staying out all night allowing them to worry about her.

            But she had to sort through so many things. Her anger was subsiding at the thought of her challenge; the task that felt like a huge black cloud hovering over head. Where to even start? Then there was the obstacle of keeping it secret from her aunts, knowing what damage secrets can do.

           The climb up the stairs was difficult. Her limbs felt like lead, but she forced her way into her room. It looked different.

           She tried as hard as she could to stay clear of the shrine to her parents and grandparents. She didn’t think she could take much more; it had been all so much. The idea of looking at smiling photos of them all opened that hole in her stomach. So she turned and made for her bed.

As soon as her head hit the pillow she was gone. 

That’s a scene I wrote last night. It comes at the end of Chapter 10 once Crystal has returned from her strange and magical and terrifying encounter in the wood.


There was supposed to be a considerable conversation here between Crystal and her aunts airing out all of their issues. But when it came to it, I just wasn’t up to it. Physically I was shattered. It was the end of a long working week and as much as I wanted to write I also just wanted to go to bed.

More than that though, she wouldn’t be up to it. After all of that, she wouldn’t force herself to stay awake even longer and talk about her feelings. She is tired and cranky and in desperate need of her bed. This also brings with it the chance to mull things over and put her thoughts in order. Sometimes it’s best to plan a potential argument…

This scene is actually one of my favourites that I have written so far. There’s something extremely interesting about three characters in a room dying to talk about something but choosing silence.

Crystal’s choice here is important. She doesn’t want to say something that she doesn’t mean, and doesn’t want to upset her aunts needlessly. She also wants to make them understand just how hurt she is about everything, and how scared she is about what the truth means.

Sis here can see the distress that her niece is in and so allows her to retire without talking to them. She is deeply, deeply wanting to talk to her but appreciates just what it took for Crystal to chose not to.

I don’t think Edna can decide if she is more upset about Crystal not wanting to talk to them, or that Sissy lets her not talk to them; she’s practically screaming in silence!

These are the points that I hope this passage illustrates.

It must be quite difficult to read these blogs and not really know the context of the novel. I hope this isn’t too boring a post. I just felt proud that the silence in this scene is the most important part.

Sometimes there can be too much talking.


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