Darcy Turner loved silence. He had a fondness for music, classical mainly, but voices were grating, rough like sandpaper on his eardrums. He hated kids even more. Always screaming and yelling and running around making noise. But his favourite sound of all was when there was a lack thereof, a rarity to find in this day and age.
As he strolled down the sidewalk, Darcy paused for a moment and looked at the tricycle tipped over in a driveway. He looked up, and after a moment recognized the home. The Richardsons'. Family of five, three kids. The youngest boy was always screaming, whether he was playing or asking for a drink of water. Not only that, but the boy had a shrill voice that pierced one’s ears.
The little shit also had a habit of hitting people and then running away outside, to escape on his tricycle and join his friends down the street. Absolutely spoiled. It was a kind of relief, seeing that three wheeled vehicle sitting lifeless on the cement. Darcy smiled softly, then continued on through the neighbourhood. The morning mist swirled around his legs, blanketing the suburbia in a knee-deep fog. The sky was a light grey, covered with heavy clouds but illuminated by the rising sun from behind. The air was fairly cool for summer, and there was almost no wind, the trees lining Kaiser Avenue standing nearly still.
An instant later, a sharp pain shot up his body from his knee. Darcy blinked, and realized he was on the ground. He had tripped and hit his knee on the cement. But this did not bother him; what frightened him was that he had lost his grip on his baton. Darcy sat up and anxiously scanned the area, then looked below him to find it resting under his leg. He got up in a hurry and retrieved his precious tool, inspecting it for any signs of damage. Once he was certain it was still intact, he sighed in relief and chuckled, rubbing his knee.
The pain reminded him of Lucy. The mutt had bit him once as he was fixing Ms. Murphy’s system – an issue also caused by the chewing of the dog on some certain cables. Darcy had almost kicked the damn thing, but Murphy showed up to apologize for her “wittle Lucy baby”. Every repair job at that place – which was often, due to the dog repeatedly tearing apart wiring – was miserable. He would try to wear earbuds to listen to his music while he worked, but either the mutt or Murphy herself always had something to bark about for the entirety of the job. How the hell do you accrue enough wealth to live here, and yet don’t have the brains to discipline your dog? Or yourself? The answer to this question always eluded Darcy, and eventually he stopped asking.
Kaiser Avenue was on the richer side of town. It was part of a subdivision filled with beautiful houses for the upper middle class, with lush and well tended green lawns to hold barbecues on, and the pools! Ah yes, everyone loved their pools. One time, when Darcy had to repair a unit that was going off every time the dog ran by it, the Grant kids had splashed him while his back was turned. He laughed it off at first, but when they began throwing the pool toys at him, he took it more seriously. Mrs. Grant came out and yelled as well when he tried to approach the kids, then told him to leave without finishing the repair. His boss wasn’t too happy about that one either.
But none of that mattered now. That was the past, this was the present, and the world was quiet here. Just how he liked it. A bird chirped and fluttered above Darcy. He watched it go, making its way to a nest down the avenue in another tree. Of the few sounds Darcy could stand, this was the most beautiful. Oh, how it must have felt to be free, and to have a voice that sung so sweetly. He took the baton in his hand and waved it in the air, synchronizing with the voice of his avian friend, until he had convinced himself that he was the one orchestrating that song.
Tracy, the eldest daughter of the Munroes, she had a great singing voice. Darcy always looked forward to any job at the Munroes because she was constantly practicing. Not only that, but Tracy enjoyed his company, and they would speak in soft voices at great lengths, mostly about music and singing. Though he was generally very negative about most things outside of that realm should the topic arise, she didn’t seem to mind. Out of everyone on this gluttonous, hubris-ridden lane, Tracy was the only one that Darcy didn’t have to tolerate. He embraced her company, and she his.
Mr. Munroe, however, certainly did. The chunky old fuck, pushing into his 60s at that point, would always interrupt with his deep burly shouting and make Darcy finish the repair immediately, with a prompt slamming of the front door on his way out. Darcy could easily recall the day he first installed the system into their house. He had been out back laying down sensors when Mr. Munroe came over and just started watching him. Crunching on an apple, he hovered over Darcy for the rest of the installation. At one point Darcy had politely asked him to back up a bit so he wouldn’t hit Mr. Munroe with a pole, to which he responded, “Oh, now you’re gonna threaten to hit me? Have a problem with me making sure I’m getting my money’s worth? Well maybe you can get the fuck out, and I’ll have someone more competent do the job.”
Darcy remembered blood dripping from his hand that day. His fingernails bore their way into his palm as he clenched his fist, just barely holding back from knocking the old fart on his ass and smashing his head into jam. Instead, he nodded, apologized with a quiet voice, and returned to his work. Each and every day, this was his job: going door to door on Kaiser Avenue, checking out repair and installation requests for the HARRIS security system company. And at every house, there were a pair of cranky geezers with some kind of eternal gripe against youth - save their own overly spoiled children, who were usually the ones responsible for breaking the system in the first place.
And after a long day of putting up with people’s shit, he’d come home to the bitch. Donna always had something petty to complain about from her job at a local cafe - “There was this one guy who didn’t even tip me, even after I had made it clear that was what you’re supposed to do, like, sorry asshole.” But any time Darcy would try to softly speak about his grievances, she would never even consider hearing about Darcy’s day. She’d either just cut him off with her own stories, or say she was late for some bullshit and leave the apartment.
A boiling anger started within Darcy, but he tried with all his might to contain it. Standing there in the middle of the street, he gritted his teeth and closed his eyes, but the memories flooded to him anyways. Donna’s birthday was last night. When she came to him asking for her gift, Darcy blankly pulled out a metal tube of sorts.
“What the fuck is this, some kind of, weird sex toy? Is this seriously what you got me?” Donna made a disgusted face, the one he’d grown to see all too often. Darcy took the tube back.
“No…” he replied, reaching for his back. Gripping his baton, he spun the tube onto it and simply replied, “This is.” Though he hated this woman so, he conducted a fine piece for her, something to the suite of Beethoven. Deep and drumming was their break up, bellowing from the bottom of his heart. One final song before she left. After they parted ways that night, Darcy began to pack his bag – the baton, some sheet music, and his laptop for work stuff.
Darcy had been thinking about this for weeks - no, more than that, more than months. This was years in the making. Ever since he was a child, he had always wished to conduct a massive symphony, and this was his chance.
He reached the avenue at about 4:30 in the morning. Though everyone on the avenue owned a HARRIS security system, the people there weren’t of enough importance to hire wandering security. Save that shit for Bel-Air. He entered onto the street, parked his van and reached for his laptop. After logging a “repair job”, he deactivated all of the systems on Kaiser Avenue. It’s time for the show.
He began at the Richardsons'. Entering around the back through a sliding door, he started his way upstairs, moving slowly as to not cause a creak on the floorboards. His sheet music led him up, up, up to the children’s room. The best kind of music starts at piano, he thought. The door was opened just a tad, enough for him to open some more and begin the song. After a couple of notes, there were sounds of movement in the house. The audience had begun to stir. Moving from room to room, Darcy graced the residents with his music, but he quickly lost their attention, and their cheers disappeared.
Frowning, Darcy decided to find a new audience. Next door was Murphy. Someone as sophisticated as her must have an appreciation for good music. Entering the front door, one of the drummers started going by her own beat. Darcy scanned his orchestra and found the rogue, then quickly signaled for the rest of the players to show her how music is truly played. Patting Lucy's hair, Darcy looked up to Murphy watching him play. He smiled, and gave her a short solo segment.
Darcy continued through the neighbourhood, his symphony ringing through each household, but each time his new audience grew too bored too quickly and went back to sleep. Eventually, he reached the Munroes. Darcy wiped his brow; he had saved the best part for last, for Tracy. In her room, he gestured for a single violinist to hold a single note as long as they could. He nodded and did so, dragging the bow over the string with the greatest of care.
CRASH! The clash of symbols erupted from behind Darcy, bringing the orchestra into fortissimo. He turned to find Tracy’s father standing there, his own baton in hand, trying to take the stage! Enraged, Darcy attacked Mr. Munroe. “No… NO! This is MY song!” he screamed, taking his baton and smashing Munroe in the nose with the handle. A ribbon of crimson flowed around them as Darcy continued hitting Munroe, the metal butt crushing the skull, the symphony having fallen silent by this point, save one pianist, hitting the deepest note he could, over and over and over again.
Munroe coughed, and more blood splattered onto the floor of the concert hall. Darcy’s eyes flamed in rage. He took the violinist’s bow and jammed it into the fat man’s gut, more ribbons spilling from his innards. The pianist fell silent, and the only sound that remained was that of squishing flesh being penetrated by Darcy’s blade. Once he was satisfied, Darcy stood up, and looked down upon his work. He turned his head and looked towards his darling Tracy, her white bed sheets coated in a spray of blood that continued to leak from her beautiful neck. Wiping a tear away, he approached her and closed her panic stricken eyes, then combed her hair in his fingers. “I’m sorry… I’ll never forgive myself… for destroying, such a beautiful voice…”
With the symphony concluded, Darcy Turner walked outside. A light fog had rolled in. He looked at the silenced .22 in his hand, and closed his eyes. The neighbourhood was quiet. There were no screaming children, no angry seniors, and no barking bitches - just blissful silence to compliment the conclusion of his masterpiece. And who knows, perhaps someone out there was calling for an encore. He chuckled to himself at the thought. They’d have to wait; for now, it was time to relax, and bask in this quiet new world he had created. After all, Darcy Turner loved silence.
Written by RedNovaTyrant