[oneshot] Mute Vinyl

Aug 14th, 2017
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  1. >With a sudden yank the music in your ears vanishes, leaving only the unfiltered sounds of a harsh, rough-edged chuckle.
  2. >You quickly spin around, startled by the presence of a huge, brutish form only an arm’s length away from you, flanked by two more intimidating characters.
  3. >"What's wrong? Are these yours?" he mockingly asks, pointedly waving your headphones in front of your face, his thick, calloused fingers already threatening to crack the plastic.
  4. >You instinctively try to grab for them only to be forcefully pushed back, the impact very nearly sending you stumbling to the ground backwards.
  5. >Those are your headphones.
  6. >He has to give them back.
  7. >You panic, trying to think of a way to tell him, to make him understand, but you can only stare at him, feebly gesturing towards your accessories and yourself.
  8. >You point like a little kid, humiliated and exposed, but he has to understand.
  9. >He has to give them back.
  10. >A poisonous smile crosses his face, his fat lips parting to allow a view of two rows of pearly-white, spit-covered teeth.
  11. >"Well, if you want them back why don't you say something?"
  12. >His sneer of a laugh penetrates your ears, the same ears that were moments ago listening to the new, fancy CD you just bought.
  13. >You went for something different this time, something unfamiliar: a compilation of distinguished classical pieces rendered by a variety of professional artists.
  14. >Not your usual kind of music but you wanted to try it out.
  15. >It wasn’t cheap, but maybe it will help you to finally find a better in with your roommate, the sophisticated girl who so far all but tried to ignore your very existence whenever you attempted to interact with her.
  16. >Your pitiful, broken existence.
  17. >You move back in to grab your stuff again, quickly closing the distance to your still grinning assailant.
  18. >You can almost reach it.
  19. >"Aw, bitch, don’t you touch me."
  20. >For what it’s worth, you saw it coming.
  21. >You saw the giant hand pulling back, saw his grin widening when you were stupid enough to spring his trap, you even noticed the twinge of satisfaction in his eyes when the hit connected, sending you to the ground wheezing in pain.
  22. >Hot tears are blurring the edge of your vision, every desperate gasp for air sending more of the sharp, stinging sensation into your chest.
  23. >You make out your glasses on the floor next to you, the frame bent and the lenses cracked and broken.
  24. >"Still nothing, huh?"
  25. >You can barely even hear his voice anymore, the sharp pain muting every other incoming sensation.
  26. >Holding back your tears is quickly becoming a losing battle.
  27. >"You must be one of them masochist bitches, right? The kind that gets off on being pushed around and shit?"
  28. >You ignore the laughter, you ignore the tears running down your cheeks and dripping onto the sidewalk below, you ignore the sharp crack of snapping plastic followed by a broken set of headphones clattering to the floor in front of you.
  29. >Looking up to see the trio leisurely stride away through your tear filled vision, you allow yourself to cry freely, slowly reaching for the ruined piece of technology.
  30. >Heavy sobs rock through your body in complete silence, the only sounds leaving your mouth a series of dry, painful chokes.
  31. >You cradle your headphones in your hands, the one thing in your life allowing you to at least pretend to blend in now broken like the rest of you.
  33. >You close the door to your apartment behind you gently, not wanting to disturb your roommate in case she is practicing.
  34. >Doesn’t sound like it though.
  35. >Dropping your bag in the kitchen, you make your way to the bathroom mirror.
  36. >Your eyes are puffy and red, your hair is a mess and your hands are shaking and covered in dirt.
  37. >Your name is Vinyl Scratch and you really just want to die right now.
  38. >Moving back into the kitchen, you sit down at the wooden table and begin pulling your stuff out of your bag.
  39. >The day’s worth of school books.
  40. >Your CD case along with a couple of loose disks.
  41. >Your broken glasses.
  42. >You can feel your vision getting misty again when you pull out your headphones, gently setting the broken and twisted heap of plastic and processed metal down in front of you.
  43. >For a few minutes you just stare at the ruined shape, letting the memory of the encounter replay in your head.
  44. >Maybe if you reacted differently…
  45. >Maybe if you hadn’t immediately tried grabbing for them…
  46. >Maybe if you would have been able to talk to them…
  47. >You think about the small whiteboard your mom made you carry around when you were younger, trying to get you to express your needs by writing them down or drawing little pictures like a monkey.
  48. >She always tried to get you to open up more, to be more expressive and interact with people.
  49. >She never really understood.
  50. >You kept disappointing her.
  51. >The headphones in front of you are just another proof of your inability to communicate.
  52. >Your fingers gently sort the broken pieces, trying to disentangle the framework without causing any more damage.
  53. >This might be fixable…
  54. >"Vinyl?"
  55. >The cautious voice of your roommate startles you, the girl poking her head into the kitchen through the open door.
  56. >"Are you alright?"
  57. >You quickly nod, trying your best to give her a reassuring smile.
  58. >"You’re crying."
  60. >You wipe your eyes with the sleeve of your hoody and try again, giving your best to flash a smile despite feeling like the world just tried to make sure you had the worst day you could possibly have.
  61. >You don’t want to appear even weaker in front of her than you already must, what with being helplessly unable to communicate with her without reaching for your pen and notepad.
  62. >Octavia seems unconvinced, the girl now fully stepping into the kitchen and sitting down next to you at the table.
  63. >Sure, she generally tried to interact with you as little as possible but she wasn’t downright mean to you.
  64. >She wouldn’t just leave you alone without getting at least some form of an explanation.
  65. >"Did you break this?" she asks, mustering the remains of your headphones and your shaking hands still trying to reverse the damage, like the whole thing would just magically reassemble itself if you simply aligned the pieces properly.
  66. >You nod.
  67. >You’ve always known your roommate to be a genuine and caring person, as nice as they come, really; there’s just something about your condition that unsettles her.
  68. >It seems like she really has nothing against you.
  69. >She’s just unable to be your friend.
  70. >She’s just unable to like you.
  71. >You don’t really blame her.
  72. >"How?"
  73. >Without looking up, you mime the gesture with your hands, quickly twisting your balled fists as if you were breaking a small twig.
  74. >"You snapped it?"
  75. >Shaking your head, you reach for your CD player, carefully plugging in the cord of what was once your most treasured possession to check its functionality.
  76. >"So… you got them caught on something and they cracked?" Octavia continues.
  77. >The player’s small LCD lights up with a gentle touch of the button, the screen displaying the number of tracks on the inserted disk in a dull, washed out green.
  78. >You shake your head again and press play.
  79. >Silence.
  80. >Slightly wiggling the plug around in its socket, you lean in closer to the broken speakers to listen for any evidence of playing music.
  81. >Still nothing.
  82. >You unplug the cord and stick the jack back in, selecting a different track for good measure.
  83. >It was probably just a quiet song, you reassure yourself.
  84. >There must be something, right?
  85. >The world can’t hate you this much, can it?
  86. >"Vinyl!" Octavia grabs your shoulder, forcing you to turn and look at her, her eyes searching for yours.
  87. >"What happened to your headphones?"
  88. >You can feel the hot tears running down your cheeks again as you hastily move your mouth, trying - and failing - to intone syllables that will never be able to reach the girls ears.
  89. >A dry, stuttering croak is all you manage, making Octavia recoil at the sudden, unfamiliar noise.
  90. >No.
  91. >You’re sorry, you try to stammer out, you didn’t mean to startle her; you’re sorry for sounding so ugly, you’re sorry for being the way you are.
  92. >You try to reach for the girl, still sobbing, sill desperately trying to produce the sounds that would make her understand.
  93. >The sounds that wouldn’t make her flinch.
  94. >The sounds that wouldn’t make her frantically try to get away.
  95. >Quickly jerking up and taking a few hasty steps away from the blubbering, rasping girl trying her best to keep her from leaving, Octavia speaks up again.
  96. >"W-well, it looks like you have your hands full, right? I better leave you to it then", she nervously squeaks, already halfway on her way to the door.
  97. >No!
  98. >No, please!
  99. >You try to fumble for your notepad through your blurring vision to write the words down.
  100. >It's demeaning and embarrassing and you hate having to resort to it but you have to make her understand.
  101. >You can’t let her run away thinking you’re even more of a freak than you actually are.
  103. >You hastily scribble down the words before all but tearing off the page and holding it away from you with outstretched arms, manically searching the kitchen for your roommate.
  104. >It’s already empty, the thud of the door to Octavia’s room closing mockingly clear in the remaining silence.
  105. >You can hear the telltale click of the lock being engaged shortly after.
  106. >You’re alone again, left behind with your headphones, their speakers cracked, broken and as silent as their crying owner.
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