Chapter 1:

A Dance With A King

A Dance With A King

Communication is a form of punishment. My entire life was molded by this singular thought. It seemed weird to others that loved to talk but I never felt relieved or understood while talking to another person.

I remembered the first moment I knew I hated talking. My mother, dear sweet mother, screamed at me to explain why I colored the walls with a crayon.

“Why can’t you just act right?!”

A knot swelled in my throat. A thousand tiny sparks fired in my brain and needles pierced my stomach causing me to flinch.

I shrugged.

“Speak up for yourself! If you must wreck everything you touch then at least explain it to me!”

The lashings that came after were a relief. Never again did I touch a crayon.

It is no wonder I wasn’t able to fit into society. Even at work everyone believed it was a hassle to talk with me so I was exploited for labor.

“If you don’t want to attend meetings then at least handle all the reports.”

Burden after burden was unloaded onto me with excuses like that. I nodded at each one with wordless acceptance. Even exploitation was favorable compared to speaking a word of complaint.

Even the world itself spoke to me. The lights of the city sung, the choir of voices resonated along the sidewalks, and vehicles roared in a cacophony.

I ran down stairs to flee from the noise of the world. The patter of my own feet and the harshness of my breathing still echoed in the subway.

But it wasn’t those sounds that haunted me.

My own internal voices did. Even though they sounded like their voices and saying things they say.

“Why are you so weird? Stop standing there and speak.”

“No one will like you if you don’t say something.”

“How come you never say what you’re thinking?”

“Why won’t you just speak up for yourself?”

I’m tired of hearing it! Why won’t you all just shut up?!

I yelled back at the voices plaguing me. This hell of sound and communication was inescapable. It poured into my brain even when I left the world behind.

Then shut your ears, hush your thoughts, and listen to the silence.

A new voice from within and outside resonated in my ears and my head. It cut through the tempest of noise like a steel blade with a monotone.

One man stood down the platform from me dressed in an all black suit. He had sharp, chiseled figures and pure eyes that stared at me as if they had all the answers in the world. Somehow this dark figure stood out even in the shadows he stood in.

Dazzling yet dangerous.

Alluring yet poisonous.

He didn’t speak and yet communicated the world to me.

Before I spoke my question he gestured to his head and shaped a crown in thin air.

He was a king.

Of what?

The king stepped forward, closer and closer. With each step, only silence echoed.

I felt his presence close in on me and he was taller than I expected him to be. Towering, dazzling man in black looked down at me and brought his finger to his lips, shushing me before I uttered a word.

There were no words. No noise was allowed in his presence. He was a king that demanded absolute silence before him. Not out of cruelty but of a love of peace and freedom.

I knew not how I understood this king but I was instantly enamored with this soundless world he made. And the way he smiled at me like he knew that the peace of silence was all I wanted.

The king clapped and the world pulsed with force but no sound. He did so again and again until the weight of his claps bore down on my nerves and poured through my veins.

This force worked its way inside me and resonated with my core. The sensation of my own heart and the force of the king’s clapping beat in unison. No one had ever told me what love was like but I knew that this was it.

The black suited king smiled, spun in place then slid elegantly past me across the platform. I followed desperate to keep this sensation alive.

The king weaved through the patches of light and dark in the subway with a grace and beauty ballerinas would kill for and spectators would die to be a part of.

His balance, his poise, and mannerisms were alluring in this silent world where only the two of us existed.

I wanted to join him. I wanted to dance with. I wished to frolic between the flickering lights and slip around in the shadows.

Then stop thinking and join me in my dance.

My emotions took over and I followed behind instantly in a pitiful pursuit. I stumbled and slipped and the dancing king flitted away but never far. He was always just out of reach as he smiled and winked at me coyly and enticed my pursuit again.

Until he was over the tracks dancing on air. His hand stretched out in invitation but just beyond my reach.

I knew who he was then. Who he really was. I had seen him and knew of his seduction. A promise of eternal silence.

I’m… scared.”

Then make a choice.

The easy smile of the king made me feel safe, safer than all the world of noise. The world of harsh communication and harsher judgements. The King of Silence didn’t care about my falls, he loved my simple pursuit in all its failings.

He wasn’t a tyrant, the king was a provider and a safeguard of peace. An offer to a world for those sick of the one noisy one I lived in.

All he wanted was a choice. And I made mine.

I took his hand and danced with him into a world of rushing lights, slipping shadows and total silence.