He dreaded July. It may well destroy what little hearing he had left. The sounds of fireworks exploding all across the county would certainly gouge and rip away at the fragile organs that vibrated in his head. They had been rendered weak by his own foolish, former profession. He was a rock singer once; he used to parade night after night on the stage, crooning to drunken, orgiastic crowds. The louder the better was what he and they all had thought at the time. As of late, he'd been remembering those times a lot, and all the irreparable harm they bequeathed to him. He shucked off the former dubious glory of a rock musician for the more respectable position of a symphonic orchestrator. It was an unexpected choice, but one he greeted with increasing pleasure. As he drifted from arrogant, energetic, boisterous young man into a comfortable, contented middle age, he'd truly come to love the sweeping, soothing symphonic suites he conducted. He'd truly come to love his new calling.
That's why he so fervently feared the upcoming parade.
He'd ignored the ringing in his ears for as many years as he could. To admit to suffering tinnitus was often sudden death in any music profession. It meant you were deficient, incomplete, tone deaf, and useless. You were useless, and if you weren't Beethoven, no one was going to make any exceptions for you.
The ringing was much worse when he was afraid. Any sudden quickening of his heart would send a rush of blood to his temples, and he'd contort in agony at the throbbing of blood against his ear drums .
A clutch of the neighborhood kids set off a chain of fireworks outside of his house and the thunder shot through his brain like an awl. He clawed at the side of the wall. Sweat cascaded down his temples in the still, heavysummer air that smothered him with the noxious smell of burning ashes. The kids laughed and cheered as the bombs popped and bloomed into gaudy plumes of fiery flowers. Pop-pop-pop. Over and over again, each one another stab from the needle into his soft, bursting organs. He began to beat his head against the wall. One can flee from a knife or a gun, but this assault ed him from inside his own blood and flesh. There was nowhere to run. The kids kept laughing and stared in dizzy euphoria at the blinding spectacle, oblivious to the horror pounding with bloodied fists inside the house before them.
He threw open the door, canines bared, blood slimed, and bearing a gun. The kids all screamed in terror as he pumped the gun again and again into their quaking, breaking bodies. Each blast from the gun resounded in his ears until the reverberation reached the hilt and his ear organs finally broke, releasing him into the bliss of silence. He closed his eyes on the horror before him and reveled in that silence for a moment. It was beautiful. He cherished it. One moment of beauty before the gun turned to his temple.
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