An illustrated Short Story
Miss Silence is a short story I wrote and illustrated myself. The paintings were made using black and white acrylic paint on gray cardboard sheets.
Silently she moves down the stairs.
Through the long corridor, the next door on the right, then the first door on the left – she knows the way by heart. She knows the way – every single step she has to take, although it is dark night.
So dark, that one could not even spot a monster standing right in front of you – if there was not that smell, which is typical of monsters, and that noise, that instinctive snarl, that sound of drool dropping out of the huge, smelly mouth. She is not looking for a monster, no, but something similar – her enemy is smaller, cleverer and harder to find, but it almost smells like a monster to her. One probably would not call it a monster, though.
She is not afraid as she turns through the door on the left, as she elegantly slips through it without making any noise. Without the door making any noise. Without giving away any hint, that would have revealed her – for that would have been the end of her mission, failure. Her mission, yes... For a second she remembers how it all began. Screams, noise of plates and dishes falling down, more screams and panic. Noise. That is what she hates most. Nobody will ever hear her making such noise. She is silent. She is mysterious. She is unpredictable.
And now, she is crouching in the corner of that dark, dark room. A bit nervous, but still she is not afraid, still there is no reason for her to lose her good poise and to crouch timidly like others do – still she is elegant, still she is beautiful and still her breath goes calmly. The only sign of her excitement is the kind of goose skin, which you cannot see in the dark anyway, and, if you were close enough, you could feel it. Feel the excitement in the air, feel it so clearly that it catches you by just being there, although the situation might not even concern you.
She has to wait a moment, she knows that. She knows that, because it is not the first time she is sitting here, as her mission has failed once before... or twice? She does not count failures, she does not even count successes, but she knows, there have been far more successes than failures. In fact, usually she succeeds. Of course she does. This one failure last time she sat here – frustrating. So frustrating, that she is getting even more excited by the thought that she may forget it, that she may be proud again if she succeeds this time. And she will, for sure.
She keeps on waiting, silently, excited, watchful. Her ears are scanning the room, for her eyes cannot help her in this suffocating darkness. It is really dark. Usually darkness is no problem for her trained eyes, but this darkness is even darker than dark. But her ears are trained, too. She is a hunter. She is a killer.
There – a rustling. Nobody would have heard it, but she has. She stays quiet, she does her very best to not give away any sign of her presence – but inside her there is fire. Her instincts tell her to wait, to keep hiding and to surprise her enemy in just the right moment – that beast will not have any chance. Another rustling, this time closer. A scraping, a scratching... It is moving closer, that monster, which actually is not a monster. It is for her, for it ruined her mission last time. But it will not this time.
The rustling now comes from next to the table. She remembers that there is a table, because she knows this room like she knows all the rooms in this house.
The beast is next to the table, so it is too far away to attack, but close enough to sneak there without many obstacles.
She crouches on the floor and moves forward. Slowly. Silently. Step by step. Now she can smell it, smell the monster, smell the beast – she shivers. One more step. Scraping. Just in front of her. Maybe two meters.
Enough for the enemy not to notice her. Enough for her to attack.
She crouches even deeper, she feels the fire inside her growing, excitement, she will make it. Or will she fail? One last deep breath, a little hesitation for less than a second - then she jumps forward, out of the corner, directly to the spot where she knows her enemy has to be, sitting there, unsuspecting.
She extends her claws in the flight, places them with a silent, but triumphant “mwrraoww” on the mouse, which squeaks for the last time in its life – then it is quiet. It is dead. She made it. She killed the mouse, the beast, the monster. Finally.
She bites the mouse in the neck, just to ensure it is really dead, and carries it out of the room. Not because she could not eat it in this room, but because she feels like she has to run after that long, tense sitting in the corner of this dark, dark room, and because she is very clean. She will not eat it inside the house.
She moves silently, although she knows there are no more enemies in this dark cellar. Maybe one day there will be another one. She will be prepared.
She takes the stairs up.
Have a look at the complete illustration here: Miss Silence on Behance.