The Whispers – S. Willis

The best time to hear them is at dawn on the beach, just before the Sun rises. The voices, whispering to me. Others think they aren’t real, that I don’t hear them. But I do. And I’m never wrong about anything. The voices tell me things. Things before they happen, things that have already happened, and things that might happen.

Just like the time about eight months ago on a nice day like today, in this very spot. I heard a little girl singing softly, almost mumbling. I searched around, but no one was there. The lyrics to the song were, “Red car, red car, driving down the road, Blank-faced widow walking down the side, Red car, red car, tried its best to slow, Blank-faced body looking to the sky,”

The first few days I tried to tell people what I’d heard, but was only met with laughs and strange looks. They only said I was hearing things, and that I should stop imagining these “lies.” Three months later, my mother — a widow — was killed by a red Ford that ran over the curb.

At first they were adamant that it was a coincidence, but eventually, they just stopped talking about it. Because I was right. The whispers are real. And the sooner people listen to them, the better off we’ll be.

It’s kind of weird. When the Sun just appears over the horizon, I can hear them clear as day, but when the Sun is fully in the sky, the whispers fade away until there’s nothing left to listen to. It’s almost like they don’t want to speak to me when it’s too bright. Or it’s just that there are too many people around. I sit for a few moments until I hear a voice calling. “Jack, come on! We need to start packing!”

Karl. My older brother is calling my name. I exhale a deep breath and gaze to the sunrise, relishing the warmth and the feeling of the sand under my feet. We’re moving to some town called Plinkert. I think I remember hearing something about it being in Oregon, which is a long way from our beachfront home in North Carolina. I haul myself up, shaking my hands and wiping my shorts clean. I stroll toward the house, listening to the surf. That’s when I hear it. “Going down 95, Tires squeal and sparks fly, Over the side to take a dive, Hit the water, then you die.”

I stop. What is that supposed to mean? But then I realize. We’re driving down Interstate 95 to get out of North Carolina. At this one point, there’s a bridge over a lake. It could easily take your life if you were to go over the rail and underwater, which itself would be all too easy going 75 miles per hour. My mind is swimming with questions, but one concern sits at the front of my mind. Tomorrow, we’re going to drown in a lake driving to Oregon, and I have no way of stopping us from leaving. No way of saving our lives.

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