Silent Child

The child was born into silence.

The mother labored with quiet grunts.

The father watched on, gently tutting on his pipe.

The midwife’s voice was the only sound in the room. She encouraged the mother along, and the child was born in near silence. She did not scream when she was born, perhaps she softly cooed. Only when she was placed in her arms and began to nurse did the child make a sound, and the mother gasped.

The new family of silence.

The father was once a knight. He had been injured. He wanted the silence.

The mother was nobody. She learned silence from his hand.

The child knew nothing but silence. Her mother did not sing to her, her father did not tell her stories. When she fussed, as all babies do, her mother rushed her from her father and scolded her. Soon, she too learned silence. When she was hungry, tired, wet, she wiggled in discomfort. Her mother, always nearby, softly turning pages in a book, or silently knitting, tended to her, and they returned to silence.

The child had no toys but her own fingers and toes. She was not swaddled in playful fabrics.

Her world was quiet.

When the child was old enough, she was allowed to go to school.

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