High Frequency

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📅 Published on September 12, 2009

"High Frequency"

Written by Chris Phoenix

Estimated reading time — 5 minutes

The most amazing and the most horrible thing just happened to me. I’ve stumbled upon a discovery of a lifetime, but at the same time I wish I could undiscover it.

I was actually just tampering around with some music programs creating ambience tracks. You see, ever since I was 12 or so I’d play music when I went to sleep…it kind of helped to calm my nerves like a lullaby, however much you could consider music by The Verve, or Everclear “lullabies.” Well in recent years I’ve really gotten big into ambient music, as it helps me clear my mind, focus my creative energies, like a meditation. No, I’m not a Buddhist, I don’t see it as a spiritual thing and I don’t try to focus my “chi” I just like to clear my head sometimes and I think ambience helps.

Well lately I’ve been making my own ambience and I’m quite satisfied with it, but I found different types bring different images, especially to the subconscious, sleeping brain. I hypothesized it had something to do with the pitch, and the frequency. I made a number of different tracks, all of them very long, and each one at a different frequency. I found that the lower frequencies tap into my darker thoughts so I tried dealing with higher frequencies and my next few nights sleeping my dreams were a confused jumble of images.

I tried higher frequencies but they just gave me a headache the louder it got until I went to the threshold, just below twenty thousand hertz. It started out there, as a low hum in the back of my brain, and slowly crept higher. Half the track was all but inaudible, but I was satisfied with it. That evening I threw it on as I went to bed.

I awoke staring at the stars. At first I thought I was dreaming that I was lying in an open field stargazing, but I could feel the bed beneath me, bedsprings creaking as I moved. I sat up on the edge of the bed and looked around the room…and though I could see the floor, and the walls, I could also see through them to the ground beneath. I could see the neighbor’s houses, and at the same time I could see through them. I could still hear the ambience, just slightly, but I could also hear the heater moaning overhead. The sound kept growing louder, like wind through a tunnel.

I didn’t remember putting the track on loop but it was still playing despite the fact that it seemed to be dawn. I watched as light spilled across the sky, staining it blood red with unnerving rapidness. With the light came shadows, stretching out from the bases of trees and growing out of bushes. Out of those shadows poured living blankets of crawling and squirming insects, the black pool of vermin spread and slowly flooded the yard as I watched. As the rippling pools expanded I could see what looked like limbs moving under their depths, the flailing arms of a drowning victim lost in a sea of roaches and centipedes…crickets and spiders.

I watched these pools expand to the edges of the house and then they began to filter inside. I watched them pour into cracks under the doors and through the edges of slightly cracked windows. They filled the walls and filtered through the ceiling. I could see the shapes inside the growing sea of bugs more clearly then, as they splashed up, gasping for air. Constructed of bugs but flailing to get free of the bugs all at the same time, their hands reached out to me as their dark, empty eyes begged my assistance. I wrapped my blanket tighter around me, knowing any minute they’d be on the bed with me. Their chirping and rustling and squeaking and buzzing noises filled my head, and I could not escape it even with hands over both ears. Then I heard the voices, singing softly like sirens on a distant shore. Their words had significant meaning I knew, but the language was ancient, melodic but utterly unhuman in nature. It grew louder but remained just as distant, and it cut through the constant buzz of the bugs like a warm knife through butter.

Then it was a symphony…and I understood those voices weren’t singing to me…no, they were singing to one another. I was merely listening in. Every so often one voice would end in an agonized shriek that would startle the others to silence…then the rest would carry on only seconds later. I looked up at the blood-red sky, covering my ears with my hands and I screamed in an attempt to drown out the noise. It only got louder…no, closer. They were closing in on me, climbing up the wall to the ceiling, blotting out the sky. I could feel the tiny legs crawling over me, up my torso and my neck, into my ears and gaping mouth, and as they crawled down my throat I coughed. I woke up coughing, and almost fell out of the bed.

It was all a dream, I realized. Thank god, it was all a dream. I went and I checked the track I had playing…it had ended. The soft hum of the heater turned off, and once again I could hear the crickets outside. Not just the crickets, but all the crawling creatures as they rustled and chirped and wriggled. And the voices…they were there all along, singing in the distance. Every few minutes I can hear their shrieks, blood-curdling cries loud enough to make me jump out of my seat. It wasn’t a dream, it was their dreams. It was the song of the sandman, echoing in their minds.

I went back to bed hoping it would go away. I didn’t put the music back on, the racket outside my walls was enough to serve as my ambience this time. But when I awakened again it had only gotten worse. The sunlight crashed down like a million cymbals, crashing and clamoring as if a concert were being played inches from my head. People were out and about, talking and thinking…and doing all of it very loudly. Neighbors were mowing lawns and the highway, a good five hundred feet away from my house, was flowing with traffic. I could hear it all, and it was only the beginning of a skull-splitting headache that has as of now accosted me for three weeks straight.

I hid myself away in the day, but at night it was equally unbearable. Whatever frequency my brain had focused in on when I was sleeping had slowly changed, and my brain had changed with it apparently…it had followed it into previously unknown territory. I can’t sleep at night now, or I dream their dreams. When I’m awake I simply hear them…their conversations, their groggy ramblings, their terrified mutterings. But when I sleep, I tune into all of their dreams at once. I feel their joy, but I also feel their pain. I’ve thought about seeing a doctor, I really have, but I watch television, and I know what they’d do to people like me. Freaks like me. Scientific oddities, such as me.

No, no…I’ve got to solve this myself. It’s dusk now, and the crickets are singing their song again, I can hear every single bug as it crawls over every single blade of grass. And of course the sky has taken on that blood red hue. I know what I must do.

I was just pondering the effects of a similarly amplified sense of taste. Do you think I’d be able to resolve that situation the same way, or would I be put off by my sensitivity to the metallic taste of the barrel? No matter…the song must end now. The cicadas are crying. It’s time to sleep.

Sleep is for the weak.

I never claimed to be strong.


Credit: Chris Phoenix

🔔 More stories from author: Chris Phoenix


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