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High Frequency



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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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72 thoughts on “High Frequency”

  1. Sound has a strong influence on the mind. Like many here, this showed me that it’s wise to be cautious about the “superpowers” we wish for.

    Also, LAST. Just to be different and proven wrong.

  2. And here I thought I wanted to be able to hear people’s thoughts…Your story immediately made me think “Fuck that shit, LOL.” But, seriously, this is a delicious pasta. I loved it all the way through~

  3. @Resi I don’t think he’s going to poisin himself, it seems like he’s going to put a gun in his mouth and shoot himself, seeing as how he says a ‘metallic’ taste. Nice story…confusing, but nice.

  4. dayum.
    Great pasta.
    This was gonna be my last one before I went to bed… maybe not the best one to end the night(/morning) on?

  5. The ending was two sentences too long. I hate that.
    “I wonder if shooting myself would work. Yeah, it would.

    Yeah.

    I’m gonna shoot myself.”

    The repitition bothers me.

    But it was a lovely story. Original, well written, decently creepy. Very well done, I did still enjoy it.

  6. This creeped the hell out of me! I am kinda seeing a guy that plays with ambient and IDM music and his house is infested with crickets! *shivers*

  7. Infekshun: How is this like Poe’s work? I don’t really see the resemblance…

    Great pasta, but I think the creepiness could’ve come to more of an exciting climax. Loved the description of the masses of insects, though.

  8. What the first poster said.

    It would gone beyond just ‘another’ pasta if you had made the crawling song-singing unhuman things talk to him, or if he himself had abused this new found power in a creepy way.

  9. Ffs with the First! shit… On to the story, it was good, but it was really drawn out, the last part seemed to re-emphasize what had happened earlier, but I couldn’t understand the crying cicadas/bugs/and symphonies. Was it another dream? Or something otherworldly invading his heightened senses?

  10. “I can only assume he/she’s gonna poison themself.”

    With lead, yes. In a manner of speaking.

    Hm. Exceptionally strong senses are a superpower I’ve always dreamed of. This makes me think twice… do I really *want* to feel everyone’s thoughts and hear all the spiders of the world chittering at once?

    *shudder*

  11. I was actually expecting him to have delved towards the lower frequencies, since he would think dark thoughts, which would add to the creepy. This works, too though. Took me a second to get the “taste of the barrel” thing, though. The overly high amounts of descripton make sense when you describe him hearing things, but otherwise, they’re not so much long or too overly descriptive as they are out-of-place, but still interesting.

  12. ‘firsts’ gtfo! you’re never actually first.

    anyways, it was okayish. didn’t really do anything for me tbh. a tad disappointing.

  13. Mmmm…..deliciously tainted, but nothing more than hypothesis. Still, the thought of all that agony, all that joy, all that sadness. No one emotion overcame him, no one thought left him helpless, but rather the cacophonous symphony of a million minds, all rambling as one drove our poor narrator beyond the borders of the mundane world we have come to call sanity.

    Simply delicious

  14. Reallyyyy really good.

    But I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be “when I awakened again”, it’s “when I awoke again”.

  15. whoah that was kinda confusing, nicely written, but it
    seemed a little too long and strange O.o

    but then…
    WHO WAS AMPLIFIED HEARING?

    LOL i just had to do that
    XD

  16. The last few lines finally made it clear to me what the hell happened
    It almost seemed overly descriptive, like too much into the whole scene
    Overall, a good story, expected ending though

  17. It was somewhat disappointing. It had the potential to go far but it kind of fell apart in the middle. Still a good pasta.

    6/10

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