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ID: 7825

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April 14, 2014, 11:34 am

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The Song That Doesn't End, Part One

By:

In the world of Delta Factor, one young woman fights a never-ending war with a remorseless enemy.

Greenwich Village, New York, New York
September, 2009

Sarah and Ellen, best friends since kindergarten, have been busily moving into their new apartment all weekend. The two-bedroom, rent-controlled Greenwich Village apartment was a major find for the pair, who will attend two different schools in the city. Ellen is excited about starting Julliard next week, and Sarah is equally looking forward to starting at Columbia and getting into a normal life. With the controlled rent, sharing the apartment will be more affordable than separate dorms, and they love the bohemian vibe of the neighborhood. There's only one problem.

"AAAAAH!!!"

Ellen's shriek, accompanied by the sound of pots clattering to the floor, summons Sarah from the bathroom. She runs into the kitchen in her grungy shorts and tee shirt, elbow-length marigolds - heavy duty rubber gloves for cleaning - on her hands. She had been giving the bathroom a thorough cleaning, and now she wields the scrub brush in both hands, and looks for an intruder to whack. Instead of an intruder, Sarah finds her best friend sitting on the kitchen counter, pointing in horror at the cupboard under the sink.

"Ellen, what's wrong?!" Sarah's voice is filled with alarm and worry.

"Roach!" Ellen's voice is shrill with disgust. She hates crawly things.

Sarah offers an exasperated sigh. "I came out here ready to kill some guy." She sighs and shakes her head, then heads to the cupboard. She peers inside, looking for the creature. It hasn't escaped yet, so Sarah grabs an old mason jar someone left here and covers the tiny monster. She slides it out of the cupboard carefully, using her hand to prevent escape. Ellen shudders as she sees the creature touch Sarah, even through the gloves. Sarah flips the jar and grabs the lid, screwing it on tight. She looks up at her best friend, shaking her head.

"It's just a roach. They're all over the place in New York, I hear." She holds up the jar.

If Sarah's words are meant to be reassuring, they fail. Ellen scooches back on the counter, her skin crawling, shuddering. Sarah just rolls her eyes again.

"I'll take it outside, for all the good it'll do." She heads for the door.

"Wait!" Ellen calls as Sarah nears the front door. Sarah pauses, looking back.

"Give it to me. I want to try something."

Sarah looks dubiously at her friend for a moment, then returns. "Okay, but don't kill it. It didn't do anything to you."

Ellen takes the jar, holding it at arm's length as Sarah returns to the bathroom.

Sarah loses herself to the work, scrubbing old stains out of every surface that can be scrubbed. A few minutes later, Sarah becomes aware of a sort of whining, keening noise. It varies in pitch and volume, and seems to be almost vibrating the walls and ceramic of the sink. Sarah pauses in her work, then heads back out to the apartment's main area. There she finds her best friend, and thinks maybe she's finally cracking.

Ellen has placed the roach-in-a-jar on the table by the kitchen. There's a few holes in the lid now and Ellen is facing the jar, generating these odd noises with pursed lips. The noise continues to rise and fall in pitch while the roach runs around inside the jar. Sarah watches a moment, always fascinated by Ellen's control over sound, but then shakes her head.

"What the hell, Ellen? I'm cleaning and you're making a roach dance?"

Ellen stops and looks over at Sarah. "I'm trying to find the frequency it hates most."

Sarah just stares at her. Ellen sighs and stands, turning to Sarah.

"I've heard there are devices you can buy in the stores. They make sound of a certain frequency and chase away the roaches. I'm trying to find the sound that does that, so I can make the roaches leave."

Sarah just stares at her crazy best friend for a long moment, before she turns on her heel and marches back into the bathroom to finish cleaning. She throws herself back into her work, in the home stretch of making the place livable. She works for another few minutes until--

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friend
Some people started singing it--

Sarah returns to the living room to see Ellen singing to the imprisoned roach. The poor creature scrambles like mad in the jar.

"Ellen!" Sarah shouts. "That's just mean!"

Ellen breaks off singing and looks at Sarah.

"I'm getting rid of the roaches," she exclaims impatiently. "I found the right frequency. Now I just need to embed it into a carrier sound which will reach the entire apartment."

Ellen unscrews the lid and tips over the jar carefully, so the roach can escape. Then she steps back into the middle of the living room and begins singing again.

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends--

The roach takes off like mad, moving away from Ellen as fast as tiny legs will carry it. But nothing else happens. Ellen sings a little louder.

Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it
Forever just because--

A few roaches stream out of the nearby kitchen cupboard, running for the open door. Encouraged, Ellen sings louder still.

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it
Forever just because--

Without warning roaches begin pouring out of the walls, streaming all over. Thousands of the creatures leave Ellen a wide berth as they make their way into the hallway. Sarah gasps in surprise. She's not squeamish, but this many of them crawling all over the floor and walls in broad daylight is too much even for her. Sarah jumps up onto a kitchen chair. Ellen closes her eyes and continues, singing her heart out.

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it
Forever just because--

Ellen's voice begins to echo and reverberate strangely, reacting to the environment in new ways. Sarah hears a scream from somewhere outside the apartment. She jumps down and goes to the door. Down the hall roaches are streaming out from under the door of the neighboring apartment, racing towards the stairwell.

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it
Forever just because--

Sarah hears another shout and looks toward the stairwell. Roaches begins to stream down from the floor above. Luckily they're on the second floor from the top. Sarah shudders to think what it might be like on lower floors.

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it
Forever just because--

Roaches continue to stream outside as Ellen continues to sing. Somehow, her song resonates throughout the entire building, and people all over are shrieking and shouting. Outside, cars screech to a halt. Sarah runs to the window to see a vast army of roaches pouring out of the building and into the street while people run screaming from the invaders.

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it
Forever just because--

It seems as though it will never end. In their apartment, now roach free, Sarah watches Ellen sing. Ellen can still hear some in the building, so she doesn't stop. Outside, people begin to gather, giving the roaches a wide berth as they look up at the building as the song continues... and continues...and continues....

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing--

"NYPD! STOP SINGING!"

Ellen stops and she and Sarah look at the open apartment door where two uniformed police officers have arrived. One has his weapon drawn, but he's not aiming it. Both look angry, alarmed, and... really confused. Sarah and the officers look at each other in the moment of near silence, as the building stops vibrating in sympathy. The lead officer looks between the two girls

"What the hell was all that?!"

Ellen looks around, sheepishly blushing.

"I... I don't like bugs."

***

"No, the cops didn't do anything," Sarah says to her dad on the phone. "Technically she didn't break any laws. But we'll be making the rounds tomorrow, apologizing to any neighbor who will actually open the door to us."

Sarah looks at her best friend, who still looks traumatized. Then she starts laughing at something her dad says.

"No, that's the best part of the story!" Sarah says while laughing. Ellen crosses her arms and glares at her best friend. "As soon as Ellen stopped singing, they all came crawling back inside!"

Ellen pouts as Sarah's dad guffaws loudly over the line.



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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Silveressa
April 10, 2014, 17:49
5xp
Humorous and gives some nice insight into the Delta Factor setting, Looking forward tossing both Ellen and Sarah as write ups on their own someday.
Longspeak
April 10, 2014, 17:52
0xp
Thank you. The Sarah part of your with is hereby granted: http://strolen.com/viewing/Sarah_Voltaire
Voted valadaar
April 11, 2014, 12:39
5xp
Great stuff - made me smile!

Longspeak
April 11, 2014, 12:51
0xp
Update: The eternal battle with formatting issues.
Longspeak
April 11, 2014, 12:52
0xp
Update: The eternal battle with formatting issues.
Longspeak
April 11, 2014, 12:54
0xp
Update: The eternal battle with formatting issues.
Longspeak
April 11, 2014, 12:56
0xp
Update: The eternal battle with formatting issues.
Voted Moonlake
April 22, 2014, 22:45
5xp

An unusual story and entertaining read.


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