Silence is a Great Healer

I found a writing prompt that said weave a story around this sentence: Silence is a great healer. So here it is…

Silence is a Great Healer.

She closed her eyes and breathed in slowly through her nose. Even the musty damp air of the basement seemed fresh, like the first breath on a crisp winter morning. For a moment she just stood there, listening.

It was so quiet.

It was so quiet she could hear nothing. Finally, she could hear nothing.

With some difficultly she swallowed, a rush of emotion struck her chest. It was such a swirl of feelings that it almost drowned out the silence shrouding the tiny side room. She put her hand out to the cold hard wall of the foundation and opened her eyes. The cold seeped into her hand making it ache. It always ached where the old break was. She blinked away the unnecessary tears as she stared at her crooked little finger. There had been no silence in the house that day.

She stopped and listened again savoring the absence. Then, sighing, she began to work again. Her bruised ribs throbbed with each shovel full of dirt. Every time she thrust the shovel into the floor of the basement it jarred her bruises. But with every joyous ache she came closer and closer to being free. To being healed. To finally bringing silence to this house.

When the hole was nearly waist deep, she stopped. Slowly, wincing with every movement, she climbed out of the hole. She hobbled over to where the sheet wrapped body of her husband lay. Sweating with the effort, she pushed and rolled him closer to the hole. Pushing inch by inch, foot by foot until finally he rolled over the edge and fell in.

Panting she looked down. He lay there at the bottom like some seed in the garden. She scoffed out a little laugh thinking how much he had hated her garden and how many times he had beat her for keeping it growing. Now he was the last seed she would plant at this house, and from his grave would grow peace and safety.

She began to scoop the dirt back into the hole one painful shovel full at a time. But the pain was only physical this time, her soul was free. It took less time to fill the hole than it had to make it. She stopped one last time leaning on the shovel and listened.

She heard nothing. She smiled. The violence that screamed constantly through every wall and floor of this house was finally silent and silence was a great healer.