Voices

The post accident recovery seemed to go smoothly. Sure, it took time. But with time, Cliff was able to regain all of his cognitive abilities, his blurred vision cleared, pretty much as the doctors said it would, and even the limp was going away.

In fact, because the ordeal cost him a few pounds and gained him some much need sleep over the past few months, Cliff could admit that he might feel better now than he had before the crash.

The only exception was the music.

His speech was fine. His hearing was fine. All was well in his world now until he listened to music. Not all music, mind you. Orchestral, or anything instrumental was fine. But when it came to lyrics, there was some disconnect, some quasi-organic algorithmic bio flaw in this thinking that prevented him from hearing or understanding all the words as they were intended. He forgot how the doctors described it, and it really didn’t matter because they didn’t have a name for it anyway.

Sometimes it was every other word. Sometimes it was every third, fourth or fifth word. There didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to it and despite more testing, the doctors were stumped. They said it might be a frequency thing. It might be altered brain waves or patterns. But no matter the condition or cause, they agreed that as long as he wasn’t suffering any ill effects from the phenomenon, he was still considered fully recovered.

Cliff was not as convinced, for while the doctors said he was fine and that the condition might very well pass with time like his limp, music was changing for him.

If the condition were regular or something that could be easily recreated, it might be easier to write off, but it wasn’t. The music now held different messages for Cliff. It spoke to him in different ways.

Where others might hear songs of love and adoration, the glories of summer or the wonders of the moon, he received…different messages…darker ones. Strands of broken lyrics reached out to him from everywhere.

The average person probably doesn’t realize how much music they might encounter in a day, in even a short stroll. Cliff was well aware…now. Songs weren’t just songs anymore. They were messages, like voices, but from where and why? More importantly, how could he make them stop?

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