The Whistling

The best part about winter in Drows is the fog. As a child who not often felt cold, I had always loved the obscuring weather. Something about the darkness and the lack of visibility comforted me. In a storm, I felt safe and hidden.

The worst part- well there are many things one must be afraid of in Drows, but the worst of all would be the constant whistling.

As a young boy growing up on the countryside, I have had the opportunity to hear from many travellers and locals alike. They were very friendly people. While I do remember one time long ago when the whole town was forlorn and reserved, that had all changed now. All had their stories and songs, but there was one story that nobody talks about: the strange whistling.

As a curious and I dare say insatiable child, I had always wondered why I had heard whistling. Everyone else, it seemed, either did not hear it or did not care. I had reasoned that perhaps they were all too busy to notice.

The whistling was a high-pitched tune, infrequently ringing. It was not the wind, nor was it an animal. Nothing natural could have produced such a sound. It was barely audible at times, especially away from the plains and in good company, but alone it was always there. It reminded me of the high-pitched squeak of fabric brushing against itself. It came and went, as if the whistler sometimes became out of breath. It was curious, but I had thought nothing of it at the time.

One particular afternoon, I heard the whistling louder than usual. I was outside when the noise startled me.

This event led me to seek to find out for once what the whistling noise was. Late that night I ventured out to find the travellers who have come to Drows.

As it was common for the men, I had found them drunk and disorderly. They were celebrating something, and the whole place reeked of alcohol. Disgusted, I stood outside and asked for them to come over.

The men were too badly intoxicated, however- and seemed not to hear me. The lack of response I got was not very encouraging, and if anything they served to feed my fear- a creeping feeling of danger which was constantly there. Watching.

Exhausted and frustrated with the lack of answers, I finally left. That night I did not sleep.

As time wore on, the whistling bothered me more and more. I found that it became much harder to sleep, and I was much more easily startled and aggravated. Desperate, I went back to the travellers and asked again.

Once more, I was met with no replies. This time, I tried talking to them while they walked together on the streets- but it seemed that they were avoiding me. Perhaps it was that I was a child- one who ill fitted into their rowdy group. Nobody so much as looked in my direction as they excitedly talked among themselves. Annoyed once more, I left.

As time wore on, I tried to forget about the whistling- but the effort proved futile. As the days grew long and nights grew hazy, I remember I was always scared of the whistling, and it never stopped.

It was not until the third time that I went to ask that I got a response to my question. That time, I had snuck out at night. I met a strange old woman who seemed to be by herself. Taking pity, I helped her get home and she invited me in. It was then that I asked her about the whistling.

When I asked, her face turned pale and she slammed the door.

“Go!” She said. “Leave me.”

Stunned, I pressed further- begging for her to tell me.

“Please, I tried my best. Just leave me alone. Please.”

I decided that it was time to get to the bottom of the mystery, so pressed on.

It seemed that the old lady had a moment of thought, and somehow the situation reversed. She opened the door just a crack and her terrified eyes softened. It softened as if she took pity on me. Finally, she spoke again. “Come back tomorrow- during the day. Then, it will be clear.”

Locked outside with nothing I could do, I had to listen and come back in the morning. I would not get more from her that night.

That night, however, as I returned, the whistling was gone. For the first night ever, there was no sound- just silence. Relieved, I smiled and tried to sleep. Even with the sound gone, however, I found that I could not sleep. That night, I found the lack of whistling much more disturbing than the sound itself. It was as if the presence had deserted me- and I was truly alone. I curled up in the corner and tried to sleep, but stayed awake to watch the sun rise.

In the morning, the whistling returned. I tried to leave the house but I found that I lacked the energy to. Even as I was burning to find out what the old lady had to say, I could not until the sun had set and the streets were dark again.

That night, I snuck out again to visit the old lady- but nobody was home. Helpless to the situation, I could only return the next day.

For the next few nights, I repeatedly knocked on the old lady’s door but there never was anyone at home. The place started to look unkept and deserted, and I eventually gave up- never finding out the mystery of the whistling.

Now, more than seventy years after, I have made peace with the whistling. It still scares me at times, but it also has an almost paternal feel to it. I curled up against the bed and looked out the window. All the other boys would be sleeping by now, but it is far too early for me.

Tags: , , ,
blog comments powered by Disqus