June 6, 2023

The Sound of Stillness by Ryan Racine

The Sound of Stillness



The young boy strokes his grandmother’s slim hair as it becomes wedged in his finger nails.  He removes them one by one as the small room starts to reek of a familiar odour.  Nurses begin to occupy the area and close the curtain that is separating the other patient in the room.  The rhythmic beep of a nearby machine become instilled in the boy’s mind; now becoming more recognizable than the national anthem.  The nurses leave the room, one carrying a soiled bag of bed sheets in her hand.  He grabs onto his grandmother’s hand.  Her skin feels like rubber on a hose.  No words pass between the two individuals, yet feelings are still conversed through as she stares into his eyes.


Moments pass like fresh raindrops on the window of a moving car as a husky man now enters her sanctuary with a tray.  She gets up as he positions the food on the bed that her body has been hibernating in for months.  She tries to poke her fork into the clay-like mash potatoes as her face grimaces after every bite.


After the meal, the boy situates his grandmother into a nearby wheelchair and pushes her into a larger place with similar recipients of diseases.  She smiles at the other patients while they turn their heads back toward the large television that is the centre of attention to the group.




An older woman from across the room is wheeled over towards his grandmother.  They deliberate between each other as his grandmother shrugs her shoulders.  The other lady points to the boy and they continue their discussion in Italian.


“So you are Argia’s grandchild?”


The boy nods his head as he tries to understand her through her thick accent.  He signals to his grandmother as he leaves to get some fresh air.  Upon entering the outside world, the stench of the building is still tattooed in his nostrils.  He sits at a nearby bench and watches as the sky starts to dim a neon purple.




Ryan Racine is from Niagara Falls, Ontario. He has studied under published author Dean Serravalle, where he has learnt certain techniques about writing.  He has written confessional poetry, abstract poetry, flash fiction, and chapter writing.  Ryan can be contacted at rracine37@hotmail.com

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