new prose, inspired by sound: “The Trill”

Content Note/ Trigger Warning: Sexual assault, rape culture

They were jittering parallel, his leg and hers. They faced away from each other, tapping in terrified Morse code against the legs of the bed between them. He was shrinking and she was expanding. He was supposed to be the downbeat and she, the trill.

She recalled how his fingers had played her strings. How there was something so excruciatingly offbeat in the way that he’d sped up. He said he liked that sound; she said nothing. There was the pounding of their hearts and the curls of her hair. His hips were rhythmic. She counted to ten, holding onto nothing until he was empty and she was supposed to feel full.

She was his echo, the drum he hit against, a projection of his voice, and she convinced herself to feel empowered to exist solely in the glory of his smile. Too soon it became automatic: a euphoric cacophony of springs and curls.

In the climax, one of her strings snapped. She cried out, he froze. It was unlike her, he thought. She never asked to be hit, she thought. She removed herself from him, shaking, and perched on the edge of the bed.

words, “The Trill,” were written by Annie Rubin: “Koka’s electronic creation made automatic the emotive experience of producing music. This new system, mechanical and intricate, represents a structure of oppression we perpetuate through unawareness or indifference: one in which women are left voiceless and unquestioning. The moment of escape occurs when the woman rejects her role as a void (Cixous) and gains agency through expression.”

the colour and inspiration for Rubin’s work was inspired by Koka Nikoladze’s sound project, 

“Beat Machine No. 2”

Published by

Word and Colour

words inspired by colour

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