SCREECH (EARPHONE HORROR)
by Amurawaiye Adeyinka and Ikenna Osi
The music playing in his head was off tune. Yes, it was recognizable but it wasn’t right. It was
high pitched and screechy. He removed his earphones from his ear. These earphones had a
problem. It wasn’t new to him, so he went to his room and lay down to sleep.
He visualized the movie characters in his head. His roommate must have started watching a film,
if not he would still be deeply asleep by now. He stirred in his bed, as some character in the film
screamed out in anger. Damn! His speakers were loud. Now he was pissed off. He
subconsciously muttered a plea:
“Dude, reduce the volume, its loud.”
He said it again and then his roommate replied:
“Do you want me to put the volume on zero?”
Later that day, he was in a friend’s room. His friend was listening to some music with an iPod.
He stood at the far end of the room, yet he could hear the music playing. He couldn’t fathom
why his iPod earphones were this loud…yes they were loud but he could hear the song so
harshly. Forever, by Chris Brown. It seemed like the music came from the walls, and not the
earphones. It surrounded him like a black veil of sweet confusion that arises from astonished
He left the room to get off the feeling.
Silence, that was better.
The next morning, he was in his school’s library, trying gently to get the weird happenings of the
day before out of his head. He began reading an advanced book on Quantum Mechanics, hoping
to get jaded and eventually fall to sleep.
Just as the book started having effect, right there in the library, someone turned on some music.
Quite secular. Very loud. Shayo, by Durella. The sound was deafening. He turned around. No
one in the library seemed to notice. His heart skipped a beat, no way! They weren’t going to tell
him they weren’t hearing that! At least someone else too must have turned...
Not a single soul had turned except him. Everyone just moved around like continuous
space-time. He turned round again trying to look for the perpetrator. He had to be somewhere
close with his laptop...what audacity! But he didn’t find anyone with a laptop around him. His
heart skipped three beats and started pounding now. No, he wasn’t running. He wasn’t hearing
things. This was not from his head. He stood up very shakily in fear. No, he had to find this guy.
He had to convince himself he wasn’t mad. The music was as loud as ever. He tapped the person
to his left:
“Can’t you hear the music playing?”
The person answered, quite startled:
He moved from his seat very clumsily, making silly scraping noises with his table and chair.
About three people stirred from their work. What? And they didn’t move when the music
started? He walked swiftly around the library looking for the person. Some students were using
laptops, but none of them had any music playing. He was nervy as he moved back to his seat.
Just then, the music got little louder. He reflexed to the music source. He almost collapsed at
what he saw. He shook his head, rejecting the things his eyes were telling him he was seeing.
He carried his books and left the library in a haste, still shaking his head and denying the facts it
was presenting to him...he had seen a guy with earphones! How possible was that? This wasn’t
happening. He was going to sleep now and get the whole thing out of his head.
He passed by a girl using earphones. It was as clear as digital. It was one of those songs Keri
Hilson could have sung; he just didn’t know which one. His calming agitation took a herculean
leap; his heart almost coming out of his nose. It was real. It was happening. He was going
fanatical, and it was earphones that were making him so. He had suddenly (or overtime)
developed an acute hearing for earphones and speakers alike. He passed by five people with
earphones on his way back to his room. He recognized some of the music. He was new to some
but they all seemed louder.
The intensity of the sounds increased in a geometric progression. He realized in shock by the
time he reached his hostel, that he could hardly pick up a distinct earphone sound. He looked
around in panic; his pulse rate sky shooting. He didn’t feel the sweat tricking down his side, his
heavy breathing, the booming in his ribcage initiated by his heart. There was not a person in
sight using earphones but he was going insane with the music and movies, oh his favorite song,
Love Stoned by Justin Timberlake, then…then…he couldn’t pick out the rest.
He moved closer to his hostel. The different sounds were now like noise produced on a Sunday
market; only it was a music and film Sunday market with each sales man displaying his wares by
blasting his own type of music; creating a liberally nepotistic array of ear-splitting jargon. It was
almost constant now, but it couldn’t be called music anymore. It was more like loud rushing
water. Plenty humming bees. Jolly big shiny green flies. Clumsy chickens in a poultry farm. A
noisy lecture room. A cricket ridden bush. A standing ovation. The wind blowing trees; and
metal scraping metal all at the same time. The closer he moved to his room, the more unbearable
Now the whole thing was out of tune, spinning in the limbo version of cloud seven. Many
colours. Many sounds. Uncontrollable rush. Pain. Severity. Gnashing of teeth. Demons. Many
demons. More demons. The earphone demons. Pitch black. Void in forced screeching. Bursting
screeching. Fork scraping metal. Many forks on metal. The sounds were searing into his mind,
and very soon it would rupture, like a rind of lemon slicing through his timeline. Sour tasting
sounds. Intense sourness. More demons. More torture.
The devil himself.