The Voice

Cup of Whimsy

When he closed his eyes real tight, so tight that his heavy eyelids seemed to disappear into his straining ocular muscles and perhaps into the serpentine folds of his brain itself, so tight that the fleshy red-black sensation of shuteye-sight faded into the deeper and darker black of spilled India ink, the throbbing in his head would begin, and Harshan Liyanage would hear the voice.

He liked hearing the soft, susurrus voice of his mother. He liked to squeeze his eyes shut as he lay in bed on Sunday afternoons, glowing dust mites floating through the shutters, and listen to her speak fluid Sinhalese.  Harshan couldn’t understand a word she said, but it sounded beautiful, those gentle, undulating tones. It was odd, though, that his mother’s voice would speak Sinhalese, since she used to speak mostly in accented English. She only really spoke in Sinhalese when talking to her sister…

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