The Stir of a Thousand Voices

One Thousand Voices
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He shoves it in his pocket. TOM I'll stay until he's gone. He's packing. TOM cont' d Shouldn't be long. Tom looks around, at the mess he's made. He's embarrassed, frightened by his own rage. Dorothy comes back with a dish towel. She takes Tom's hand, wipes the blood away and wraps the towel around it.

He starts to pick up the things that were knocked off the bookcase. TOM Tell your mother I'll pay for this. He picks up a framed photograph. Broken glass falls out of the frame as he turns it over. Tom freezes. Tom just stares at the picture. Tom turns the picture around to show Dorothy. The woman in the picture is about eighteen or nineteen, bears a faint resemblance to Dorothy -- -- and is the same woman he saw in his living room.

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TOM Who is this woman? TOM Did she have a black dress, kind of a diamond pattern on it? How d. DUANE o. TOM Where is she?

TOM Can I talk to her? TOM Why not? About six months ago. TOM Where did she go? She don't write or nothin'. Tom looks down at the photograph again. TOM What's your sister's name, Dorothy? Tom and Maggie sit on the couch in their living room, the nonitor beside them, just one light on. He has his arms arounc' her, holding her tight. His hand is bandaged. They're shaker.. TOM That's what she said. TOM Dorothy said she ran away about six months ago. Hiding or something. I mean, she could have actually been here when you saw her! TOM If she was, she's very quick getting in and out of a room.

When you saw her, where was she exactly? TOM On the cushion right next to you. Maggie looks down at the empty half of the couch, freaked out. She pulls in closer to him. At the game, I mean, how did you know about Jake? Did you see anything? TOM It's hard to explain. I just got this -- feeling. But a hundred times stronger. TOM Like you wouldn't believe. Fecls like my brain is tearing in half. TOM Why do you assume it's bad? Maybe this is a good thing. TOM I told you there was somethin' in me. Maybe it's comin' out. TOM Just roll with it. What's the worst that can happen?

Kill yourself. Kill me and Jake first. TOM Well, yeah, that Make sure there's nothing wrong. Just tell her about the headaches, that's all she needs to know, you don't have to bring up the other stuff. Suddenly, he smiles. She furrows her brow, "how do you know? Elizabeth makes notes on a clipboard, walking and talking fast, all business. Elizabeth does not have the human touch.

TOM No. TOM Huh? TOM No thanks. TOM Only in, like, really small spaces. They do. TOM Do we really gotta do this? ELIZABETH You've had no head trauma, no serious viral infections you can recall, you haven't been out of the country, you're not a drug user, you have no history of migraines I suppose I could open up your skull in the operating room and then decide what to do, but I'd rather take a few pictures first, wouldn't you?

She pushes through a set of double doors. Tom swallows. Elizabeth goes to a computer terminal and types in some commands. That stimulates your brain's protons to align themselves. Then we shoot radio waves into you, which knocks the protons out of alignment. They then realign themselves, sending out radio signals we record on the scanner. The computer reads the signals and makes a series of detailed cross-sections of the layers of tissue.

Tom looks at the machine, then back at her. He looks at one of them questioningly. TOM That would be bad? She smiles and nods. The other Nurse puts a white cloth over his hair. He tries to smile, but he is unnerved. Elizabeth leans in, staring down at Tom. Tom lies still, staring upward as he is pulled inside, like a corpse in a drawer sliding back into the wall of the morgue. Tom blinks, staring up at the ceiling as the tongue comes to a stop.

It's incredibly claustrophobic. TOM Kinda hot in the coffin. TOM Yo, hey, hey, woah, I'm right here. Can you turn it down a little bit? The Technician enters some commands on a keyboard. She hands him a cassette. Elizabeth puts it into a tape deck and pushes "play. It gets noisy fast. The hammers whip faster. Tom's music starts playing from the speakers. Elizabeth was right, it's good the music is loud, because the sound coming from the hammers is deafening, like gunshots going off all around his head. Tom, in spite of himself, bursts out laughing.

Elizabeth looks at Maggie. Graphs and columns of numbers are listed alongside. Except for one tiny abnormality, your brain anatomy is textbook. Physically, anyway. She leans forward to one of the screens and points to a spot on a cross-section. There's a slight distension, just the tiniest bulge here in the arc of the crescent. That's uncommon. But it isn't consequential. Wouldn't have any effect on cognitive processes.

TOM Great. There's nothing wrong with me, I gotta get back to work. Elizabeth scowls at him. TOM cont' d Worth a try. Take care, say hi to Michael. He heads for the door, eager to get the hell out of there. Maggie lingers, looking at Elizabeth, hopeful. Nothing at all? I said nothing physical. She picks up Tom's pair of jeans from the floor and folds them over one arm. She picks it up. It's the butterfly knife, the one he took from Duane. She stares at it, fascinated and frightened. She lets it drop open. There is dried blood on the blade. Gingerly, she closes it again.

She opens a drawer and puts it in, then thinks better of that. She takes it out again, looks for a place to put it. She drops it in her purse and zips it shut. She'll deal with it later. It's a nice night, the pier is crowded, just enough urban edge to be interesting. A figure bobs along above the crowd -- Jake, sitting on Tom's shoulders.

Jake suddenly looks up, confused by something. He stares past the juggler, through the flames. Jake stares back, the flaming pins flying up between them. Tom moves on, his boy still on his shoulders. The Cop turns and watches them go. Jake turns, looking back over his shoulder at the Cop. The Cop raises a hand and waves. Jake just stares. JAKE Daddy, look! TOM Woah, check it out. He stops, helps Jake down off his shoulders.

Jake presses right up against the glass, staring at the train as it circles the track. Tom squats, admiring it with him. He walks closer, stops only about ten feet away, staring. Tom glances up, sees him, thinks nothing of it. The 'op steps closer. IN THE. Closer now, staring. Tom turns and smiles, tight-lipped. He recognizes him from the other day. The Cop smiles back, doesn't go away. TOM to Jake Hey, look at that one! He carries Jake to the next window over, a different display. The Cop wanders closer.

Tom finally turns to him, tense. TOM cont' d How ya doin'? COP Fine, fine. He's staring at Jake. TOM Is there a law against lookin' in the window now? COP Huh? I'm off duty. I live right up there. TOM That's great. See ya later. He sweeps Jake up onto one hip and starts to walk away. COP It's even stronger in him than it is in you. Tom stops. Turns back. The Cop smiles and makes a face -- "you heard me. COP Jon't be afraid of it. Tom just star. The Cop walks forward.

Fascinated, Tom does not back away. The Cop lowers his voice. COP cont' d You're not alone.

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Tom is too rattled to speak. COP cont' d You don't know about Cacophony yet? Tom shakes his head no. The Cop pulls out a note pad, scribbles something on a page, tears it out and holds it out to Tom. COP cont' d Come next time. His hand shaking, Tom accepts the paper. The Cop reaches out and tousles Jake's hair. COP coast' d Bye, Jake. The Cop turns and walks away. The Cop looks back over his shoulder and smiles. Tom looks at his son as if he's never seen him before. Tom and Maggie sit near him, staring at him. They're freaked out. What have they got on their hands here? Their tone is soft, gently probing.

Jake plays And you said "Samantha" told you about Dorothy. Do you remember that? TOM Jake? Mommy's asking you a question. She tries a different route. JAKE Don't ask the boy any more questions. They freeze, staring at him. His tone was odd. And did he just refer to himself in the third person? JAKE cant' d Talk to me. He goes back to playing, and to that little tune. It's becoming rather haunting. Maggie and Tom look at each other. Good God. Tom and Maggie are asleep in bed.

Suddenly, Tom's eyes pop open. He sits up. His head is killing him again. There's a glass of water on the night table. He turns and looks to the open -loorway. He swallows. He stands up. He looks down at Maggie, who's still sound asleep. He walks to the door. Maggie stirs, feeling him gone. He's scared. He starts down the stairs. Halfway down, he dares a look through the wooden posts that support the handrail.

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Samantha is standing in the middle of the room. She looks up at him. For a long moment, they just stare at each other. Steam rises lightly from her as she breathes. Tom is shaking, barely finds his voice. TOM Samantha? She speaks, but when her voice comes out it's horrible and distorted -- muffled in a strange way. He takes a few trembling steps down the stairs, closer to her. She walks forward a step or two. She speaks again, louder, but the voice is still unintelligible and bizarre. Tom reaches the bottom of the stairs.

She reaches out a hand. He stares, terrified. The hand draws closer. Almost beyond his own control, Tom raises his own hand. She comes closer. Tom is frozen at the bottom of the stairs. Their hands draw closer still. Their fingertips touch. His mouth drops open, his chest twitches. He can't breathe. They stand there, frozen in that position. Tom tries, but can't draw air. He can't answer. He's panicked, but unable to move.

With every twitch of his chest clouds of steam burst from his mouth, all the air going out, none coming in. From the top of the stairs, Maggie can see him, standing there, hand outstretched into the darkness, touching nothing. But from Tom's point of view, he's touching fingertips with Samantha. He's frozen, breathless, and now his cheeks start to turn pale, unnaturally white.

Another few seconds of this and he'll pass out. She races down the stairs. Tom can't look at her, can't move. A tear rolls down his cheek as his lips begin to turn blue. She grabs hold of him. As soon as Maggie makes contact, Tom collapses. She moves, not quite walking, but a herky- jerky kind of lateral movement toward the dining room, fast, like someone on a dozen espressos, an angry thing that has to slow itself down to a crawl just to talk to us.

In the dining room, she flops over onto the floor, like a reflection appearing suddenly on the surface of a pond. Into the floor, she disappears. Maggie grabs Tom's face and turns it toward her. He takes a big lungful of air. Tom nods, sucking air greedily. TOM I think we better find out. Police barricades are at both ends of the block. Half barrels of beer sit in big plastic garbage cans, ice dumped over them.

Everyone seems to have agreed on which radio station to listen to, and most of the couple dozen cars parked in the driveways have their radios tuned to it, loud, the windows hanging open. Well, they don't actually catch the ball Lenny, the local crank we met before, is outraged. He chases him off, trying to kick him in the ass but spilling his own beer in the process. You see what I mean?! Tom joins him. He gestures to Sheila, Frank's wife, who's about ten feet away, keeping an angry eye on him.

Nature commands me to spread my seed. I hear and obey. TOM Sure, great, just don't be surprised if some day Sheila digs out your 38 and buries a slug or two in your ass.

The woman can't even step on a spider. TOM Spider doesn't fuck around on her. Ten or so years of marriage, a kid or two -- they become a different human being. Adam's almost out of school, he can handle it. I want him out. I like that house. On the pavement. So I scraped together enough money to make a few downpayments, and here I am. A landlord, for Christ's sake.

TOM So you've been in this neighborhood a long time, right? He gestures. Kurt drags himself off the hood and saunters over. He makes a "big breasts" gesture. Lenny, the crank, joins the conversation. She ran away. There wasn't much chance of that. TOM Oh, Dorothy baby-sits for us sometimes and she started talking about her sister, wonderin' how she was doing and stuff.

I promised her I'd ask around, see if anybody'd heard anything from her. TOM id she ever live in that house we're. Frank comes up, one arm around his son Adam. You're the first tenants since I bought it. By the basketball courts?

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Pretty simple. She had these crazy ideas she could be an actress, you know. She thought she was gonna be a big movie star. I mean, there was no way, but you couldn't tell her that. I thought it was kind of sad. TOM Okay. FRANK TOM Got it. TOM I give up, Frank. That makes eight ninety-four with two games to play, kid needs a hundred and six, that's only fifty-three a game. He could walk through the rest of the season and hit a thousand. ADAM pulling free Dad Behind them, the guys playing football out of Bernie's Tap have now organized a full-fledged game of tackle in the street, over the objections of their wives and girlfriends, who shout at them to stop.

Are there worse things that can happen to a human being? TOM Hey, Adam, way to go, man. X About who? You know anything about her? Adam doesn't answer right away. They all look at him. Suddenly, the guys playing football run a play right through the middle of them -- sweaty, middle-aged bodies fly in every direction.

The conversation is broken up. But the football players are upset, and a fight breaks out. The crowd gets out of the way, half to watch the fight with glee, the other half to shake their heads and watch the fight. He's rattled. Kurt notices him and comes over. He sits next to him. ADAM Yeah.

One Thousand Voices

Kurt is looking atIhim: I'm fine. KURT You don't look fine. How do I look? KURT hands up in surrender All right, all right. Just, if there's, you know, if there's somethin' you wanna bullshit about or anything, just let me know. Might help. ADAM You could climb off my back, that'd help.

Adam walks away. KURT Sorry. COPS jump out and wade through the crowd to bust up the fight. So much for the party. Sheila shakes her head. So too are those who ordered the crackdown against those whose protest a year ago forced the changes that the Government is now so eager to show Mr. There should be no mistake. We have not yet reached a point of no return. There is no guarantee from the Soviet Union that, in spite all of its declarations, it won't interfere.

Nor have the Polish and Hungarian authorities at the negotiating table yet gotten rid of the guns in their pockets. As Victor Orban, a speaker at the June 16 ceremony, told the assembled crowd: ''We are not especially thankful that we are not being massacred like those students in Beijing, since we could be massacred if the authorities wished. We need to create a situation in which they cannot oppress us, even if they want to.

If there is hope, it doesn't come only from the growing realism of the Communist parties in Moscow, Warsaw and Budapest. Realism on the part of the West and realism on the part of us oppressed East Europeans provides much more hope than that. There is also hope in the fact that Eastern Europe has had its Tiananmen Squares and has learned its lessons from them. Even though the democratic movements of East Europe today are stronger than ever, with the experiences of , and in mind, we don't have to be warned that post-Communist democracy is best when cooked on a low flame.

Poland and Hungary are engaged in a conspiracy of caution. The democratic movements in both countries have decided to renounce the taking of revenge for earlier failures and to let the Communists retire from power step by step. But to help the one-party rule to its painless collapse, we need from the West not only caution but also resolution.

Here are some truths that East. Work is still proceeding irrespective of that. Another option: Most of the major carriers are already using back-end analytics tools to build out spam and block lists, but these are hamstrung by the fact that they can only really rely on the incoming phone number, which is easily spoofed. Instead of seeing whether a call is verified or not, you may simply stop getting most of the spoofed robocalls that litter your missed-calls list today. Legitimate VoIP users on services like Skype or Google Voice may need to jump through a few extra hoops to verify that they are who they say they are.

Right now, many overseas call centers utilize VoIP calling, but route all of that activity through a private branch exchange PBX based in the United States — meaning it appears as a phone call originating in the U. The hope is that an industry-led regulatory body is nimble enough to catch spammers as they adapt, and update standards accordingly. Evil could get a verified phone number. Right now, our phones are rapidly becoming like the spam-stuffed email in-boxes of an earlier internet era. But Bayesian spam-filtering and other techniques began to evolve for email in-boxes, allowing for spam to be shunted off into spam folders.

The key insight that defeated email spam was that it would be nearly impossible to stop email spammers; it was too cheap to send out emails and too easy to set up shop nearly anywhere in the world and reach millions of people. But it was possible to make it so that the average person never saw that spam.

As spam stopped showing up in in-boxes, it stopped bringing in as much money, and email spam overall went on the decline. There is a whole cottage industry set up to support phone spam, employing people around the globe. But eliminate the ability for spammers to impersonate any phone number at will, and the economics stop making as much sense — and you can once again start picking up your phone when it rings.

President Trump cannot block his critics from the Twitter feed he regularly uses to communicate with the public, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, in a case with implications for how elected officials nationwide interact with constituents on social media. The decision from the New York-based appeals court upholds an earlier ruling that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked individual users critical of the president or his policies.

The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence. With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator. Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice. That was just three days after Rich, 27, was killed in what police believed was a botched robbery while walking home to his group house in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.

The wacky Ambassador that the U. He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was…. A disaster! And despite the report technically ranking as a best-seller, only a tiny fraction of the American public has actually cracked the cover and really dived in.

The White House has blocked a third witness who provided crucial testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller from describing the chaos she witnessed in the West Wing as President Donald Trump sought to assert control over the investigation of Russian interference in the election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said recently he opposes paying government reparations to the descendants of American slaves, has a family history deeply entwined in the issue: Two of his great-great-grandfathers were slave owners, U.

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Slavery experts have stressed that descendants of slave owners should not be held personally responsible for the deeds of their forebears. Already a subscriber? Log in or link your magazine subscription. Account Profile.