Hearers of the Constant Hum
William Pauley III
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"Bill Krang records insect conversations onto cassette tapes and labels them THE CONSTANT HUM. Since he was just a child, he's heard them repeat the same twelve words over and over again, but is unable to decipher exactly what the phrase means. He has since dedicated his life to discovering how to share this cryptic insect message with others.
As an adult, Krang now notices this peculiar phrase graffitied on the sides of buildings and written on mysterious tiles half-buried in asphalt. It's the first time he's ever had proof the curious message exists outside his own mind. What does it mean? Is it a warning? A threat? Are there other hearers of the constant hum?
In his search for answers, he manages to dismantle all he ever thought he knew about everything.
Can you hear it?
responsible for more deaths than all the wars in the entire history of the world combined? Now that’s a wild thought.” He seemed to be filling in for the man, responding to his own factoids as if he were two people. It was strange watching him do this, talking to himself the way a three-year-old talks to himself. The man made a waving gesture with his hand, as if swatting away a fly, and spit a healthy stream of tobacco juice into an empty can labeled ‘refried beans.’ Divey started to say
har,” Reynold said, dully. The poison leaked out onto the floor from an elongated nozzle that looked more like a wizard’s wand than a tool. The liquid was colorless and had an odor similar to oven cleaner. “Did you know scientists have discovered memories are embedded within our genes and passed on to our children?” asked Divey. “That sounds like a crock of shit,” Reynold said, not putting much thought into what caused him to bring the subject up during this particular conversation. “Well, it
somewhere along the way,” Divey said. “Human nature?” Reynold asked. “Yeah, it’s in our nature to survive. It’s wired into our brains from birth. What separates animals from humans is the need to know why things happen, and how we can alter those things for our own survival.” “Or for our own demise,” Reynold said. “Even the most brilliant minds have had a hand in creating things of unholy terror. Even with his many brilliant contributions to science, Einstein still played a significant role in
her astray. She needed to keep her eyes focused, centered. She needed to fill her pockets before filling her heart. It made sense, to her anyway. So many people live their lives trying to fulfill each and every need all at once, and ultimately falling short in the end. Money, jobs, friends, children, spouses, love, sex, entertainment, travel, cars, houses, yardwork, chores, hobbies, etc. etc. etc. The longer the list of priorities, the more work it’d take to feel fulfilled, and even still those
her life from this point forward, without obsessing over the constant hum, she could still live a happy life, free from further collapse—if his theory was correct, anyway. The jigsaw seemed to be falling into place now. He felt he could finally see the bigger picture and, with this newfound knowledge, he saw his purpose in life clearer than he ever had before: he was to stop them from allowing this to happen. He was the final piece of the puzzle. The last hope for true humanity. Just then his