Speaking In Tongues 

Chapter One 

Ken Preston

22 February 2024

The singsong voice filled the recording studio, undulating and wavering, rising and falling, on and on. Kurtz was slouched in the swivel chair, head back, eyes closed. A bottle of Bud in one clenched fist, his other hand tapping out a rhythm on the arm of the chair.

“Are you still listening to that shit?”

Kurtz’s eyes snapped open. He clicked the pause icon on the computer monitor, cutting the voice off in mid flow, and swivelled around to face Thrash.

“Haven’t you ever heard of knocking before you come into a room?” Kurtz said.

“Uh, since when did we introduce that rule?” Thrash raised a pierced eyebrow.

“Okay, never, but I don’t like it when you creep up on me like that.”

“Creep up on you? Shit, man, you were playing that crap at top volume. Godzilla could’ve crept up on you, it was so loud.”

“Okay, okay! Point taken, all right?” Kurtz swivelled back round to face the computer.

“Why’d you have it so loud, anyway?” Thrash dropped into the chair next to Kurtz.

“I dunno. I was just trying to listen to it. Y’know, like, kind of try and work out what it means.”

Thrash leaned back in his chair. “Kurtz, I got to tell you, I’m having a serious what the fuck moment listening to you talk like this. How long have you been dicking around with that audio?”

Kurtz ran his hand through his thinning hair. Seemed like there was less of it every time he looked in a mirror, unlike Thrash, who still had a full head of thick, wavy hair down over his shoulders. Ratzo used to say Thrash had made a pact with the Devil to keep his hair, but then Ratzo went and made his own deal with Beelzebub, and lost.

Writing in the Shadows is a reader-supported publication. To continue reading, receive new posts, and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.