Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Today I went down to the Bureau of Words to trade in my autumn onomatopoeia. Usually I put it off until at least the end of November, but this year the squelch-thud of my boots in the mounds of soggy leaves brought me up sharp. I went home, gathered my dry snaps, crackles and swooshes, as well as the cheerful spthooshk of a water balloon left over from August and headed down to the department. The rain hurried down to meet my umbrella, an excellent winter sound for which I had no words. But that would soon change.
The stooped man at the front desk greeted me with a finger to his lips. "We're running the barnyard tests, so we've got to be very quiet. Get me?"
I nodded. Fortunately, the entire antechamber of the Bureau is soundproofed, so my rubber soled boots made no sound on the white carpeted floor despite leaving a great deal of mud.
"What do you have in mind for me today? I'm here for the seasonal trade-in deal."
"Well, we've got snow falling on cedars, rain dripping into a puddle of slush, and ice skates on a frozen pond on display, as you can see" he whispered, leaning towards me. "But if you've got something specific in mind, we can check the back-catalogue." His voice had the quality of very thin paper.
"How much can I get for these?" I spread my prior acquisitions on the mahogany desk, each making its proper sound as I touched it. A beautiful cacophony of leaves, sunshine, the murmurs of children and crunching gravel filled the room. The man at the front desk picked up a shcwisk and examined it.
"Are these second-hand?" he asked politely.
"A few are from here. Some of them," I blushed, "I made myself."
He smiled beatifically at me. "They're lovely." I felt a warm, silent glow in my chest. A drop of rain fell from the tip of my nose to the desk below, making the quietest of pings as it hit the wood.
We sat down to make a deal. I bought several of the featured items and a couple I needed for a story set in India, but at that point what I really wanted was a little personal. I stammered it out when he asked me if he could get me anything more.
Snick, snick. My eyes rubbed against their sockets.
"Could you," I leaned closer to him, "whisper for me?"
The man at the desk looked at me in confusion - then threw back his head and laughed. Who would have thought such a deep, rich sound could come from so wrinkled a throat? In another room, I thought I heard a rooster answer. He nodded. "But," he cautioned, "a whisper is not onomatopoeia."
"I'm going to use your voice for the winds on cold snowy days, when the trees speak with one another."
A pause. "Yes. Yes, I can do that for you."
The wizard's face crinkled. He lowered his eyes and brought a scrap of yellow paper to his lips. All the things he told that sheet, I couldn't tell you. I only heard the rustle of his voice.
Despite the total lack of any sort of poetry or prose in my gallery, I'm more of a writer than an artist. This is just a silly little thing I thought up while walking home from school in the rain.
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2008-03-11
The narrator of this little story goes to trade in his autumn onomatopoeia (or funny sounds, if you like) at the Bureau of Words, some of them secondhand, some of them brand new. Swish-Cthunk by ~Squeak-the-Freak is a lovely tribute to the sounds that surround us. ( Featured by lovetodeviate )
:iconutawoutau:
utawoutau Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009
Hey, Cori! Here's my design for your wonderful story!
[link]
Reply
:icondistorted-plushie:
Distorted-Plushie Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Student General Artist
Amazing! It's so creative and... awesome....
Reply
:iconmatte-baka:
Matte-baka Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009
This is absolutely fantastic. It's beautiful.
Reply
:iconmasa-chan:
Masa-chan Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2008
This was exquisite genius, and made me think of Ian McKellan's Gandalf.

His voice sounds like velvet wind.

Agh, I am such a nerd. =/

Anyways, instant+fav! I only wish I could have found this sooner!
It's expertly written, with a perfect amount of irony. And those SFX! Gah.

May I make a suggestion?
I know that this has been posted for quite a while, but don't you agree that putting the SFX in italics would really emphasize them?
Doing that makes them sort-of attack the brain, visually, and that's a really good thing, where writing is concerned. ^^

I'm off to check out the rest of your gallery. And I'm all excited.

:heart:
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008  Hobbyist
Yes, yes!
I adored that performance. My favourite thing about the movies.
So glad you liked it, and thank you so much for the lovely and uplifting comment.
You know what? Between you and Jazz, I think there will be something here in the very near future. Today even, perhaps.

Howzat for you?

And I like the italic suggestion for Cthunk. I shall re-evaluate it.
Reply
:iconmasa-chan:
Masa-chan Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008
^____^ (Gandalf is awesome.)

You are so welcome!

Oh, YAAAAAY! I hope you do post again, soon! :heart:

I will massively be looking forward to it!!!
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008  Hobbyist
Well, there you are.
Gotta say, I kind of hate DeviantART's new submission system. It seems to me to be needlessly complicated and to produce text with far too much space between the lines.

But it is a piece of writing. I hope you like it.
Reply
:iconmasa-chan:
Masa-chan Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008
Yeah, I can't stand the Verdana font myself.

I'm strange, I guess, because I like all of my work uniform in look, and I even print them in Verdana here at home.
Verdana, pt. 10. Haha.

Curse DeviantART! lol

Yeah, I wish they would change it, and make it smaller, or something.
I agree with you about the line-spacing, too, I like it a little more closed in.
It's more impactful, if you ask me. ^^

I've already checked it out, I'm sure you now know. ^^
Reply
:iconarwen-istar:
Arwen-Istar Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
That's so lovely!
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2008  Hobbyist
Thanks a lot, hon.
Reply
:iconkatezila:
katezila Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Have I mentioned how very much I love this little story? Because its a lot. Its ~entrancing~ <3
Reply
:icondesi-designs:
Desi-Designs Featured By Owner May 28, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
That was incredibly magical, Squeak... It made me feel real warm inside. :D Thanks so much for that!
Reply
:iconjanox:
Janox Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2008   Writer
This is more than amazingly excellent.

The idea is just so original, so outlandish that becomes almost painfully creative, not just one of those normal creative creatives created by creative people, but an actual -piece,- this could be the start of a riot, metaphorically speaking.

You as an author have made me very happy. Thank you. :D
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2008  Hobbyist
Whoa. Had to read that a couple of times to get your gist, but now that I have, thanks very much.
Though I don't know that I've got the power to be a riot grrl.
Reply
:iconthe-f-key:
The-F-Key Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
its cool ^^
if a little... confusing
Reply
:iconvillagekid:
villagekid Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008  Student General Artist
very imaginative piece. it is amazing.
Reply
:iconxaglow:
xAglow Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
OMG Jewels this is awesome! <3 I had a fit and made everyone in Drawing class, painting class and soon to be sculpture class read it!!!! <3 <3
Reply
:iconxaglow:
xAglow Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008
I've been calling your house but you are never there. I tell your sister to tell you to call me back, but it looks like she isn't haha :P
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008  Hobbyist
Oh please Christ no... but thanks.
Laav <3
I can has hang out tiem naow?
Reply
:iconthe-poisioned-1:
the-poisioned-1 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
OOOHHHH I LIKE IT I LIKE YES I DO
Reply
:iconpumpkinpeaches1:
pumpkinpeaches1 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008
You have such a way with words.

This little piece feels like it is filled with magic - magic we have come to easily disregard.

Not to mention it has one of the best words in the English language in it - onomatopoeia!

:+fav:'d
Reply
:iconbry909:
Bry909 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008
The common flea is our friend I tell you!

:)
Reply
:iconmbryn:
MBryn Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Professional Writer
I love the imagery this piece brings to mind, and I love the idea of a place where you can trade in old sounds for new.

It's beautiful.
Reply
:iconanderon:
Anderon Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
The DD was well-deserved here! And now I'm off to check out the rest of your gallery, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

I would normally +fav this piece, but since it got a DD, I see little point in it, as any publicity I give it will be vastly overshadowed by that.
Reply
:iconturn--to-paige:
Turn--to-Paige Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
i thoroughly enjoyed this... catering to the small sounds.. the idea is really wonderful. ill be reading more of your work
Reply
:iconraginggryphon:
RagingGryphon Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but it reminds me a bit of The Phantom Tollbooth - in particular, the Soundkeeper and the Word Market. It's an adorable concept, and I really enjoyed the cleverness of not actually using the onomatopoeia for the concepts the narrator did not have. It really felt silent as I read.
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
Thanks! Norton Juster is a hero of mine - perhaps it was an unconscious influence.
Reply
:iconkittywitchthesecond:
Kittywitchthesecond Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Pretty and funny all at once. Lovely work.
Reply
:iconvelvetscarlet:
velvetscarlet Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
This is excellent. It takes you on a nice little walk.
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
Oh. Perhaps I should buy it a collar and leash?
Thanks very much :3
Reply
:icon3-degrees:
3-degrees Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
day-brightening and altogether lovely ^_^ it has that ghibli-esque magic. such a concise 'every-word-has-its-place' piece!

i like that the ending ties to 'his voice had the quality of very thin paper'.

when i read that i felt like the narrator were paying very special attention to his voice (because i now was!). in my head i stood there at the counter staring at his thin wrinkly lips, trying to figure out how such a sound could be coming out of them. your reader mirrored your narrator's sensation with very little prompting, and that is an incredible feat. this would not have been possible if you had used unecessary descriptives.

anyway, i loved it and wanted to tell you why, because i think you displayed an incredible skill there. thanks!
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
This is such a lovely thing to hear - er, read. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write it out <3
Reply
:iconlhinelle:
lhinelle Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008   Writer
way to stop and smell the roses ^-^ (forgive my cliche--it was sitting at the bottom of the drawer and I hadn't used it in a while. should trade it in ;) )
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
Oh, they're easy to lose underneath the socks. And those pesky moths eat away... perhaps some vocal preservatives are in order?
Reply
:iconlhinelle:
lhinelle Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008   Writer
maybe. Where would I get some?
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008  Hobbyist
Try The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday. I hear they have a great special on echoes going.
Reply
:iconlhinelle:
lhinelle Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008   Writer
Thanks!



thanks!



thanks



~thanks~


...


^-^
Reply
:iconmegzluffscheese:
Megzluffscheese Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
AWESOME! Incredible and unique concept, not to mention very well written :)
Reply
:iconstarlitgardens:
StarlitGardens Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
I like that you suddenly called the man "wizard," actually. It confirms the reader's suspicions that there is more to this place than just trade ins. This kind of reminds me of the Fortress of Sound in the Phantom Tolbooth. Very nice!
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
Wahoo! Phantom Tollbooth comparisons make my year. Norton Juster is at a level of genius to which I only aspire.
Reply
:iconstarlitgardens:
StarlitGardens Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
:)
Reply
:iconkagenokarasu:
KageNoKarasu Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
Oh wow, the imagery this conjured up. SO very nicely done!
Reply
:iconyorynot:
YorYnot Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
me thinks you should do more writing!
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
Perhaps I just need to put it up on the web ^^;
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconyorynot:
YorYnot Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
yes! yes!! :)
Reply
:iconcoshie:
coshie Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Very nice. It had such beautiful flow. And what a neat idea!

:+fav:
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
Many thanks.
Reply
:iconplasmid1:
plasmid1 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
then walk again .. ths one was most excellent
Reply
:iconsqueak-the-freak:
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Hobbyist
But my rain boots have holes in them!
Thanks very much, I'll try.
Reply
:iconemeralddwatters:
EmeraldDWatters Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008
Very Clever, I love it!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconsqueak-the-freak: More from Squeak-the-Freak


Featured in Collections

Writing by LeitaKree

Lit by YWYH-s--Morelenmir


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
November 10, 2006
File Size
2.9 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
7,004
Favourites
230 (who?)
Comments
165
×