He lay in the dead silence of the room, listening intently for anything that might be out of place, but there was nothing to hear. That was the problem: there was nothing to hear, not even the small sounds houses normally made. There was no sound of circulation from the vents as the air conditioning blew, no hum from electrical appliances. Matthew looked at the silhouette of an old wind-up alarm clock Ellie had placed on his bedside table. It did not tick.
Until that moment, Matthew had never considered that the phrase “deafening silence” could be anything more than simply a figure of speech… but it was far more than that. It was unnatural. It screamed at him.