The Silent Sounds of Chaos
A silent call for help began the friendship between two children. A bond unlike any other kept them together. Finn was just a kid when he first heard Snow’s voice inside his head, two children in need of a friend and finding one in mysterious strangers. Never meeting in person, the pair grows up as opposites – Finn the boy who loves to get in trouble and works for the toughest drug lord in town, Snow the good, sheltered girl who wants to be a doctor.
The bond built upon a strange ability to hear each other’s thoughts is threatened when Snow is abducted, her screams for help consuming Finn’s mind until they disappear completely, submerging him in a terrifying silence he’s never known before. Now it’s up to Finn to save her, led only by Snow’s sporadic thoughts as she floats in and out of consciousness.
But the search for Snow leads him to a truth he isn’t prepared to face, a truth that has the power to unravel his entire world. The people he thought he knew, the life he thought he’d made, the best friend he thought he could protect – all point toward a brutal reality should he fail. And as Finn struggles to find Snow before she slips away, he must fight to keep that reality out, lest he let the chaos in.
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This is not the first book I have featured by Kristina Circelli. A few years back I had the chance to review The Never. Her newest book is definitely one I plan to add to my summer reading list! Be sure to check out the excerpt below for a taste of what this book has in store, and check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post.
The Silent Sounds of Chaos – Excerpt 1
The boy huddled in the farthest corner of his tiny closet, bony shoulders pressed up against the
cheap, paneled walls of an already falling-apart trailer. In his hands he twisted the thin metal of
a paperclip, creating loops and shapes until they formed a stick man, just one of many he’d created to
distract himself from the sounds filling his run-down home.
Through the thin walls of his bedroom he could hear the source of his fear ‒‒ two voices
engaged in a verbal sparring match in the next room. One of them he knew, a shockingly thin woman with unwashed blonde hair and sunken blue eyes that, in the past, may have matched his own. The other he knew from many nights such as these, a tall and wide man with frightening pictures on his arms. Their shouts filled him with fear, the woman accusing the man of doing terrible things, the man ordering her to pay or else he’d do those terrible things again.
Their hate, their anger, sent him into the closet, where he often hid when his mother’s visitors
gave him those strange and calculating looks. His arms wrapped around a soft, yellow blanket almost
as big as he was, one he’d kept at his side for as long as his young mind could remember. Face buried in the yellow comfort, he tried hard not to be afraid.
Tonight his fear felt different. He felt different, so tired and scared and hurting from a night he’d
lived too many times in his young life. But, more than tired – he felt a part of himself fade away
into nothingness, only to be replaced by the same hate filling the voices outside his room.
One tiny hand pressed over an ear, the other holding the blanket to his chest, as his body
began to rock ever so slightly. He concentrated on the roaring in his ears rather than the thud of a body hitting the hollow floor, or the whimpers from a broken woman who’d given up long ago.
Make it stop.
In his head he whispered the silent plea to anyone who could help him, anyone who could hear
the unspoken words of a little boy trapped in his bedroom closet. No one had ever heard him
before, but maybe, just maybe, tonight would be different.
Please make it stop.
And then, by magic or miracle, his plea was answered.
I will protect you.
The voice whispered inside his mind, fluttering through his senses in a way that almost tickled.
The boy stilled, listening carefully for the voice again, a quiet, high-pitched tone he felt like he should know, but couldn’t quite place.
When he heard only the rushing in his ears, he reached out. Hello?
I will protect you, the voice said again, a girl’s voice.
He knew he should probably be afraid of a stranger magically talking to him, but he liked the
sound of this particular stranger. It sounded like music when she spoke, and distracted him from the
screeching and thudding going on outside the safety of his mind.
Who are you? he asked, and could almost feel the hesitation on the other end.
I’m not supposed to tell strangers my name … Are you real?
He huffed. Of course I’m real.
How can I hear you?
He thought about it, not coming up with an answer. Nor did he want to admit to silently praying
for help, help that came in the form of her innocent proclamation. Dunno.
I heard you, she insisted. I heard you crying in my head.
I wasn’t crying.
Well, if you say so … Are you sure you’re real?
Are you? he countered, trying to comprehend the fluttering in his mind amidst the shouting
through the walls.
I think so.
How old are you?
Me too. He felt a strange twinge of satisfaction that she wasn’t older, and that they had
something in common. Who are you? Again, he sensed hesitation. I’m not a stranger.
Fine. He huffed again and squeezed his eyes shut. It was almost fun, blocking out the entire
world and focusing only on the person living in his brain. Then let’s pretend to be other people. I
wanna be … an explorer, and have lots of adventures and cause lots of trouble, and run away whenever I feel like it.
He heard her giggle in his mind, and instantly loved the sound. Who are you?
I wanna be … a princess! The prettiest princess in the world who makes friends with everyone
and talks to all the animals.
What a girl.
He grimaced at himself, forgetting that this strange new girl could hear all his thoughts. Sorry …
I don’t know what to call you. You need a name.
You think of one, she giggled at him.
He thought, long and hard. Okay. How about … I know! Can I call you Snow? Like the princess
all the girls at school talk about?
Can I call you Finn? Like the little boy I saw in a movie at school who ran away to live on the
They agreed upon their new names, and, with their introductions, the two children were no
He talked to her through the night, the menacing sounds around him disappearing as he
listened to her talk in her youthful, high-pitched voice. She told him about her life living by the beach, with a mother and father who were very nice to her. She liked to read, and watch movies with princesses, and wanted to learn how to swim. It was a happy life, he could tell, and yet, he sensed loneliness in her tone, though he couldn’t identify its source.
She listened to him until morning, wondering why he sounded so scared when his words first
filtered through her mind, enjoying the way his tone relaxed as the night wore on. He told her about his life in a run-down trailer park, with a mother who paid more attention to strange men and things with weird smells. He liked to skateboard, and hang out with his friends, and hoped to be on a football team someday. It was a hard life, she imagined sadly, and yet, she knew he faced each day with the kind of mischievousness only boys could cause.
When she grew quiet, no longer responding, he worried she had grown tired of his stories.
“Don’t leave me,” he whispered out loud, not wanting her to hear his childish plea. Deep down
he hoped she was only tired, that he’d kept her up too late. Her, the voice in his head, a stranger
who probably didn’t really exist. But he didn’t want to give her up, because giving her up would mean
accepting the reality around him. And so, instead of saying good-bye or goodnight, the boy now
named Finn decided to make her his.
Just before they both drifted off to sleep, one in a closet, and one in a bed an unknown number
of miles away, he needed to hear her voice one last time.
Will you be my friend, Snow?
Meet the author:
Night owl, Dorito lover, and quiet eccentric – Kristina Circelli is the author of several fiction novels, including The Helping Hands series, The Whisper Legacy, The Never, and The Sour Orange Derby.
Her latest series, The Whisper Legacy, features Beyond the Western Sun. This book is what all fantasy adventures must strive to be: a complex, intricate examination of human emotion set within the context of worlds known only in our imagination.
Melding fantasy and legend in an epic quest, this series signals the arrival of Kristina Circelli as a master storyteller and an important voice in Native American literature.
A descendent of the Cherokee nation and niece of a Cherokee elder, Circelli holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, where she teaches creative writing. She also heads Red Road Editing, a full-service editing company for independent authors and commercial clients. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, Seth, and cats, Lord Finnegin the Fierce and Mr. Malachi the Mighty.
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