[WP] A living personality exists inside your headphones and talks to you while you have them on, but unplugged

Brandon leaned his head against the cold glass of the window. The floor underneath him shook and vibrated as the train made its way through the underbelly of the city. They hate you. He slipped the headphones down to his neck, then, feeling naked without them, slipped them back on. He tapped them softly. "Quiet," he whispered into the headphones, his hushed voice lost amongst the rattle of the train. Look at them, snarled the voice, dripping with hate, they're looking at you--they're planning on killing you.

Brandon let his gaze drift over the car and its passengers. There were eight people in the car. He counted them carefully and checked his exits. "They aren't trying to kill me. Nobody knows me." An elderly woman with grayed hair looked up from her book and smiled. Brandon smiled back and averted his gaze.


"Stop it."

A young kid, clutching his mother's hand, glanced at Brandon and quickly looked away. Brandon looked guiltily at the floor. He was doing it again. Sometimes he got angry at the headphones, too angry, and sometimes it attracted attention. He didn't want attention but sometimes he couldn't help it. You're all alone, Brandon. You just have me. Brandon gently followed the headphone wire down to his pocket, where the other end hung loosely. It wasn't plugged in to anything. Brandon never listened to music. He never plugged the headphones into anything. He just wore the headphones. It felt right. He ran his fingers up and down the wire, sweat beginning to form at the small of his back.

There was a man in the corner reading a newspaper--had he just glanced up? Brandon averted his gaze and looked at the other end of the car. There. Brandon settled his eyes on a young woman, red hair covering her face as she stared down at her lap, where she busily thumbed her phone. She's sending messages, Brandon, she's telling them where you are. Stop her. Brandon straightened and looked behind him. Through the window he could see only the darkness of the tunnel walls and the occasional light of a maintenance door or panel. "There's nobody here," he said, perhaps too loudly. "They aren't coming for me."

The mother clutched her child a little tighter.

The elderly woman with the graying hair stared at her book, eyes scanning but not reading. She's reading her orders to kill you. Stop her. Do something. DO SOMETHING!

Brandon stood up and walked over to the elderly woman. "What book is that?" He said, pushing in close.

She leaned back and smiled. "It's a romance book, you probably wouldn't be interested in it."

She's lying, whispered the voice. "Give it to me." Brandon snatched the book and a man who'd been sitting next to the woman held up a hand.

"Whoa, son, just take it easy."

He's one of them! Brandon stepped back. "Shut up."

The man stood up and the elderly woman reached out, pulling him back. "It's alright, he just wants to know what book it is." The man sat down, eyeing Brandon carefully.

They don't want you reading the book. Kill them. DO something, Brandon, DO SOMETHING! Brandon shook with fury; how dare they try to tell them where he was, how dare they. He clenched his fist. He would smash her face in, make her unrecognizable so that when they came they wouldn't know it was one of their own who was dead. He looked down at the book. A woman in an almost transparent dress clutched at a tall man as they stood in the middle of a wheat field. He stared at it dumbly.

The woman smiled. "May I have my book back?"

Brandon handed it to her and returned to his seat. You should have smashed her face in. Brandon got off at the next stop and walked several blocks down and then finally he was in the safety of his own apartment. They're coming... Brandon curled up into a ball on the floor and cried.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread