Stories by Sarah

Moral Compass

I positioned my ear plugs, pulled down my eye mask and sighed contentedly as I snuggled into my pillow. What a great day! I had thoroughly enjoyed the day trip to Waiheke Island, sampling fine food and wine, but now I was tired and sure looking forward to some sleep.

I began regulating my breathing and coercing my mind into quiet. And that’s when I heard it. The asomatous* sound coming through the foam.

Ignore it, I told myself, go to sleep!

But I couldn’t. I ripped out the earplugs and tuned in. The sound permeated the paper thin walls. At first, it was just a dull hum of voices, indistinguishable and unintelligible. However, like a crescendo, soon the volume and ferver of their dialogue had reached far above the acceptable levels for 11:30pm.  I could now make out an accent…German. There was music, glasses clinking, and food packaging rustling. Maybe there was a serious cabal^ taking place in the room next door?

The rituals that had preceded my efforts at sleep, were now completely redundant. I could barely stand to lie there listening to each item of foreign conversation. The booming, errant laughter was grating my last nerve and as 12am, 12:30am, and 1am rolled past, there was no respite from their noise.

When I could stand it no longer, driven by fremdschämen#,  I jumped out of bed and pounded on the door.

“Hey!” I said, using my best teacher voice, “Can you please keep it down!? I’ve been trying to sleep for three hours now. It’s 1:30am and that’s enough!”

The absolute authority in my voice must have been crystal clear, as a meek, “Yes, sure. Sorry.” came as the reply.

Somewhat placated, I returned to bed. The opaque light glowed around the edges of the doorframe and I began the descent into merciful sleep.

Until 2:30am. When it started again.

I groaned into my pillow, thumping the bedcovers in frustration.

What the hell was wrong with these people? I fumed. I replaced my ear plugs and turned on my iPod. But I could still hear them, even through the two filters.

Finally at 3:45am, all fell silent and blissful sleep arrived. Not for long however, as I had an early bus to catch.

Now some might call it a blip on my moral compass, but when my alarm went off at 5am I made sure as hell, I created as much noise as possible whilst getting ready.


By Sarah ©2017


* asomatous (adjective) – having no material body
^cabal (noun)- a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority. the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue. a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles
# fremdschämen (verb) To feel ashamed about something someone else has done

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – foreignconversation; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #162, Words: absolute, precede, blip, cabal, paper, asomatous, hum, stand, above, item, opaque, fremdschämen


8 thoughts on “Moral Compass”

  1. I’m “snorking” with laughter – as in choking at the matter of fact admission of – maybe my moral compass isn’t set quite right, but damn, I’m going to have payback! LOL – great story Sarah – you’ve worked the wordle really well – setting the scene and teasing out the essences of some of the more challenging words this week 🙂

    thanks for playing along 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am not usually a “tit for tat” kind of person so I did struggle with the decision for payback. But, damn, it felt good! Lol 😂
      Great wordle again this week – they are always such fun and I love to try and use all twelve words

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, sometimes we just need to let the “less than nice bits” have their say 😉

        glad you’ve enjoyed 🙂


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