Ellen Williams


I did. I was showering, after my workout, to the incessant accompaniment of what is commonly referred to as rock or hopalong "music." I’ve heard it many times before, but this time the "music" sounded as if someone was suffering under torture, screaming up high, moaning down low, and crying in agony. I felt so sorry for those poor singers (I guess that’s what they were called) and desperately wanted to help them. I quickly threw on some clothes, pulled out my airsoft plastic pellet BB gun, (softest type of air soft gun available, mainly used for shooting backyard varmint or general hunting), ran down the hallway of the locker room, shouted "hit the deck" to the ladies holding their hair dryers up in the air and looking aghast at me, took aim at the speaker screen on the ceiling that was blasting forth all that noise, pulled the trigger and fortunately, as the radio screen was made of plastic, it cracked into pieces and the sound went: ARG- R –G ---E-EK-UH silence.

Oh, heavenly day. Silence. Pure Silence. Oh, oh, wait. What’s that high pitched siren? Could that be the police? I think I hear a ruckus at the front door, the locker room door barges open and a man wearing a police uniform is shouting: "OK, ladies, don’t move, drop your dryers and put up your hands!" "It’s not us," one of the ladies shouted. "It’s her," she exclaimed, pointing at me. "She went bananas!"

"OK, missy crazy lady, drop that dryer, uh, gun, on the floor and put your hands up!"

"But officer, I didn’t do anything, really. It’s the music, the music, that’s it, that’s what driving me crazy. I hear it wherever I go, in the grocery store, the department stores, the dentist’s office, the doc’s office, I’ll probably even hear it in the funeral home – for my funeral!! Oh my.

"Alright lady, that’s enough. You better come with me and take a little ride downtown."

"Oh, officer, I’ll be alright, I swear I will be. I promise never to fire aother BB gun again."

"Listen, lady, you’re gonna havfta put up with that music stuff called, "rock" or "hophip" or whatever it’s called. All the rest of us do, why can’t you? In fact, you come with me to the paddy wagon, I’ll take you to the station and sign you up for classes, desensitization classes, so whenever you hear that kind of music, you’ll love it!!"

"No, I don’t want to go into your little wagon or whatever you call it, and I don’t want any classes, besides, how could that possibly work?!"

The officer explained: "Well, you sit at a desk, and you’ve got a lot of buttons in front of you, that are marked: "Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Guy Lombardo, Al Jolson," and so on and when you press one of those buttons you get to hear a little of that music followed by a very low voltage electric shock and to stop the shock, you press one of the other buttons marked: "Suburban Voodoo" or "Kiss" or "I’m with Stupid."

"See, it’s easy and won’t really hurt at all."

"Then you mean," said the lady, I’ll never hear my favorite music again?"

"Don’t worry, lady, you won’t even want to!"

"Martha, Martha, wake up, Martha!!" Alfred took Martha’s hand and shook it gently. Martha opened her eyes.

"Alfred, you better get rid of that gun we bought and I’m never going to that gym again. Why, they take people away in little wagons and they never come back as the same person they were when they left!!"

"Now, now, Martha, you were having a bad dream, that’s all. Better wake up now though, it’s time to get ready for the symphony concert."

"Oh, good, are they playing: "Rock and Roll All Nite" by "Kiss?"


Ellen Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease five years ago. During the past year, she began to keep a journal expressing her experience. This led to other subjects and formats, such as poems, short stories and essays. Several poems and an essay have since appeared in local papers. Previously, Williams had earned a Master's degree, practiced as a counselor and had not seriously explored creative writing. Today, she is exuberant about her new interest and the joy it has given to her when sharing her works with her family and friends. She feels fortunate to have discovered such a fascinating challenge at this stage of her life.