October 29th
Hannah & The Little Voice
by mary mcdonnell

“Open your eyes, Hannah,” the little voice inside Hannah’s head whispered. The voice was panicking. Hannah was content. But she opened her eyes to soothe the little voice.

“Sorry,” Hannah thought back. “I didn’t realize they were closed.”

Reality came back into focus. A man was sitting next to her: A stranger her phone named Bryan. A man was sitting in front of her: a stranger her phone named Charlie.

Bryan asked Charlie if they could change the radio station away from oldies. He asked with a small chuckle like he was doing them all a favor. Hannah liked oldies. Hannah liked most music. Hannah liked alcohol. Hannah liked her friends, and her Fridays, and falafel…

“Open your eyes, Hannah.”

“Sorry. I’m sleepy. That’s the whole point of this car, isn’t it?”

“The point of the car is to get home faster and with less thought. But not no thought. Do you want to explain to your parents why something happened to you after you fell asleep in a cab? Do you want that on your conscience?”


“I can get out here,” Hannah told Charlie. “You don’t need to turn the corner. Thanks! Have a good night!”

Keys. Hannah had a very big backpack. “You should’ve found your keys while you were in the car.”

“It’s a Friday night. I had a good time. Leave me alone, little voice.”

“Make sure the front door locks before you open the second one. If someone follows you in, you don’t want to have to explain why you gave them access to the whole building on top of everything else, do you?”


“Open your ears, Hannah.” The little voice in her head had to shout loud over a playlist. Nothing says “Happy Monday” like setting up the restaurant to Hanson.

“Why?” Hannah thought, frustratedly. “It’s just me and the porters here. Maybe a delivery man. It’s eight in the morning, and I work in this place.”

Hannah went into the unlit back room to look for the smaller of the ice buckets. The ice melted significantly slower in it, so it was worth the search.

“Oh! Sorry!” She gasped. “I didn’t think anyone was in here!”

One of the porters, the taller of the two, was sitting in a corner in the dark. He was facing away from Hannah, but he turned and laughed when she came in. He didn’t say anything else. Hannah grabbed the ice bucket and left.

She took a trip downstairs to get coffee filters. The basement wasn’t her favorite place- Things would scurry on the floor sometimes and that scared her even when she was prepared for it.

“Open your ears, Hannah.” She hit the bottom of the staircase. The shorter of the porters was sitting in a corner in the dark. He looked at her as she passed and laughed.

“It’s fine,” Hannah thought. “I work here. I’m fine. I’m safe.” But she took one of her headphones out, just to soothe the little voice.

“Be careful,” the little voice said. “You don’t want to have to explain why you were listening to music when something happened to you.”

When Hannah passed by the stairway again, the porter was gone. But there was a knife on the chair he was sitting in. She wanted to move it so no one accidentally sat on it. But the little voice was too afraid to touch it.


“Open your mouth, Hannah,” the little voice screamed. She was leaving a class with her peers. The train was a six minute walk. Their train was in the other direction. She didn’t want to bother her classmates. But the little voice was scared again.

“Open your mouth, Hannah.”

“I’ve made the walk before. It’s normal. It’s fine.”

“You don’t want to have to explain why you felt scared, but didn’t ask for help.”

Hannah said goodbye.

“Open your mouth, Hannah.” She turned back. She took the train with her classmates. She had the time to transfer, and the little voice was scared.


“Hannah,” The little voice cries. She can’t find Hannah. Where is Hannah?







The little voice is alone. The little voice is afraid.


Hannah is gone.

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