A locomotive let off steam, and the roar made it suddenly safe for the sound to come out. It came unpushed and unbidden, erupting out of the throat, then reverberating off the trees and filling the valley. It wasn’t a scream. It was a lifetime of buildup, every truth that could never be spoken, every question that could never be asked, accusation that could never be lodged, apology that could never be made, and thought that could never be expressed, rising up in rebellion at once and coming out as a single untamed and untranslatable noise. It changed nothing and communicated nothing to any one, and it wasn’t enough.
Author’s note: Not a part of anything this time, just a small scene that played in my mind. Not sure who the character is, if I’m honest. Maybe it’s not one of mine, and maybe, at different times, it’s all of them. That detail I leave to the reader.