In response to Word High July the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘indak’ or ‘to dance in time with the music’. It’s part of a series charting the impact of the discovery of intelligent life in space on five ordinary people over the course of a month. Enjoy!

Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.


Irene took a step to the right then swayed left, following the arrhythmic tapping she was now certain existed in the signal. She’d listened to the recording at least a hundred times or more, breaking down each sound into a note and building it back up again until it was music. Something pure and encompassing and more beautiful than anything she’d ever managed to write before. The signal had taken the empty shell she felt like her body had become; a breathing, smiling veneer of a person, and filled her with purpose once more.

She’d have sworn, not too many weeks ago, that the music in her died with Adam. But there was a small part of her that truly believed he lived on in the unique sound Irene had developed here, in the studio they’d once shared.

It had taken days to play the separate layers on various instruments. She’d felt protective of the piece and couldn’t bring herself to contact any of her old friends to come by and work with her again. Although she’d justified the decision on the basis that it was a lengthy journey from Sydney, where most of them still lived, into the Blue Mountains.

Spinning, she sensed the music build to a crescendo around her and tapped the volume higher until the world became sound and for a moment she could almost feel the ghost of Adam’s arms around her waist. Warm and encompassing. Something wet dripped from her chin and Irene raised a hand to find hot tears on her cheeks.

It should be shared, she thought as the music looped and she danced on. Other people should hear what she could hear and feel what she could feel. Share the hope it had managed to inspire in an otherwise hopeless person.


12 thoughts on “Indak

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