That sounds so benign – a little bit of ringing in the ear. If only. I’ve had tinnitus so long I can’t remember silence, not that can hear a pin drop silence. My whole life, waking and sleeping, because it’s worse at night, is lived with a constant soundtrack of whistling, ringing, buzzing, squeaking and, incredibly, singing. Yes, I did just write singing. It sounds incredible, but a common side effect of tinnitus is singing in the ear, often nursery rhymes or hymns, or, as in my case, pop music on a radio station that’s not quite tuned in. And, sometimes it’s a Viennese Waltz. Who knows why?
Apparently the cause is mostly unknown and after many tests I was offered no treatment other than a visit to the noise clinic to help me with cope with it. I’d learnt to cope with it, so didn’t bother. I’m lucky though – I don’t have significant hearing loss, many do.
All of the above is why the characters in my books, namely Marcus Elliot, Hannah, Helena, Gabriel et all, all have super-hearing – no crappy tinnitus for them. They can also twitch their ears to facilitate better hearing – incredibly I can twitch mine and independently too. Can you? Try it.
It’s also why they cannot stand the bell ringing in The Haven café they frequent so often, why they twitch their noses or wave their fingers to stop it.
(They also have super-sight, no reading specs for Marcus Elliot, despite his age.)
So there we have it, I’ve created characters with powers I don’t have but would like. Wouldn’t we all want to be invisible, super speedy, hypnotic, able to fly…?