What a fun #5MinuteFiction night. Willa Blair provided a wonderful post that inspired so many different reactions. I know when I first saw it, more than one idea popped into my head. More on that Friday.
This week’s finalist’s are:
- Liz James @TitaniumTal
- redshirt6 @Redshirt6
- Tisha @Cajun_Tisha
- Gwendolyn Wilkins @kiuslady
- PS Gear @pswgear
Here are the entries. Don’t forget to read through and vote for your favorite. Only one writer will win copies of Willa’s books!
Liz James @TitaniumTal
There were benefits to being Deaf, he supposed. He didn’t have to worry about hearing those annoying telemarketers. He was never awakened by crying babies on long flights, and he always had peace and quiet when he wished.
Yes, Scott thought as he flipped a page on his book, it was fine being deaf. Plus, sign language was beautiful in its way. Hearing people rarely comprehended how much their body language spoke more volumes than the longest of speeches. But the Deaf… yes, they read the body much like he was reading his book. Oh, body language could lie, he supposed, but not often. And when people “spoke” to him with their hands, it was amazing. Conveying thoughts and ideas with their movements…. Scott rather thought that sometimes, it was like magic.
People often asked him if he would want to hear. Hear? Hear that annoying alarm clock ringing in the morning (although, to be truthful, the flashing light alternative was just as annoying), and the screeching voice (or so he’d been told) of his supervisor? No, he’d rather not, thanks.
But… sometimes, when he was all alone, like now, he thought he might like to hear HER voice. Molly was beautiful inside and out, and he was sure that her voice was just as lovely. She started to learn sign language for him, and while she “stuttered” a lot, her thoughtfulness and open face was beautiful in ways that modern society couldn’t quite understand. Forget the popular actor who all of his Hearing friends thought had the most wonderful voice. The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.
Not only is this one wonderfully written, she made me like Scott. I don’t feel sorry for him. I envy the way he looks at the world. He’s a romantic.
“So, you’re the head man, yes? The ringmaster?”
“Yes,” he answered. He shifted his top hat from one hand to the next and glanced over at a group of dwarfs who stood nearby.
“And you knew the deceased well, correct? Both of them?”
“That is correct, detective.” The ringmaster shifted his weight from one foot to the other, his gaze casting all around the bodies without looking directly at them.
“And was there anything going on between the two of them? Any kind of relationship, a dispute, anything at all?”
“I believe there was in fact a strained relationship that she had tried to end.”
“Was there a history of abuse or arguing between the two?”
“No,” the ringmaster said. His voice lacked conviction.
“But,” the detective queried. He bent low enough to catch the ringmaster’s eye. “But there was something, yes?”
“Yes,” the ringmaster confessed. “The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.”
“I see,” said the detective.
“Yes,” the ring master continued, “and as you can see, well, she’s a mime.”
I suppose I should have seen it coming, but I laughed out loud at the punchline of this one.
Brad had spent the entire day dealing with hospital staff, insurance people, and hospice care, and had had nothing decent to eat all day. Everyone’s voice grated on his nerves. It had just been a terrible day no matter how you looked at it. What with his mom going through this illness, and him helping to get her affairs in order, there was no break in the day to sit down and talk with her.
He doubted she would talk to him even if there was time.
He doubted she even remembered who he was anymore.
Once he finally had everything done that he could handle, he went back to her room and dropped into the chair, exhausted. A few minutes later the nurse entered and told him, “I’m sorry, but it looks like she likely won’t regain consciousness again.”
He nodded that he understood, hoping she would not speak further, and the nurse left.
What he wouldn’t give to have one last chat, one last hug.
The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.
She makes Brad’s frustration, exhaustion and grief very real. The choppy single sentences add to the mood of this piece. Well done.
Gwendolyn Wilkins @kiuslady
His mother was talking loudly to her sister – his aunt. Little cousins were scampering about laughing and squealing. His father was laughing uproariously with his brother-in-law. The house was full with the sound of human voices but the only voice he wanted to hear was hers.
Grant’s eyes darted around the bustling house, looking for an opportunity to escape. A tug on his shirt tail offered just the opportunity.
“Grant, I have to use the bathroom!” six year old Junette whined.
The teenage boy smiled, “It’s right up here,” he said, leading her up the stairs to the relative quiet of the second floor. After depositing his little cousin at the appropriate room with instructions on how to get back downstairs, he slipped quietly into his room and locked the door.
He leaned against the door briefly, savoring the welcome quiet after enduring a week so far of his aunt and uncle’s over-long visit – sharing his room with eleven year old Blake.
He knew he wouldn’t have much time; he dashed over to his dresser and pulled out the mirror casually hid under a waded up tee-shirt.
“Mists and Magic, Power and Might, Grace me now within your Sight,” he murmured at the ordinary-looking hand mirror.
At once the pristine reflection cloudied and swirled.
When it clear, a young-looking woman with long, curly red hair looked back at him.
“Grant!” she declared with happy delight. “I’ve been waiting for you, where have you been?”
“It’s a long story,” the young wizard-in-training replied. “Do you think I’m ready yet to try a transportation spell?”
“Oh?” she asked, a bit surprised. “That’s pretty advanced. It’d be better if I worked it on this side and brought you across if that’s what you were thinking.”
“It was,” he whispered urgently. “Get me out of here.”
She smiled mischievously.
“You’ll need to put a drop of your blood on the mirror first.”
Excellent writing and excellent job of putting the reader in the middle of the chaos. I also wanted to escape it. But how Grant does that is fun, poetic and fascinating. Very well done, especially for coming up with a rhyming incantation in such a short time.
PS Gear @pswgear
There it was again.
That sweet voice. It carried over everything else. The birds. The droning of men and women. Even the turn of the earth itself. Time. All of it.
It was there, those dulcet tones. Calling to him. Making him ache with a longing he’d never experience. Had never expected to.
Not him. Not with the iron that ran within his blood, passed from master to master. Chiefs and kings and servants; he counted them all father. And mother. They were all behind him. Nothing was ahead of him.
Until he found her. Or heard her, rather. That was the truth of it.
It is a simple truth, but with simplicity comes complexity. Hard truths that can only be admitted in the dead of night and only to oneself in a steeled, tight whisper. The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.
The only voice he could hear was hers. And now there was only one thought.
Find her. Have her. Take her.
Does a great job of setting a mood and establishing the reason for his quest. Love the repetition of “Find her.” Again, the overall structure amplifies the mood of the piece. Well done.
Make your choice and come back tomorrow to find out the winner.