1. Write a short story where one of your main characters loses one of their five senses (ie. sight, hearing, touch, taste,smell) how does this affect them…describe how it would feel…you can literally make this into anything you want…put in a twist…let it have a happy ending…anything. Just take it and go. :D
Excited to see what ya’ll come up with…
Music to my Ears
I used to watch them. At graduation cermonies, and fancy galas for Dad’s job. ‘They’re called interpreters,’ Mom whispered quickly to the curious six year old that I was. Their fingers dancing through the air, like ballet. It mesmerized me. Combined with their colourful facial expressions, it was like music. Music. At one time, it was just about the only thing I understood. Nowadays, it’s the only thing that understands me.
I’d been in the bed since yesterday morning. And now it’s the afternoon of today. Wednesday. Or Thursday? It’s been one of those days. No, one of those weeks. I look to my nighttable. An unfinished cup of tea. A half empty bag of almond m&m’s. The clock reads 3. Funny. I thought it was later. I shut closed my ASL Studies textbook and lazily tossed it to the foot of my bed. I’ve got finals next week. I know I’ll pass, so what’s the point? Lay there. Close my eyes and decide I’m going to imagine the sounds today. Sort through my chests full of memories, and remember. It’s a process, the recreation of sounds. Well, it’s simple enough, really. To make it live, though, to make it real, takes patience.
I sit up slowly. First comes the release of my pillow. It’s quick, queit, hushed, gone. The pushing back of week-old sheets. Limp, somewhat muted. Now I’m sitting on the edge of my bed. The groan that’s uttered with my rise. This is a hard one. I focus, think. I’m sitting there for two, maybe three minutes. It’s a longer sound. Something like a marriage between my gramma’s old rocking chair, a sound I’ll never forget, and my old cat, Sir, meowing for scraps.
Not completely pleased, yet satisfied with this recreation, I head to my bathroom to wash. I must smell. Haven’t showered in a few days. These next sounds are easy. The shuffle across ancient wooden planks. The gentle push of the door. The sliding back of the shower curtain. Rungs hugging the rod. Metal on metal. I peel off my clothes, shedding them like old skin. My toes kiss the cold, familiar ceramic. And rest there, finding a comfortable place. The sense of touch. Something I’m eternally grateful for.
The water. Icy first. With a slow gradation to warm, then hot. I close my eyes, stand there. Forgetting myself in the endless stream of warm and wet.
I go back to that night. Reliving it. Again. A girl of 17. Eyes full of promise. Overflowing with life. The moon was the limit. The world, my canvas. There were friends. A boy. Whose face means nothing now. Happy. Then…
Quiet. Quiet. Quiet.
I don’t remember much about the next six months. Promises. Adjustments to those promises. Eventually, the promises stopped coming. “A head injury from the crash caused damage to the eighth cranial nerve”, they told me. ”This nerve runs in the internal acoustic canal and amongst other things it senses sound.” In short, I would never hear again.
Friends would come. Unsure. Awkward. What were they supposed to say? Usually they’d grab a notecard, the way I communicated those days, and write something like, ‘Hey’, or ‘Sorry’, or ‘You look great.’ Sometimes I’d write back. Sometimes I wouldn’t.
At home my parents tried. So hard. Took ASL classes with me. Fumbled to communicate. I wasn’t trying, and so eventually, our interaction bacame minimal, uncomfortable. I still live at home, pretending to make something of myself. Applying for opportunities I know will never pan out.
I shift back to now. How long have I been in the shower? 20 minutes? 2 hours? I’m not sure. I retreat, reluctantly. Envelop myself in an old robe. I don’t remember if I used soap. Oh well. I pass by my bulletin board, and stop. My acceptance letter to Juliard, two weeks before the accident. A ghost of a smile still finds its way to my lips.
Downstairs, I wash an apple. Decide I don’t want it. I opt for almonds instead. From the kitchen, my piano beckons. Strong and sure. Pleading to be touched. The next thing I know, I’m on the bench. Familiar. I settle for a piece I wrote 4 or 5 years ago. I play and I play and I play. It’s dark out. Someone is cooking in the kitchen. Sir is sitting atop the piano. My fingers are numb. My stomach is hollow. I think I’m crying.
Forte down to mezzo piano and staccato back to forte. Legato on the bass clef. The music is flowing and dancing inside of me. From the tips of my toes, crawling upwards, seeping out through my fingers. This I know. This I hear, and it is beautiful. My bun comes loose. Strands of wet hair plastered to my nape. Water droplets creep down my back. Cold and naked beneath my robe, I am vulnerable. With the music, though, I am safe. With it, I am alive.
am i so cheap?
not due your ear or give.
have i not paid a sum large enough, or uttered enough ‘i love yous’
and, too, my silent misgivings
all for you
and my infinite debt
a cricket ceases its song someday, though.
and the swan itself must sleep.