Nov 132014
 

Word Blind

I’m sure most of us take for granted our ability to read, not only when enjoying fiction, but when dealing with everyday situations. For some people of otherwise normal intelligence, reading can be incredibly difficult. Word-blindness refers to two related conditions: alexia and dyslexia. Alexia is the loss, usually in later life, of a previous ability to read. It arises from damage to the brain cortex via injury, stroke, or illness. The more common, and better understood, dyslexia is an inherited developmental disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood. Both disorders are characterised by difficulty in processing written information.

Someone who hasn’t let her dyslexia hold her back is Whoopi Goldberg, who is 59 years young today. Whoopi has had an incredible career: she is one of only twelve people to have won the big four American entertainment awards (Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony). Her best known roles were in The Colour PurpleGhost, and as lounge singer turned nun, Deloris Van Cartier / Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act.

Let’s wish Whoopi a wonderful birthday with this week’s photo prompt:

Photo Credit: Flik via CC.

Photo Credit: Flik via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is Matt Lashley, winner of MB1.05. Read his winning story here, and what he has to say about flash fiction here.

What?

A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with WORD and ending with BLIND and incorporating the photo prompt.

Who?

Anyone, but especially you!

Why?

Why not? Because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. Because the winner will receive their own winner’s page, their story on the winning stories list, a ‘who is the the author’ feature to be posted next week, entry into the ‘Micro Bookend of the Year’ competition, and a copy of this year’s winning stories compilation.

When?

Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time: http://time.is/London).

Where?

Here!

How?

Post your story in the comments section. Include the word count and your Twitter username (if you’re Twitterized). Don’t forget to read the full rules before submitting your story.

Anything else?

Please give your story a title. It will not be included in the word count.

Please try to leave comments on a couple of other stories. It’s all part of the fun, and everyone likes feedback!

Remember, only stories that use the bookends exactly as supplied (punctuation is allowed) will be eligible to win.

  99 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.06 – WORD [micro] BLIND”

  1. Trek

    Word of mortal man has become useless in its governance, a sentry stand-down.

    Stories, histories, flutter ‘round and find their way to hallowed ground. Nature’s death, a soundless sound of lost and not oft found.

    What once stirred emotions of many, now lies dormant, anesthetized, discordant notes, unspoken heaves.

    There is exposition in the trees as they lose their colorful leaves, and not much else speaks to me, during these days between eves.

    When time comes to forever fade my last breath, my heart and ache will carry His words and His name. I’ve faith and no mind for shame as I take this trail through autumn’s veil—blind.

    110 words
    @blackinkpinkdsk

  2. This is stunning. Beautifull writing.

  3. The Twisted Path
    @hollygelly
    109 words

    Word of the magical path had spread far and wide. The minstrel knew of it, and Bouffanticles the Great gave him gold for information.

    “It’s said that none can walk its twisted lengths.”

    “I shall find this Path, and I shall vanquish the evil that surely dwells upon it!”

    Bouffanticles fought through the Doomed Forest and killed the Swampimus monster. When he found the Twisted Tree he knew he was on the Path.

    “That gods-cursed minstrel!”

    The twit had got it wrong, you see; nuns can walk its twisted length. There she was, up ahead, out for her daily stroll.

    In the end the minstrel had robbed him blind.

  4. Where is Mother Superior?
    @voimaoy
    109 words

    Word was she went out for a walk in the afternoon, under the gray sky and falling leaves.  Did she tell anyone where she was going, no, the road led into town.

    Maybe she went to get lightbulbs. She said it  was dark so early now. When she did not return, we became concerned. Her mind was wandering these days.

    We searched for her in the woods, where the road vanishes in the trees. Our flashlights could not find her. She was gone without a trace.

    Imagine our surprise to find her  cooking wild mushrooms in the kitchen. “Look what I found this afternoon,” she said. “are you blind?”

  5. (born Jonathan George Grimby)
    @Jim_M848
    110 words

    Word viciously spittooned was ‘shockporn’ I believe?

    Réne was over?

    Following the critical annulment that was ‘Marriage of Sexy Corpse Girl’, Réne (born Jonathan George Grimby) flirted with obscurity. Two chaste years later his icebreaker installation, ‘Holocaustorama’ was purged three days after the damp squib launch.

    Réne sits here, now, with his chin perched on the tip of an index finger, studying the path.

    An overweight hedonist, he’s shaved himself alopecian and effects a highly strung European accent in his pauses.

    Accused of bad taste, shallow art.

    And his playful new piece: ‘Virgin in the Mist’?

    It’s about purity, faith and nature.

    It’s going to brutally rob your emotions BLIND.

  6. Saturn District 7 Division HQ
    @Jim_M848
    110 words

    “Word is, all he has to do is touch something of the victim’s” breathes the Serjeant.

    I touch the cloth. There’s a noise in my head like an accordion full of drums, “I see. A man. White bag on his head. On Earth.”

    “Earth!?” Someone scoughs. The room shuffles uneasily, deflates.

    Sheriff leans close and very loudly, deliberately, confirms, “Now, are you sure kid?”

    “He’s sitting on a metal chair in a forest. It’s misty.”

    Pause.

    Sheriff clicks to the Serjeant, “he’s describing the picture behind Priest’s desk. Take MacReady, go!”

    Sheriff touches my shoulder and gently coaxes the bloody blouse from my fingers. I fade back to being blind

  7. I Do Not (110 words)
    @brett_milam

    Word. It was just one word unfurled like a grotesque, bloody red carpet, inviting me in to masticate on its bitterness.

    Even now with the help of time to dull the impact, the word still spliced my insides and there was a monotonous ringing in my left ear drum, as if the word had burrowed in to mock me.

    The fog helped a little, as it cooled my hot cheeks.

    “Cunt,” he said to me, after an argument. First time. Married only two months. People also had a way of unfurling in unexpected ways.

    Seeing him, but not seeing him in that moment, I might as well have been blind.

  8. Reading Words
    @RTayaket
    109 words

    Word games are not mcuh fun wehn you’re old. The wrods on a pgae are arlaedy jubmeld and cutniuoe chnanigg in fnrot of you. At fisrt setcenens don’t mkae ssene, tenn the wdros, and tehn the leettrs tmehsvlees. Tnihk aoubt renidag a pgae lkie wlkanig dwon a raod. You see geren gsras and a tlal tree. And the fuhtrer you go the fogegir it gtes so you can’t tlel if you see a tree or a husoe. Redanig for me is lkie that. I take one setp farword, raed one lnie. It is difciluft. But I wlil keep on wklinag and rediang itno the fog uintl I am blind.

  9. Omnipotent
    110 words
    @el_Stevie

    Word had the power. He had leapt from the page and into her head, changing the heart that had once been so certain. His neat turn of phrase and dazzling argument had sown seeds of doubt in Sister Mary’s mind. She had read and reread the pages that Word had written but he had run rings round her faith and now she was no longer sure.

    Word watched and waited. He revelled in his omnipotence, delighted in his trickery but it wasn’t enough, he wanted more.

    Word filled another page, sought another victim whilst Mary walked alone, forgotten; she who had once been so faithful, was to God now blind.

  10. Omnipotent
    110 words
    @el_Stevie

    Word had the power. He had leapt from the page and into her head, changing the heart that had once been so certain. His neat turn of phrase and dazzling argument had sown seeds of doubt in Sister Mary’s mind. She had read and reread the pages that Word had written but he had run rings round her faith and now she was no longer sure.

    Word watched and waited. He revelled in his omnipotence, delighted in his trickery but it wasn’t enough, he wanted more.

    Word filled another page, sought another victim whilst Mary walked alone, forgotten; she who had once been so faithful was to God now blind.

  11. Folk Tales
    107 Words

    Word of the first winter storm came with the postman. He said it was in the hills and would cover the valley in the next two days. Auntie scoffed, saying it was too early.

    “Look at all the acorns. If snow was coming, the squirrels would have them all stashed away already.”

    “The pigs’ve been gathering sticks in the village,” the postman said.

    Auntie said the only thing pigs knew was where to find the slop bucket. They laughed. The postman wished them a good day and left.

    “That man carries more lies than letters,” Auntie said, still chuckling. “He’d be handsome, if he wasn’t so blind.”

  12. Heading Toward the Darkness
    110 words
    @goldzco21
    #flashdog

    “Word—w-ward,” Charlie said nervously.

    “Look at the first letter. It’s a D,” his mother sighed. She sounded agitated, and Charlie felt guilty. She worked so hard to help him, but he just couldn’t read the words. It was like trying to discern a distant body through thick fog. The letters were undecipherable.

    “We’ll try again tomorrow, Charlie,” she said.

    The worst part about his incompetence was his mother having to endure it. It wasn’t fair to her.

    “I’m sorry, Mom. I promise tomorrow will be different.” He was certain of this. The solution was now obvious. She wouldn’t have to deal with a stupid son if he were blind.

  13. Shapes and Shadows
    103 words

    Word, just one little word was all I wanted to hear, five letters strung together would make all the difference. Trying to be contrite was dragging me down. I asked God to intervene, let Him decide to end this conflict. I came here as a novice in the spring and spent my life loving mankind, now I wanted to leave. Mother Bridget thought I was having a breakdown she couldn’t understand. I lit up like a neon sign in his sight until he told me he had another. I begged him, eventually he said sorry. My vows broken, light obscured by the blind.

  14. The Bystander

    Word after word flowed under her fingers, reducing the world to the narrative that flowed up through skin. Marion paused her reading, touching her watch face.

    Nearly midnight, the train would be here soon.

    Footsteps approached, echoing, yet not his. A voice, like a crow calling from fog, “do you need any assistance Sister?”

    “No, I’m fine thank you.”

    More echoes, the crow moving away down the platform. At this time of night there were few other footsteps.

    Just Marion.

    The crow.

    And the one stood across the track.

    His breath rasping with each cigarette.

    Grinding warm bodies under his heel.

    Waiting.

    The devourer of the blind.

    107 words
    @imageronin
    #flashdog

  15. Faith
    (97 words)
    ‘Word of the Lord.’ She closed the prayer with the briefest of bows. She would go further today. She felt stronger. Her goal was the vegetable patch. She hadn’t been there since the illness struck. She wondered if the little patch had survived.
    It would take her the entire morning to reach it. But there was no alternative.
    She kept her eyes trained on the horizon. Not sure which was the worse adversary, disease or its survivors, she stayed on the side path.
    She had nothing to protect her except faith: it gave her hope however blind.

  16. Stormbreak

    Word came at last; The Beast had breached their defences.

    Sister Sadie sighed. She could hide no longer.

    Saying her goodbyes and her prayers, she hobbled into the forest, an ache far worse than the cold in her old bones.

    At the turn of the path he waited, a glowering storm.

    Undeterred, she raised one liver-spotted hand and trailed her fingers through his fine mist.

    “Hello again, Arthur.”

    The cloud saw the girl she’d been before she gave herself to God, and as her crutches fell away, Sadie felt the touch she had cherished all her life.

    And The Beast fell silent as they danced.

    Their love forever blind.

    110 words
    @Karl_A_Russell
    #FlashDog

  17. This is just for fun, since I got to judge last week. 🙂

    To Image Ronin, I see our openings are very similar. I just wanted you to know that I wrote mine before seeing yours. (Great minds do think alike, I guess! Lol)

    —–

    Word of Dog

    110 words
    @thebatinthehat

    Word by word, her fingers trailed along the page. The raised dots were well worn from years of reading, and she caressed them gently, reverently, as the familiar sound of paws scratched across the convent floor.

    She reached out in anticipation.

    Breath by breath, they found one another in their shared darkness, and he nuzzled into her hands, his downy ears like silk upon her weathered skin.

    They left for their evening walk in silence, love filling the void. She followed his sounds down the tree-lined path, both content to share in the rustling of leaves and cool mist. He, alone, understood that there was no such thing as “blind”.

  18. Stricken

    Word of her power gusted before her like wind presaging a storm. Hushed cautions from parents only kindled our curiosity. After a flurry of dares, it fell to Kiry to steal a touch.

    From shrub to tree trunk we darted, detecting the way her shoes whispered secrets against the gravel, the way an occult fog attended her.

    Leaves crackled under Kiry’s tiptoes. She sprinted the last stretch, swiped at the cloak, and collapsed.

    The Lady’s gait never faltered. Once the fog engulfed her, we rushed to Kiry.

    “My sight!” she keened.

    “She took your sight?”

    “Tore it open.” A thousand colors glinted in her anguished eyes. “You’re all still blind.”

    110 words
    @rowdy_phantom

  19. She Drinketh Up A River
    108 words
    @edbroom

    “Word in your shell-like, Angie?”

    Kenny’s bristles scrape her cheek.

    “Kid licks his lips? You push.”

    Sister Angelina nods.

    While she tried to provide spiritual instruction to care-home Kenny, he instructed her in the ways of Texas Hold’em. Session after session, Kenny watched his matchsticks migrate to Angelina’s side.

    Now the convent’s savings sit in gaudy plastic chips. St Bridget’s can only sell so much organic honey. That pot will cover their gas bills for the next few years with money over. Imagine Sister Mildred in a mobility scooter!

    The kid speaks: “We playing, sister? You’re on the big blind.”

  20. Resignation (106 words)

    Word salad swirled through her head as she gazed out into the morning mist. A confusing concoction of horrifying phrases that her brain simply did not want to comprehend.

    “It’s not you…”

    “We’re just at different places…”

    “…always love you, but…”

    Why do these things always have to happen on holidays? He’d be gone by now, suitcase packed, empty king sized bed now cold and mocking.

    A shiver breaks her reverie, condensed mist dripping from a nearby leaf. “Ah well,” she sighs. “Can’t stay here forever.”

    As she turns back to the hotel the mist seems to shadow her. From now on she’ll be flying blind.

  21. Traveling Haze

    Word of the haze arrived with a klaxon’s blare only an hour before the rouge cloud arrived. The defoliant, a leftover echo of a failed weapons test, enveloped the path between Jacob’s house and the hospital. They should have planned ahead to make certain that he and Evie were off the island during her last trimester in case this happened.

    The hospital said they’d find a way to send a nurse as the baby was presenting breach. Looking out the window, Jacob saw her. The oxygen tank would save her lungs, but she wasn’t wearing goggles. Only squeezing her eyes shut. The acidic haze threatened to render her blind.

    109 Words
    @BradyTheWriter

  22. EXCO-

    Word on all their lips was the same.
    “Sister Geraldine has hereby been exc-…” How these sisters expect us kids to understand beats me. Not when what seems to be the most important word in that sentence is way above our heads.

    This misty morning with the fallen leaves of the willow all around, watching her departing figure diminish slowly until it is no more than a tiny black-and-white dot in the distance, I think it… (what’s the word again?) erm… yes – “excommunicated” – must refer to something pretty ugly. And especially if your offense is robbing an orphanage blind.

    101 words
    @bunmi_oke

  23. Just wanted to say wow – lots of great writing this week! Not envying Matt. Lol

    Nice work, everyone!

  24. Vengeance Is Mine

    “Word on the street is…” said Josephine, imitating Huggy Bear, “Sister Bridget is leaving.”

    “Bernadette O’Flaherty! Perhaps you could come to the front of the class and read for us!”
    Bernadette’s gallows shuffle had eventually brought her alongside the nun, who thrust the bible into Bernadette’s hand, stabbing her finger at the verse.
    Bernadette stared. The letters swam.
    The nun cracked her ruler across Bernadette’s calves as she read “…known and… READ! BY! EVERY-! -BODY!”

    Bernadette stood in the dormitory, watching as Sister Bridget, limping along the drive, disappeared into the mist.
    She replaced the ruler under her pillow.
    A triumphant smile crossed her lips, as she lowered the blind.

    @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 110

  25. Vengeance Is Mine

    “Word on the street is…” said Josephine, imitating Huggy Bear, “Sister Bridget is leaving.”

    “Bernadette O’Flaherty! Perhaps you could come to the front of the class and read for us!”
    Bernadette’s gallows shuffle had eventually brought her alongside the nun, who thrust the bible into Bernadette’s hand, stabbing her finger at the verse.
    Bernadette stared. The letters swam.
    The nun cracked her ruler across Bernadette’s calves as she read “…known and… READ! BY! EVERY-! -BODY!”

    Bernadette stood in the dormitory, watching as Sister Bridget, limping along the drive, disappeared into the mist.
    She replaced the ruler under her pillow.
    A triumphant smile crossed her lips, as she lowered the blind.

    @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 110

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.