Friday Fictioneers – What the Blind May See

Thanks to all who read and commented on my story and my son’s story last week. We didn’t get a chance to respond to everyone or to read everyone’s stories, but we’re going to try to do better this week!

Today’s story features a couple characters from my YA Fantasy. I wish I’d had more words to introduce you to them, but here goes…

Copyright - E.A. Wicklund

Photo Copyright – E.A. Wicklund

What the Blind May See (103 words)

The birds are plentiful on this secluded shore, where no one rushes them with shrieks and well-aimed pebbles. They are peaceful creatures, unconcerned with our activities. Strange I had to travel so far to see them as they are.

Again and again, he circles high above, then swoops down close, as if inviting her to soar with him, but she remains fixed on the shore, gentle waves lapping at her stubborn, twig-like feet.

“Stupid creature!” I scream. “Fly with him!”

The blind man eases the pebble from my raised hand.

“Strange you had to travel so far to see yourself as you are.”

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Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

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27 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – What the Blind May See

  1. This is a really good concept and beautifully done. If I had a criticism to offer, it would be that the throwing of a stone at the female bird seems out of kilter with the ‘voice’ in the opening paragraph. The narrator at first seems reflective and compassionate whilst the later rush of irritation and potential violence seems to be at odds with that. But nevertheless, a touching vignette.

    • Thanks. She comes from a prideful, combatant people who chase birds (and love) away, so her default behavior is to scream and throw rocks at the birds (ahem, and love) – which is what she does when she grows frustrated with the female bird’s refusal to fly with the male. She – the narrator – is learning to be quiet and at peace with her world, but she’s not quite there, especially when she starts to see her own failings. Thanks for reading!

  2. Ahh, Grasshopper, very good! 🙂

    In no way tit-for-tat, I have several responses/suggestions/ideas. They fall within this area: “Again and again, he circles high above, then swoops down close, as if inviting her to soar with him, but she remains fixed on the shore, gentle waves lapping at her stubborn, twig-like feet. I scream.

    “Fly with him, stupid creature!””

    It seems that she’s screaming the words, but the way this is set up, she screams, then says the words. If you drop “I scream” down with her words, that would be clearer. I’m not a fan of “twig-like feet”, since webbed feet don’t seem twig-like to me.

    If you want to get down to 100 words (not necessary, I know, or bothersome), you could say something similar to, “He repeatedly circles high above, then swoops down close…”

    More than my $.02-worth,

    janet

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I wasn’t crazy about “I scream” and almost put it down below, but I think she would scream first, then find her words. I’m going to move it around a bit, and you can tell me what you think.

      Twig-like feet… If you’ll refrain from flogging me with a wet noodle – I forgot you prefer pasta over produce – I’m going to pretend the bird’s feet aren’t webbed. I like the image of something fragile in the bird, especially since fragility would be perceived as the greatest of flaws by the character who almost sees herself in the bird.

      Thanks for the lovely exchanges this morning!

      • No wet noodles around this morning, so you’re safe. I’ll grant you the artistic license to use “twig-like” to convey the point I knew you wanted to make. I see how you changed the “I scream” (you scream, we all scream for ice cream–sorry, I couldn’t help myself) part and that work for me.

        As for the exchanges, my pleasure!

        janet

  3. Oooh you really got me with those closing lines. A very reflective tale, So beautifully done. I am not sure why,but these kind of parables, when so clever, really hit home with me and make me think.

  4. Dear Lisa,

    I love how you layer your stories and politely require your readers to think and dig deeper than they might ordinarily. An original take on the prompt and an imaginative and creative piece of writing.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  5. I really like the echo of the lines “Strange you had to travel so far” … indeed, the character isn’t as peaceful as those birds flying so nicely. Also, I liked that a blind man offered this advice to her. A story that hooked me right in.

  6. Oh that’s quite a stinger for an ending. We like to raise ourselves above the rabble don’t we? Most often it is only to realize we cannot rise above our own hearts. I like how you took a more literal view of the photograph to weave your story.

    • He said it.
      All that we interact with is really just a reflection of imprints (samskara) in our head–memories, thoughts, feelings. We should learn to see everything as a mirror so we develop real self-awareness.

  7. The repetitive line about was a good effect – similar, but different angles of the same thought. I agree with some of the others that the act of wanting to throw the pebble seemed out of character for what little we know of her. Nicely set scene and great use of descriptors.

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