Author Archives: Ross Mannell
I could hear them making their way around. Their excited yells made their joy audible.
“Not this way.”
“I made it. Oh, no, I haven’t.”
This continued for about an hour while I sat in the shade of a tree enjoying the excitement drifting through the air. My fun was to listen.
Finally, one then another burst out.
“We made it!”
They ran over to me, “Can we come back again? That was so much fun in A. We want to try B.”
I promised tomorrow they’d be Bmazing after their fun in the A maze.
“Listen, can you hear that?”
I listened intently but heard nothing, “There’s no sound. You’re imagining it.”
He insisted but older ears don’t hear as well as the young. Faintly, I thought I heard the noise bothering him but where did the noise come from?
It was only after an intense search I realised the source of the sound. I turned the switch to off.
“It’s gone!” he yelled but I didn’t hear him.
At a frequency too high for my ears, I’d never noticed the high pitch tone coming from my hearing aid when the battery ran low.
Looking at her newborn, Mrs. Otis saw greatness in her son. Showing her faith in him, she named him Alvan.
Alvan was the type of child many might overlook. His quiet nature could make him invisible when with others yet history is full of people of little significance until circumstances thrust them into the public eye… so it was for Alvan.
The Great Plague came upon the people. None were spared the effects, excepting Alvan. He had a natural immunity. It was this that brought about the cure.
The world rejoiced. Alvan Otis had lived up to his naming anagram.
I remembered the school’s Easter Hat Parade. The excited children had murmured, giggled and chatted yet there was one who was alone in the crowd.
I’d caught his eyes as he read my lips, “I love you.”
The beauty of his smile could melt hearts yet his world had been without sound since birth. He’d never heard my voice, music or the laughter of friends.
The doctor brought my attention back to now, “Ready?”
She adjusted some settings and then nodded to me.
He dropped the toy in his hands and turned. His smile was magnificent.
Haltingly, “Mumma, poppa?”
Whether a child or an adult, we are often confronted by that which social, legal or moral reasons have us believe should not be done. Rather than having the freedom to express ourselves through thought or deed, we are restricted by social taboo yet there are those who stand against such norms. They are labelled radicals, criminals or misfits, labels that can apply to many who thumb their noses at the socially acceptable but, in order for a society to function, there must be limits in place or a society breaks down into anarchy. The question is, who decides the limits?
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…and a short 100 word story coming to mind when writing the above…
“It’s outlawed!” the words echoed around the room, children cringing at the volume. “None may speak those words. All you’re taught is law, unchanging. Leave!”
A small child, quivering with fear, stood and left the room. He didn’t know his fate. None had previously committed his crime. None had dared. All should have been prepared in the ways of learning.
Parents were ordered into the presence of the tribal elders, their knowledge of their fate unknown. They’d also suffer the punishment of their child.
The family was ejected from the tribe for the child’s crime of curiosity.
He’d asked, “Why?”
My friend had promised me an experience of a lifetime. He was a keen hot air ballooner back on Earth but I didn’t know it was possible on this colony so far from home.
It was dusk when I arrived, surprised by the shape of the balloon. He’d explained he wasn’t permitted to bring a balloon but, packing one in the freight, he’d listed it as extra underwear and was surprised no questions were asked.
Skydrifters were rising aloft amongst the clouds. It was the night of their annual mating, the iridescent glow of millions lighting the darkened sky.
This is the prompt photo from the 100WCGU site.