MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “short stories”

Quarantine news

©Douglas M. MacIlroy

I had a visitor today! Wait, I’ll show you. I managed to take a photo”. She scrolled through her photo gallery on her phone, while her friend was patiently sipping his coffee on the other end of the line. He smiled at her through his screen as he saw her eyes light up with enthusiasm at the news.

It was their daily teleconference. Well, the morning one. Others would follow during the day.

It was the new quarantine routine. Some moan about it, while others do their best to show that distance doesn’t matter and it can’t keep us apart.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Here’s your chance

©Jeff Arnold

You’ve always wondered what you’d do if you had time and were at home”.

Well, here’s your chance”.

She opened the door. His home-office was rearranged so that his desk was right beneath the window looking into the back garden. There was an old typewriter strategically placed in the middle. He had told her of how the dream of becoming a writer began when he first saw his grandfather typing on one of these. But dreams always got delayed due to some other priority.

After all,” she added, “when Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he wrote King Lear”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Why dance?

©MCD

So, why do you dance?

He had been asked many interview questions since his career gained an upward path, but this was by far the most intimate one. It reached right into his soul, past his life experiences, his childhood dreams and wishes, his ambitions and desires. It was the essence of who he was.

There are so many reasons why,” he began. The emotional charge was already apparent in his eyes and in the tone of his voice that suddenly became softer and quieter.

I dance because it makes me feel alive. Feeling my body in motion, makes me feel like I’m doing something right, that I’m allowed to experiment in every dimension with every part of my being. All a dancer needs to do is close his eyes and feel the music”.

I dance because I’m happy, or I’m sad, or I’m angry…I feel through dance. It’s my way of expression. But it is also of healing. I always feel better after I dance”.

I feel graceful and free when I dance,” he continued. “I feel my aura becoming lighter and brighter and this also helps me culturally and socially connect with others. I feel I am becoming a better person when I dance. And I like that version of me”.

Dancing is also a way to escape everything that is troubling your mind at the moment. It’s great therapy for the mind and it certainly keeps you active and fit. It is a fun way to exercise and offers many more benefits that are first apparent. All you need to do is try it for yourself and you’ll be convinced”.

The interviewer stared straight into his eyes. She had never received such an honest and long response before.

And, of course, she was now eager for her first dance lesson.  

Things are simple

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lifeintherightdirection.com%2Fa-life-of-simplicity%2F&psig=AOvVaw0VzCQo0SE0nP5fU64hngX9&ust=1583689164787000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCKiIoIn0iOgCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

Not everything has to be so complicated,” she said, thinking out loud.

Female and male brains did not function the same way. This was a gender chasm that was difficult to bridge.

What seemed common logic to one, was not so for the other, and this led to many misunderstandings and consequent quarrelling, no matter what the relationship the two genders shared.

Why do they always perplex things?” she asked her friend.

It’s as simple as this: if you want to do something, then act like it, and do it”.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #147

Social markets

©Roger Bultot

It is said you can learn a lot from a country and a society if you stroll through its markets. And that’s what she always did when she visited a new place.

But this time it was different.

She wasn’t visiting.

She was there forcefully, without even having the option to choose. There was no alternative. That’s what she was told.

The market was not a hospitable place, nor one you enjoyed walking through.

Merchants were trying to rip-off their potential clients, and small children were deftly trying to steal whatever they could without being caught.

‘Ideal’, she exhaled, despaired.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

We all become what we pretend to be

©Dale Rogerson

As a child, she loved pretending and wearing costumes. Her favourite drama teacher warned that “no one can wear a mask for very long”. She needed to learn to distinguish when she was playing a role, and when she was being herself.

It was a dangerous thing to wear a mask and a costume; “we all become what we pretend to be”.

They strange thing she realised while acting was that a single person can wear many masks. And with each, they’ll tell another truth.

Yet, she loved to act; simply by changing looks and attitude, she could be anyone.

A man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth” – Oscar Wilde

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

It’ll do so, unrestrained

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/old-door-lebanese-village-man-background-79366804.jpg

There was a young man who each day sat at his doorstep gazing at passers-by as if waiting for something, for someone. He would spend the whole day there, anticipating; his eagerness and enthusiasm dimming with the last of the sun’s light. But each morning, he would be there again, repeating the process.

An old woman who would make the passage by his house each day on her road to the market noticed the young man and this pattern of his. She observed the brightness in his eyes at the start of the day and how it was darkened as the day faded. She couldn’t help but wonder what he was looking for, what he was expecting.

But the more she observed each passing day, the more she understood.

So one day, she stopped in front of his doorstep and stood right in front of him hiding the sun from his eyes.

There is no use waiting here at the door of your house, staring at the dead streets ahead. If it’ll come, it will do so without you knowing from where or how. It will approach you suddenly; it will find  you even from behind, softly closing your eyes that are so tired of road-watching. And when you ask who it is, you’ll understand by that skip in your heartbeat. There is no use waiting. If it’ll come, it will do so. Even if everything is wide shut, you’ll see it right in front of you, and it will be the first to embrace you with open arms. It won’t matter if you’re ready or well prepared or not. It won’t change a thing if you run after it or crawl at its feet. If it’ll come, it will do so. Otherwise it will just pass you by”.

The old lady paused, inhaled a deep breath allowing her words to sink into the boy, then turned around and left.

He stood there for a moment, petrified. And then, went inside and shut the door.

If it’ll come, love will find its way.

Inspired by a poem by Kostas Ouranis

Adjust your focus

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It began to rain suddenly, with black clouds sailing in fast to hide the sun. It had been suffocative and humid from early morning. Perhaps that explained the agitation that had overtaken most people.

He had just cleaned the windows, proudly admiring how spotlessly clean they had become.

But they became all foggy again.

And that is when he remembered something he had seen in an ad just a few hours ago: “when life gets blurry, adjust your focus”.

Indeed, “we often see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Lessons from an hourglass

©MCD

It was an object he knew very well. It was how his grandmother had taught him to keep time when cooking. Now, as a prominent, chef he had more technologically-advanced resources to measure time, but the hourglass remained his favourite good-luck charm. For him it was a symbol of love, care and safety. Through it, he felt his grandmother still present, along with the sense of security she emanated, and the determination he was filled with – when around her – to make her proud.

At times of hardship, he would sit in silence watching the sands slip down the center of the hourglass, observing how fast time passed. It often took a while before he remembered that “the greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started” (Dawson Trotman); the time not spent with people we love, doing what we’re passionate about, having fun and enjoying life.

His grandmother had told him that “time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. You turn the hourglass upside down every now and then, to keep time running. Your life does that to you too”.

It took a while before he fully understood what she meant.

Snow frames

© Dale Rogerson

He wasn’t the person who would delve into silence or let others see his feelings. It was something that bothered her, because she couldn’t tell what was going on inside him.

For the past couple of nights, he couldn’t sleep, as if he was waiting for the sun to rise.

Outside the window, not a single noise could be heard. The snow was still fresh, and the snowplough had cleared a path.

She loved snow; it transformed her into a child.

He missed that. That feeling of innocence, playfulness and excitement.

He missed the person he became by her side.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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