Monday, June 4, 2012

The Giving Voice Blogfest: "Hear Me"

Here's a little piece of flash fiction for the Giving Voice Blogfest, hosted by Madeleine Maddocks.  I decided I wanted to portray the pain of a young person who is already going through one of the most confusing times of her life.  Her difficulty with speech magnifies her pain and confusion.

I'm calling it: "Hear Me."

*               *               *               *               *

 “Oh look!  It’s A . . .an. . .an. . .a . . . anna!” 

Anna looked up to see Derek and Brendan.  Derek was the tallest guy in the seventh grade.  His speech, though forcefully broken, sounded perfectly clear.  He thought he was hilarious, but he never struggled to communicate.   His classmates, thinking he was funny and charming, loved him.

Anger boiled inside her.  She gripped her faded jeans with both hands, ignoring the pain of her fingernails digging into her flesh.  The cool stone of the squat fence on which she sat soaked through the thin denim.  Her eyes briefly flitted over to Brendan, who stood by quietly, strategically looking at some indistinguishable point in the distance.

“Do you want to say something?” Derek prodded.  His brown eyes were wide as he challenged her.  “Come on.  Just spit it out.  I have a couple of hours to kill.”

There were a lot of things Anna wished she could tell him.  There were a lot of things she wanted to tell Brendan too, but she didn’t dare.  Her words would only come out twisted, and the brokenness of her heartfelt words would only be turned against her.  Tears filled her eyes.

“What’s wrong?  Did your speech therapist get tired of waiting for you to finish a sentence?”

That would never happen.  Anna found some small comfort in that.  She slowly slid her hand up a couple of inches until she felt the reassuring rectangle of her little notepad.  There was one thing, other than Dr. Frost, that she could count on.  When she needed to get it all out, writing it down was the one foolproof outlet she had.

“Come on, we need to get going,” Brendan said.  “Stew’s waiting.”  His eyes awkwardly danced away from hers.

When Anna was alone again, she pulled out the little book and opened it to her favorite page.  She remembered the day when she was sitting in an empty classroom.  She was writing this poem.

Could you hear me?
The sounds in my heart
spill into the world
out of control.
Can you learn to understand
my pain?

Brendan came in to grab something, and noticing her there, he leaned over her shoulder.  She froze, expecting the worst.  Instead, he took her pencil and wrote in the margin.

“This is pretty.  People don’t always hear me either.”


  1. I can relate to this. I have a friend I grew up with who had a sister who was partially (and legally) deaf. Her speech was poor and she didn't really learn to start talking until she was 5 because of cerebral palsy. In fact, her pain is quenched in the form of alcohol to this day...if she is still alive.

    Nice. Again, I can relate.

  2. Bravo, I loved this piece! I'm thrilled that you mention the Speech & Language therapist. It has a satsifying ending that while your MC is taunted by others who fail to tolerate her difficulties, there's someone out there who understands her pain.

  3. Gorgeous story - really captures the MC's isolation - cruelly accurate quips from the boys - excellent last line - poignant, yet uplifting. Thanks for this :-)

  4. Fantastic story! Great characters and the last line was very fitting.

  5. Beautiful story! I loved the ending.

  6. Oh, that's so touching. Good job with this story.

  7. This was moving and beautifully written.

  8. I'm glad this had a happy ending. I felt her frustration through and through

  9. Awww, so beautiful. It made me want to cry! I loved this story.

    There is an award for you on my blog, feel free to stop by sometime to pick it up! :)


  10. There's something that's both really satisfying and not at all about the way this's like there's more story to be told, and I want to know what it is. You captured Anna so well, L.G. - it was a pleasure getting to know her, however briefly.
    Some Dark Romantic

  11. Evocative; expressive. Quite a story wrapped up in this short excerpt.