Bonus: October 10 – October 24, 2019 Writing Prompt “I see and hear you”

Prompt: “I see and hear you.”

A beautiful blind woman, shy and scared to leave the house, falls for the guy who delivers her groceries. He’s deaf and can read her lips, but hates his speaking voice and is nervous to talk in front of her.

Story Requirements:

An embarrassing comment revolving around fruit.

Word Count: 1,200



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12 thoughts on “Bonus: October 10 – October 24, 2019 Writing Prompt “I see and hear you”

  • October 10, 2019 at 9:00 am
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    Read the stories here:

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  • October 14, 2019 at 12:43 pm
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    Signing up

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  • October 14, 2019 at 2:58 pm
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    “The Apple of his Eyes”

    Kurt grabbed Kiki’s hand and tugged her towards the stairs. He just knew she’d enjoy the machine he had found in his grandparents’ attic. It seemed made with fifteen-year old nerds in mind – the box held a smallish LED screen with speakers on either side and its face contained a multitude of buttons with letters on them. The buttons looked like a computer keyboard, but with raised dots as well as letters on each key.

    Once they got to the attic Kurt pushed the power button that he had found during his initial inspection of the machine. Gratifyingly, the screen’s LED lights flashed twice, just as they had the last time he’d tried, and then, unlike last time the screen showed “Replay? Y/N.” Kurt, on a whim, opted for adventure and flicked the Y on the keyboard. Suddenly the LED screen showed a date several decades past while the machine sputtered, clicked and whirred until out came a print-out with a voice-over:

    “Do you want to go out with me?” a metallic voice uttered from the machine’s speakers.

    “I can’t, I mean, I don’t know. You seem nice but going outside is just too much. I mean, I’d let you in, but I don’t really know you…” a metallic voice replied.

    “I like you…your apples…I mean I brought your apples again and I’d like to get to know you better.”

    “Maybe, what’s your name?”

    “Brian. What’s yours?”

    “Maria”

    Kurt realized that the machine was an old-fashioned, high-end braille-talker spitting out a recording of his grandparents’ first encounter. Everybody wondered how blind Grandma Maria interacted with deaf Grandpa Brian until the two whipped out their state-of-the-art handheld adaptive technology. Kurt had seen their newer machine but wondered if his grandparents remembered this old one or knew that it had stored their conversations dating back to their first encounter. He figured he would tell them eventually, but for now this was another puzzle for him and Kiki to enjoy. And Kiki seemed to be enjoying hearing about the slowly unfolding romance. Kurt chuckled to himself, “I like your apples.” How embarrassed must his grandfather have been to have those be his opening lines to his future bride! Apples, indeed.

    “What do you think, Kik-ster? Isn’t this the coolest? The print-out matches the voice-overs!”

    “It’s incredible that this thing still works! To think you could have a record of your first meeting. I can’t even imagine what ours would look like. But this is super sweet. Your grandparents are simply adorable,” replied Kiki as she looked off in the distance and twirled her hair on her finger. Kurt noticed Kiki’s wistfulness as he’d become sensitive to her moods. He’d known her since she moved in next door when they were in third grade. This seemed to be a new side of Kiki, but he mentally brushed her pensiveness aside so he could focus on the machine.

    “I wish…I mean…I’d like…I mean… I like your apples” said Kiki, mimicking Grandpa Brian’s statement and pushing her face towards Kurt. Then she smiled a strange sort of half smile, winked at Kurt, and stuck her chest out so, if he were looking, he would have seen the outline of her training bra under her thin t-shirt.

    Kurt was so focused on fiddling with the machine, pushing buttons all willy nilly, that he didn’t even notice Kiki’s half-hearted advance. “Very funny, Kik,” he said without looking at her, while finally, the machine’s LED screen showed a date several months after the first snippet and the voices recurred…

    “Brian…I gotta use the machine, you need to know that I want you to kiss me…”

    “Maria, I feel the same way. Do you want to…I…”

    Kurt was embarrassed that he was listening in, and, judging by Kiki’s face she felt the same way. He returned his attention to the machine, not sure what to hope for, and thinking all the while that Grandpa had done pretty well for himself after his initial “apple” goof.

    But the machine just spit out more paper. The LED screen was blank, and the voice-over was silent. For several minutes the quiet continued and the paper unspooled into a longer tail. Kurt began to think the machine was broken. He almost started pushing buttons again while even more paper spit out. Then…

    “Brian, I…I really like you. Maybe its time you came inside the house…”

    “Oh Maria…”

    Kiki and Kurt looked at each other, oddly unable to stop the re-play as it went silent again and the paper again began to puddle into a confused mess at the bottom of the table where the machine was sitting.

    The silence continued with only quiet hushing from the paper rubbing against itself. Kurt felt his stomach rise into his throat and he felt his breathing get stronger. Kiki continued looking at Kurt, still with the odd gleam back in her eye. “Do you think Maria was scared to, you know, to start?”

    Kurt smiled weakly, “Yeah,” he choked out.

    “I think Maria wanted him to kiss her so bad, but she didn’t know how to get him to do it,” Kiki said, as she started to move closer. “What do you think, Kurt?”

    “I think…I think…I think I like your apples,” Kurt mumbled as he quickly moved to hug her tightly, and hurriedly snuck in for their very first kiss. And as he enjoyed the sweet sensations rushing through his veins, he thought, “good enough for grandpa, good enough for me.”

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    • October 15, 2019 at 1:56 pm
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      Great start. Nice take on the prompt, and your dialogue was very, very good, I think. Believable. For example, when he calls her ‘Kik’ while distracted. That was totally believable and added to the realism of the dialogue. Please don’t tell me it was a typo and you left off the ‘i’. Even if it’s true.

      Good story, Trish, with a completely different take, even though both of our characters end up with a kiss in the last few paragraphs. Ahh, true love.

      We must have been on the wave length when dreaming up character names. Kurt is the name of one of my characters, also. My story follows, just below.

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      • October 16, 2019 at 10:32 am
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        Well they say great minds think alike… and yes, I was trying hard with references to the girl as Kik and Kik-ster to imagine how teens might talk. I even said it aloud and imagined myself in their shoes as suggested. Thanks for the continued feedback.

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        • October 16, 2019 at 2:34 pm
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          You’re welcome Trish. There is a little something I meant to point out to you, it’s not a terrible thing, but try your best to avoid repetition. Such as, “I think …I think … I think “starting a sentence in dialogue. When you read it back to yourself, you know to pause, and so on, but readers don’t. Break it up with “I think ,,, umm … that … uhh .. I think that I and so on.” You did it similarly in an earlier spot, but, as I said, it’s not terrible, just avoid it.

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          • October 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm
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            Thanks!

  • October 14, 2019 at 2:59 pm
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    Signing up for comments.

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  • October 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm
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    It’s All In How You Say It
    By Roy York
    Word Count: 1,183

    Kurt Maddox parked in front of the single story California ranch. He got out and walked to the back of the truck, picking up a large bag of groceries along with a basket of produce.

    As he approached the door he noticed the curtains were closed on the large picture window. He was about to ring the doorbell again when the door opened. The house was dark, and there was a pretty young woman standing there. “Yes,” she asked, “who is it?”

    ‘Odd,’ he thought. ‘Why would she ask who it is when she can see me standing here with groceries in my hand.’ “Umm … it’s me, Kurt, from Mike’s Groceries with your delivery.”

    “Oh, I’ve been expecting you. They said you would be here over half an hour ago. You sound like you have a cold. And, a rather bad one, at that.”

    Kurt felt the tingle of embarrassment flood through his body. Born profoundly deaf, Kurt was very good at reading lips. He was totally aware of the nasal sound of his voice. Ill mannered people reminded him everyday, so he talked only when necessary. Usually, he didn’t say much and he liked his work because he was the only one in the truck. He liked being alone simply because he didn’t have to talk.

    Despite his discomfort, he said, “I don’t have a cold. I’m deaf. It makes my voice sound that way.”

    The woman’s hand flew to her lips as if to shush the already escaped words. “I’m so sorry. I had no way of knowing.” She was looking over his shoulder, and he turned to see what she was looking at. There was no one behind him. He shrugged. She seemed slightly distracted.

    “It’s OK. I’m used to it. Where would you like me to take the groceries?”

    “Follow me,” she said. He shrugged again and stepped into the dark house following her as she made her way to the kitchen. When they got there, she reached out to the table and patted it on top. “Set them down here.”

    He noticed she was looking at the cabinets as she spoke. “Do you want me to help put them away?”

    “Oh no, I’ll take care of that. I have to be careful where I put them.”

    Looking for something to say, he said, “You’ve got some nice looking melons, there.” As soon as he spoke, he realized what he had said could be misunderstood. He flushed, and stammered out, “I … I didn’t … umm … I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. Well, … they are nice looking, but I was talking about the cantaloupe, not your … oh, God … I don’t know what I mean.”

    She laughed. That made him turn even more red. He couldn’t hear it but, she was laughing at him just the same. “It’s OK. I know what you are trying to say. And, thank you.” She smiled and looked past his shoulder.

    Again, he turned to see what she was looking at. “At least you could look at me when you say something. I feel like you are talking to someone else, “ he said.

    “Oh, dear. I’ve taken things for granted. I thought you realized that I can’t see you. I’m blind. I thought the store would tell you.”

    He realized then why the house was dark and her detached look. Once again, he felt unease stealing over him. Usually, it was people who made him feel conscious of his affliction, and now, he was the guilty party. He knew exactly how she felt. “All I’ve done since I’ve arrived is say dumb stuff. The deaf, the blind and the dumb. We’ve got all the bases covered.”

    She smiled and said, “You had no way of knowing I’m blind. Just like you try not to make an issue of your difference, I try not to make a point of mine. We all have our differences. Only yours and mine are almost always a bit more noticeable. ”

    He liked what she said – his difference – not his problem or handicap. “How long have you been blind? Talk slowly, so I can hear you better.” He smiled a smile she couldn’t see.

    “Since birth. I was lucky to be raised in a home with one blind parent. From the time I can remember, my mother worked with me every day. She taught me how to feel and how to listen. How to be careful, but most importantly, not to let my blindness be a crutch to prevent me from doing what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, I don’t always follow her advice. I don’t get out much. Would you like a cup of coffee? If I tell you where to put stuff, you can help while my Kuerig does it’s magic.”

    Kurt readily agreed. He wanted to know more about this young woman, and for the first time in a long time, was feeling good about being with someone else.

    “I’m Audrey.” She held out her hand, and he took it.

    “Kurt,” he said.

    “You might want to turn on the light. The switch is by the back door,” she said.

    She deftly made two cups of coffee, all the while telling him exactly where he could put some of the items. She then made short work of the rest of the groceries he hadn’t put away.

    They sat down in front of the two cups of coffee and she told him more about herself. He was also able to talk freely about himself and he could feel the dislike for his voice fading. She didn’t mind it at all, it seemed.

    “You have made me feel comfortable in a way I hadn’t thought possible. I think I’d like to see you again,” she said.

    “I feel the same, and I’d like to hear more about you.” Realizing what they had both just said, they broke out laughing. “Mike’s going to wonder where I am. I’d better get going. Don’t worry. I’ll be back.”

    “I’ll make sure of that. All I have to do is order groceries.”

    ***

    Kurt rang the bell in three short bursts. It was his signal to Audrey who it was. A moment later the door opened and she said, “Kurt?”

    “Who were you expecting? Brad Pitt?”

    “No, but I was hoping it was the melon inspector.”

    Her laugh was musical, and he couldn’t hear it, but he could see she was laughing. ‘I wonder what she sounds like,’ he thought. “Mike says if I spend any more time here, you’re going to have to start helping pay for part of my salary.”

    “You tell Mike if he wants to be our best man, he’d better knock off that kind of talk.”

    “I’ll be sure to tell him.” He leaned forward, gently drew her close, and kissed her; then closed the door behind him. As they walked to the kitchen he asked, “what did you make for dinner?”

    “Reservations,” she said, “but, that can wait until later, can’t it? In the meantime, I’ve got an idea.”

    “If it involves melons, I’m all for it.”

    Reply
    • October 15, 2019 at 2:47 pm
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      Very sweet! I really enjoyed reading about these gosh-darned kids. Your dialogues are great examples for me. The only tiny part that didn’t sing as truly was where Audrey talks about their differences. She sounded, to me, a bit more preachy and overwrought than she needed to be. But that’s just one small thing, and only one gal’s opinion. Great story. Cheers! – Trish

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