Clouds of sound

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January 30, 2014 by talkaboutyork

I decided, rather last minute, to take part in a Writing Prompts competition. You can write whatever you like using the picture below as a prompt. I haven’t been writing enough lately, particularly as I am going to a writing course this weekend and feel the need to practice. So it’s a bit rushed but it’s what I thought of when I saw the picture. I’m not sure if that makes me odd or not….

As I walk along the snickelway, a blind girl comes towards me, her dog faithfully guiding her feet. I glance at her as she passes. She can’t see me looking yet I still feel that I shouldn’t. I imagine for a moment what walking down this path – hemmed in as it is by buildings on all sides – must look like in her head.  

She won’t see the red brick walls or the tufts of weeds growing between them or the empty crisp packet scudding along in the swirling breeze or the cracks in the concrete or the broken street light up ahead.  All she’ll see is sounds.

I’m suddenly more aware of the echo of my footsteps reverberating off the walls in this enclosed space. The clip clop of the heels of a woman walking briskly up behind me rings out. I notice the strong Yorkshire accent of the workman at the end of the lane as he shouts into his mobile phone. She won’t see his paint flecked clothes, but she’ll hear the impatience in his voice, every curse he utters flashing as four black letters somewhere behind her eyes.

Is that what it’s like I wonder? Instead of seeing images in colour, is each word and sound just a series of letters and shapes floating in her ears, dancing around in her brain, before settling into a picture?

As I reach the end of the snickelway, I am spat out into a wall of sound. The pathway has been a cocoon, the relative stillness of it mushrooming out to mingle with the cacophony that is rushing by. How noisy it is. Would the girl see the sounds and words as a swarm of midges buzzing around her head? Does she welcome them or want to swat them away?

I look back down the snickelway.

She has gone, lost in her clouds of sound.


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