1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England

    Winner Sonnet Short Story Contest 80: Suddenly Blind

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Dec 6, 2010.

    Sonnet - A Crumbling Clarity

    He felt his scalp prickle under the glow of the museum light. Excitement drew its way into his body. Spilling through his spectacles was yet another painting.
    Mortimer existed for the joy their colours brought. He often came, revisiting each exposition at least twice. To Mortimer all else paled in comparison to the unique sensation the presence of a well filled canvas proccured his soul. If genious could appear on a painted page, he reasoned, than surely it could also appear in the mind. This thought, and this alone, often succeeded in restoring his matured faith in humanity.

    Comforting as that thought was, it did not aid him much in his tolerence for loud noises in his environnement when he gazed upon the artwork he so loved. People had a habbit of crowding around him that he didn't like. The mere sound of their voices produced strong simmering steam in the impacient middle of his being.
    The comments some of them made! How stupid they could sound! He dismissed them all!
    They clouded the clarity of his private moments spent in the galleries, the museums. In his mind their words, which did not matter, became boring sounds, sticking together like an awkward puzzle he held no interest in diceferring. How they clouded up his thoughts, and did nothing more!

    After patiently waiting for a disturbing group of people to move along a set of paces he planted his legs before a blue painting, sighing with relief in the momentary quietude. It was one of the small paintings few took trouble to look at due to its unimpressiveness in size.
    As he marveled at the puddle-like piece, for it did remind him of a puddle, he squinted, then took a step back. Something was wrong. He took one more step back, shook his head, blinked. Stepped forward and stuck his face right onto the painting. Useless. Worriedly he removed his eyeglasses from the bridge of his nose only to discover his fear amplifying. The blur remained.
    So disturbed was he by the, inevitable though it was, sudden deterioration of his own eyesight that, bumping into a few guards and even an old lady, arms outstretched before him like warnings, he ran back home, racing the sun as it began to set. "I am old!" he stammered to himself, unlocking the door. His keys gave him a hard time--if only they weren't so blurry! Pushing himself through, running for a mirror, for further proof of his deterioration.
    He grimaced at the blur that greeted him in blotches, starring back as helpless as he on the other side of the varnished glass... "Heavens, this is a condition I will have to sleep off." he frowned despairingly. "It probably was the pink pills....After all, in the last months that have passed I have taken more of them and their labels have grown harder to read. I'm done with this s h i t e! If I want to ever see myself grow old! See...the wrinkles shape themselves upon my fingers and face."
    Resolved, he went to bed, his night bonnet tucked over his ears, afraid his hair might also start falling. Decomposing was a strange business.

    The next day he slept on until noon and took a break from the galleries, ignoring the careful clippings of current local exhibits on his bulletin board by the dresser. In his newfound sadness which crept its way onto his shoulders all too quickly and seemed to carry an eternal weight with it, he realized the unaceptable: he was going blind.
    There would no longuer be days longuer than nights.
    The next days he spent crying, and in his state of shock he found himself surprised at the tear's ability to come out of eyes which felt as if they no longuer held life in them. He found, however...that despite not seeing he knew when night and day came. He felt the hours in his body. He heard a clock ticking its desperate desire to remain alive. And as another night eased into shape he held his face in his hand, muffling a loud murmur that could be heard through the flesh: "The paintings...Oh, the paintings."

    And as the warmth of day came and went through his hands, his body, he felt a strong longing to revisit the museum. He knew a new set of pieces he'd looked forward to seeing for months before he'd lost his vision was being presented. With a "nothing to lose" attitude he had last felt as a boy, he curved his frail fingers around his umbrella handle, stepping awkwardly into the outside world. Memories made way into the darkness that had become his mind. Memories of the inside of his house, his front porch, the street and its trees. They made him wish he had paid more attention. All he had left, what he managed to remember, seemed to him only half of what had been.

    His walk to the museum was slow, unsure. Each step as hesitant and wearisome as the last. But he used his umbrella cane wisely and his patience brought him to his destination unharmed. An exploit in itself.
    With a flutter in his stomach he climbed the last step made in stone like a child, almost waltsed into the precious rooms. Though he could not see them he felt them at once, felt the strong feeling in his breast that he was back. A weight lifted from him. He felt more at home in a gallery as a blind man amongst paintings he couldn't see than he did anyplace else. With pride he walked up to the first painting, unable to see it, but feeling it near him.
    Breathing the same air as it.
    Was that not enough? For hours he stood there, next to the mysterious image. Forming brushstrokes in his mind, imagining what it was like. A few people came and went in silence. Finally, a stranger stood next to him and spoke of the work of art hung on the wall. Brightening up the image in his mind a great lengh. And oh, how he listened! How he listened carefully! Appreciating each syllable. For the first time, he heard. He finally saw their words.
  2. yellowm&M

    yellowm&M Contributor Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    between the pages of a good book
    You made for some very tough competition, this is a great story! Congrats! :)

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