Monday, April 16, 2018

A to Z: N - Neon & Nausea

My A to Z Challenge: Flash fiction written using two words and a photo for inspiration. How did I chose the words? First I brought up a noun list for each letter, then averted my eyes, scrolled the mouse down, stopped and double-clicked. That was the word! The second word was chosen the same way but from a dictionary list of words.
NOTE: Photos are from free to use photo sites such as and No attribution necessary.

Photo by chester wade on Unsplash

He tripped on some nameless item on the sidewalk and almost lost his glasses. Disoriented, he looked around, trying to interpret the bright signs on the buildings lining the street. How did he get here? He hadn't a clue. In fact, he had no idea where here was! 

He backed into the alcove in front of a closed store and tried to assess the area but the constant blinking of the neon lights was adding nausea to the rising panic attack. He tried to use the mantra that usually calmed him...
I am peace.
I am calm.
It’s only a moment.
He repeated it several times until he was no longer breathless and dizzy. The nausea passed with the other sensations. He turned his back to the street, took off his glasses and cleaned them with his t-shirt. He looked at his reflection in the glass of the shop's door. 

Wait! What? Was this a trick door? Why wasn't he seeing his own reflection? He ran his fingers through his hair and the image on the door did the same. Every motion he made, the person in the door did the same.

He felt the panic rising again and he turned back to the street, more confused than ever. He continued reciting his mantra until his heart rate slowed to near normal. Then he slowly counted to ten in three languages. He inhaled, then exhaled before turning back to the door.

It was his reflection. He waved and the reflection waved back. He jumped and the reflection jumped. He squatted and it squatted. He laughed, realizing the previous reflection had just been a figment of his imagination, probably brought on by his panic attack.

He stepped back onto the sidewalk and this time, he waited before walking, letting his brain acclimate to the fluorescent tubes of visual hysteria. He closed his eyes, letting the colors seep through his lids.

A whooshing sound startled him and he opened his eyes. Everything was He closed his eyes and opened them again. Nothing. He reached out and touched the window at the front of the store. "It's just my imagination. Repeat my mantra," he mumbled, continuing on through his mantra.

This time he counted to one hundred in three languages, afraid to open his eyes which were now squeezed shut so tightly no light could permeate the lids. Once again, he inhaled and exhaled...and stopped.

"Norman, c'mon. It's time to get up. You're going to be late for work," his mother chided.

Then he remembered. He was blind. Had been blind since birth. But now he wondered about the things he saw in his dream. Maybe someday...

Stay Calm and Read Flash Fiction!



  1. I was expecting memory loss, not a dream. Well done!

    Emily In Ecuador | Nets, Fishing Nets made in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

  2. Great last line reveal, well done. A powerful story of how our minds can lead us into different worlds without leaving bed!

    1. Thanks, Iain. Had a bit of a struggle and then the ending just came to me. ;)

  3. Appreciate it, thanks for continuing to stop by!

  4. Nice, the end was a surprise. The mind is SO powerful.

  5. Wow, so interesting. I wonder what images a blind person sees in his dreams.

    1. In all honesty, I don't think they see dreams like we do, especially if blind from birth. But I took a little literary license with this one. LOL!

  6. Unexpected ending and the photograph adds a bit of mystery. Nice storytelling.

    Seema, participant in #AtoZchallenge, Artist, Writer, Wanderer, and Dreamer.
    Lonely Canopy

    1. Thank you, Seema. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Off to check out your blog.


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