Words For Things

In Fiction on February 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm


Words For Things

In my earliest memories I am alone. I grew up without language, without names for the rocks and trees. Without a name for myself. I have never seen another human face.

Strange, then, this thing I have made…

I found the boat, and the tools and the books—that is how I learned the words—but I cannot say how it passed the seas, for there was no one to guide it.

But now I have made these faces in the stone—these faces of people I have never known—and in them I see life. Kindness. Home.

Things that once were only words.

The Friday Fictioneers prompt had me scratching my head this week, but finally I came up with something (though I did still go over the limit a few words). The photo comes to us courtesy of Claire Fuller, so be sure to check out her stuff.

Let me know what you think and post links to your own stories below. If you’re hankering for more flash fiction, just click the little blue guy up above and he’ll show you the way.

Happy weekend!

Related: The Waiting Water // Al In Wonderland // A Fitful Sleep

  1. This is really good!

  2. I like this, Brian. So, the art came about through some kind of emotional response, something he already had within.

  3. Awesome — and creative!

  4. Really enjoyed this – thought provoking and very well written. Excellent.

  5. Dear Brian,

    I loved the mood and tone you set with your words. This was a fascinating and compelling story. Mysterious and moving, too.



  6. Dear Brian,
    For someone who grew up without words, he’s well spoken. Truly a well written story. I enjoyed it.

  7. A singular take beautifully told.


  8. I find such depth in these 100 word jewels. Yours is one of those with so much depth I am at a loss for words to describe. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  9. Almost a poem. A very lovely idea – to be without words or people, but to carve them and write about them.

  10. I really like this. It speaks of longing, partially ulfilled.

  11. and wonderful story of evolving. thank you.

  12. Somehow I got Caspar Hauser on my mind. Very well told.

  13. Fascinating, Brian. You play on big themes here, with questions of how he learns so much and where these faces come to him from. I wonder if you know the answers. It’s OK, you don’t have to tell!
    I wonder if it should be “even in my earliest memories” as the implication of the rest of the story is that he’s still alone now? If you need to buy a word, I’d suggest “these faces in stone” removing “the”, although there’s nothing wrong with that as it stands.

  14. I liked this. Such a sweet piece.

  15. Amazing story…a bit of magical realism going on here, I think. I wonder if the faces are supposed to be the speaker’s parents, or do they seize his attention just because they are the only people he’s ever seen? (Yes, yes, how could he carve human faces and recognize them as faces if he’s never seen any, but this is magic, right?)

  16. […] (but not creepy): Words For Things // Al In Wonderland // Idle […]

  17. […] for something a little more solid? Try these: The Feeling of Falling Down // Words for Things // Al in […]

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