By Rebecca L. Brown
They crawled before his eyes, those centipedes of syllables. He’d gathered them up one sentence at a time and tried to tame them. Tried to teach them how to dance. To punctuate the bareness of a blank page with elaborate linguistic ballet.
Too many parts. Too many nuances of meaning. In each syllable, a palimpsest. All the dirty little sounds - they shared them. Swapped them. Meaning and unmeaning like an ugly Summer morning. Like a mind so full of meanings that they blur. They shifted. Slipped out from the edges of the pages when he wasn't looking. Slipped into his dreams - a linguist’s dreams - and burned their meanings in the darkened corners of his mind ‘til morning.
A word can cut you if you let it. Let them cut or cut them first. Engrave them with new meaning or allow them to define - and you the definition of a fool.
No. He would not be made a fool of.
He’d pinned them to their pages, then, all broken-backed - loose-lettered and unlovely. His pen a scalpel blade, he cut away the silent letters first. Double letters next. A lexicographic massacre - cut deep enough and all that’s left is meaning and the truth inside.
Confetti pages fell like fresh, unwritten snow.
He laughed - is laughter just a sound and not a word? Just sound without a meaning? He laughed until his cheek bones ached and words were nothing but the shadow of forgotten meanings.
Rebecca L. Brown is a British writer based in Cardiff, South Wales where she lives with her partner and assorted menagerie. She wanders through various genres (including horror, sci-fi, romance, humour and fantasy), forgets where she was supposed to be going and gets horribly lost on a regular basis.
For further information, or to contact Rebecca with writing briefs, interview requests etc., you can get in touch with Rebecca email@example.com or by visiting her Facebook page.