Sunday, 16 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'The day the words left' by Kim McGreal

The day I was born, the city was soaked with rain, thunderous storms that turned the sky black; the doctors told mama that I had a rare genetic disease – I wouldn’t live very long, and by the time I died, I would lose all of my words.

Mama ignored their fear-mongering and their warnings, instilling in me a child’s love for exciting new letters, then whole words, then the books that she adored; giving me enough words that it would take two lifetimes to lose them.

The first word I lost was her name, but I still knew who she was, and I realised that names were less important than the feelings those people inspire. The next words to go were the adjectives, which made me think about what I tried to say, but you don't need those to keep speaking to people.

Day by day more of them are starting to leave me, and I struggle to speak out loud. I no longer remember the one for a specific combination of letters. Soon I’ll have none of them left.

And they’ll all be gone.

How will I talk?

How to understand?




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