Your voice is a powerful weapon that can make you great in life if used in the right way. This great book will transport readers on a journey which each offers their own roller coaster ride. Each one provides an up close and personal look at the character’s life-changing situation and obstacles they face living with a communication disorder.
Excerpts for The Voiceless Voice
First, there was nothing but darkness. Well, darkness was different for them. Imagine being able to see, but never seeing yourself. Never seeing where you stand or where you walk. Never seeing that you came or where you are going. And everything is completely silent. Yet, silence can only last for so long.
Accent awoke in an instant. She looked around. This body was unfamiliar. Where am I? She heard herself. She sounded funny. Deep and long. Inflection stood nearby.
“Where are the others,” Accent asked him. Inflection nodded behind her. With a quick turn, Accent saw them. Pragmatics shook his head as he paced back and forth talking to himself. He looked worried.
“We in body,” Morphology said trying to encourage the others.
“You mean we are in the body,” Syntax corrected.
“Technically, we aren’t in the body,” Pragmatics growled. “We are in the mind. We are in the thought processes, but none of that matters!”
“What is wrong,” Accent asked. They all turned to her. She looked around and noticed what the problem was. Phonetics was missing. There was no sight of her friend, and that was a problem.
“We problem,” Morphology said. Accent frowned in confusion. She looked to Syntax and Semantics.
“He means ‘we have a problem.’ Syntax sighed.
“Literally, we can’t have this child’s language function without phonetics,” Semantics said.
“Then we must find her,” Accent said. “Gather hands, everyone. Try to hold on tight.”
Mary followed the woman through the house to a back stairwell that led down to a huge, dimly lit room. The basement was filled with all of the important leaders of the city and many common folks that she recognized. Philip’s old eyes were the first to spot the newcomer, and he ushered her forward. He was the medium. Ever since their people had found a voice, he had been the one to speak to the people from the gods and speak for the people to the gods. Over the years, Philip had warned them that the gods were not happy with the decisions and lifestyles they had created. The people had stopped listening to the gods and started doing their own thing. Yet, no one listened to Philip. That was until the white storm. Weeks ago, several of the children of prominent leaders suddenly died. There was no warning or sign. They just died. The next day, Philip was seen prophesying in the streets that the gods were fed up with their behavior. They were going to destroy their language and history and smite them. Since then, it became all about self-preservation.
Staring off into space, across the room, her eyes spotted her smart phone blinking on the dresser. It was charging again. She used her phone so heavily at school that it always needed charging. Sadly, she didn’t use the phone to talk to people. She sighed. Her course lectures were recorded on there. Though she tried to be inconspicuous, she suspected that she wasn’t fooling anyone. That phone was her only hope. Her only hope to make it through college.
She thought back to how she felt in high school. After all, all the staff knew that she struggled with those stupid letters. Reading just didn’t work. Early on in middle school, a teacher had realized what was happening in Margie’s head. Mrs. Edigner had tape recorded herself reading the assignments she gave, and she handed Margie the tapes. That had been a turning point in the girl’s life. She suddenly could complete assignments just like her classmates. At first, it had been a secret between the teacher and the child. All reading material was recorded and quietly handed to Margie. And Margie’s grades soared in Mrs. Edigner’s class. Soon, the teacher must have spoken to Margie’s other teachers, as tapes were placed on the girl’s desk in class after class. And Margie felt like she could actually learn.
Long ago, once upon a time, the community had not been so dependent upon their technology. The development of tablets, smartphones, laptops and other devices had been heralded as advancement in communication and productivity and soon, everyone had at least one item at hand at all times. It started with scheduling and keeping track of business appointments, but this rapidly expanded into written messages, referred to as emails. Soon, businesses and then even families were using emails to communicate with others. Some of the advantages were that these communications could be sent at any time of day, regardless of the other person’s schedule. After all, they would be able to retrieve it when they were available. Soon, rather than using a phone and calling a loved one, they were sending messages. Phones actually became obsolete over two decades of technological advancement. Then social media became a mainstay of everyday life. After all, one could keep in touch with an entire world of social and business networks with simply a touch of a screen.
She stared at the numbers again. The data was just depressing, no matter how she worked it. She had juggled and juggled it, documented one piece after another, changed her viewpoint, altered her theories – anything to keep those numbers looking better – but they just couldn’t ignore this. The study was dead. It was over. Even she, with her complete ability to rephrase, rework, put a spin on things, just couldn’t make any of the data fit with what she wanted to say. Sadly, the reality was going to show that all those numbers she had juggled before were nothing more than numbers; nothing more than playing a shell game. This was going to be bad, on a very big scale.
In and Out of Existence
Lea could not understand where she was. Everything seemed strange and eerie. All that surrounded her was a concrete floor and white walls, and one person standing against the far wall. They had not talked or moved, and Lea was almost too afraid to say anything. There was no way out though, and Lea was more worried about that.
“Who are you? What am I doing here?”
“I am here to give you a gift,” the man said. She frowned. It didn’t look like his mouth was moving.
“What gift?” She asked. This man did not look like someone who she wanted a gift from.
“The gift of the power of words.” His mouth did not move. “You are asleep right now. When you wake up, you will have the power for twenty-four hours to speak anything into existence.”
“Really?” Suspicion caused her to take a step back. “Anything?”
“Anything. But be careful. When the twenty-four hours is up, anything you changed will be permanent.”
It Wasn’t Hers to Take
Caroline never worried about the fact that she couldn’t hear. It wasn’t like she could change it. She was born that way. She always figured it was something that she inherited from her mother. When she was little, it almost felt like a game. She and mother had their very own language which they could use to talk to each other.
Later, it was her and the other students at the School for the Deaf and Hearing. Some of those kids once had hearing; they could learn to speak. Caroline was never sure if she was forming the words correctly, even as the instructors showed her how to hold her mouth and shape her tongue. She figured signing would work to communicate with hearing people, and if they didn’t know it, she could write messages. She went through her life in words that couldn’t be heard, only seen through gestures of hands or strokes of pens.
“I’m so happy to meet you! Ben has told me so much about you, that I feel like I have known you for years!” the blonde on the doorstep bubbled with enthusiasm, reaching out to shake Doreen’s hand.
Doreen just allowed her entire arm to be grasped by the excited young woman. She raked her mind, desperately trying to make a connection, to find out who this stranger was, to pull together this encounter with something familiar. The girl continued to chatter on as she entered the house and peered around to take in the surroundings. The few words and phrases that filtered through Doreen’s shock were: “Ben”, “talking”, “hoping to meet you”, “can’t wait to see him”, and “how excited”. It just went on and on.
I’ve lived in the same town my entire life. Most people that grow up here raise families here, and they die here. There are lots of towns like this, but there is something different about our town. Call it a curse or call it a strange occurrence, but there isn’t any laughter in our town. It’s not that we walked around sad all the time, but we just never experienced smiling or laughter or—joy. Life was bland in Oleria. Everything was the same thing day in and day out. So, when something different occurred, or something strange happened in town, it was apparent.
We called him Smiley. He walked into town on a Wednesday afternoon and went to one of the local diners for lunch. He was immediately noticed when he walked up to Judy, the cashier, and smiled.
Margie watched her daughter practice her routine, while trying to suppress her concerns about the upcoming competition. Andrea was the entire package – beauty and grace, looks and personality. However, this particular pageant was a step up from their previous competitions, and this brought a new challenge – a challenge that may be impossible to conquer, unless she could find a way to help Andrea. If they could only skip the interview portion.
The house remained silent, except for the music and the sound of Margie’s voice. It had been this way since she sent the boys to camp. Without the activity of the twins – their voices ringing throughout the house – it seemed eerily empty and bereft. Andrea continued to be silent and voiceless, as she had been for the last year and a half. When the three-year-old had been about a year old, she babbled and talked as she played.
Only What They Want
Alaina stood in the middle of the hut with her eyes glued to the gun that was pointed at her. How did she get in this situation? Oh, that’s right. She was trying to save the life of a little girl whom she loved very much. In America, Aliana had lived a very self-consumed life. She was a saleswoman for a company that sold insurance. She was known for her silver-tongue and quit wit. There were some that she worked with that told her she could sell venom to a snake and convince it not to bite her. She was good at what she did, but she realized that none of it made her happy. She was sad, alone, and depressed. Alaina knew that something was missing in her life.
Tom released Angie and approached where the doctors and nurses were huddled. There were murmurings and much activity. Dr. Arnold felt Tom grasp his arm, and he turned. Tom could see his child, clearly a girl, but he heard no cries. The infant’s head turned as she protested the light and cold of her entrance into the world. And Tom saw it. Or rather did not see it.
Slavery by Dialect
The punisher continued flogging the woman, now more determined than he had been since the past twenty minutes that he had been flogging her. From the corner where I stood, I could see tears rolling down from the eyes of the punisher. If he had a choice, I am sure he would have untied the lady, Ashanti, from that tree, and tied the commander there in her place. He would have derived much pleasure in flogging him with a thicker horsewhip-not on his back, but on that shinning bald head of his- till the flesh on his head peels open and give way for the whole village to see his skull. The punisher was in deep agony, even as he flogged his victim, not because his hands ache from flogging her for so long, but because he was being forced to punish his own kinsman for committing a crime which would have been forgiven if she wasn’t from Iporin, the clan of slaves.
Alexa walked into the school as fast as she could. As she ran into the building and to her locker, she saw that there was a small crowd by the stairwell. Didn’t they all know that they were going to be late for class? Alexa grabbed her books from her locker and then slammed the door shut. Her focus was on getting to class before the bell rang, but something was drawing her to the crowd of kids by the stairwell. Oh, I gotta see what’s going on? Alexa walked quickly down the hallway. As her hair bounced off her shoulders, she got to the back of the group and tried to see over the shoulders of the kids in front of her.
The Audacity of Ignorance
In one part of the African jungle were ten tribes that all tried to get along. But, as it usually happens, the tribes could not come to agreements and terms that everyone would agree with. Feelings were hurt, and pride became an issue. The tribes began to fight, but the Abolgiwe tribe was one of the strongest tribes of the jungle. They not only showed their dominance by defeating the other tribes in battles and wit, but they placed demands that the other tribes view them as the dominant tribe. Everyone feared them to the point that no one wanted to defy anything that they requested. The Abolgiwe became arrogant. If they were the dominant tribe, then they might be able to challenge the gods. This theory started to travel around the tribe, and the gods began to hear the rumble of the rumors in the heavens. They conferred with one another and decided against destroying the tribe.
Anna walked into the house and removed the hood from her head. She looked silently from mother to father to child and communicated only with a nod. Kneeling down in front of the girl, Anna placed her hands on the child’s cheeks and felt the child shiver at the cold touch of her skin.
“Open your mouth,” Anna said softly. The little girl’s jaw popped slightly when she obeyed, and Anna blew her breath lightly down the child’s throat.
“Ahh!” came the cry from the girl, loud and shrill. Anna smiled as tears came from the parent’s eyes. Rushing forward, they embraced their daughter. Anna stood and quickly stepped towards the front entrance.
“Wait!” the father called. She turned slightly. His voice trembled. “Thank you. Our daughter has a voice! Thank you!”
Anna nodded and quickly escaped the house. She tosses her hood over her jet-black hair, so only her eyes were visible in the mid-morning light.
The Perfect Speech
“I’ll take a chance,” Confidence said with a smile. “Most of the time when someone is afraid, all they need is a confidence boost. I’ll be right back, and we will be good to go.”
Confidence was gone for a long time. “Maybe he’s figured it out,” Rate said in drawn-out words. Non-Verbals shrugged. But as soon as they thought everything might be okay, Confidence came back with a confused look on his face.
“I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I wasn’t the issue.”
Clarity watched as, one by one, the others went to the thought room. All of them came out, and Abe was still not wanting to go and give his speech. Finally, it was Clarity’s turn. She entered the thought room and sat down.
For several days, Akelen smiled for she knew that Larzar was telling everyone he knew that they were going to have a child. She was happy that he was happy. Her entire being was filled with joy. But as with all good news, there is a threat of something terrible happening. Akelen would have never thought that it would come at such a high price. She was asleep next to Larzar when she heard something calling her name. She woke up with a start. The voice hummed in her ear. She got up from their bed and began to follow it outside of their home. When she stepped outside, a towering figure with light shining around it greeted her. Akelen shielded her eyes. She could not see the being, but she felt the warmth of its light.
“Who are you?”
Panic gripped Vanessa’s heart as she stared at the strange face of the baby being handed to her. The baby’s eyes held the same confusion but still reached out to grasp her—to grasp anything. Vanessa shook her head to the young worker whose smile seemed to fade at the very second the mother’s concerned look etched itself on her face. Vanessa’s hands flew into a rage as she tried to communicate to the young girl. Where is my child? This is not my child! The worker swallowed hard but began to immediately look around the room for assistance. Vanessa pushed past the girl and began to frantically search the current room they were in for her son. Each face seemed to blur, and the babies started to all look alike. Her heart pounded like a jackhammer, and she was sweating. In the back of her mind, she could hear the worker asking her to be calm.
Everything was quiet; which was not exactly a good thing. Eli wiped a layer of sweat off his face. Right now, he was Eli, a businessman from the Southern United States. Earlier this week, he had to be Ungari, an archeologist from Nigeria. Who knew who he would be tomorrow? This was his life. Ever since he was a boy, he could learn other languages quickly. By the time he graduated college, he knew twenty-one. What had started as a teaching position in a college had turned him into public enemy number one.
“Each and every one of you is defined by who you were created to be,” he had addressed his final class. “One of those defining characteristics is the language that your people—of your culture. All around the world, we have beautiful languages that share with the universe our uniqueness.”
A student raised his hand. “Are you saying that you don’t agree with the mandated order that in one year, we will all move to a one world language that is going to be taught around the world?”
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