1. a voice so familiar
He sat on the footsteps in front of his house, with an iPad held in his hands. Listening to a reading of Ray Bradbury’s short story, ALL SUMMER IN A DAY in the Paragraph Shorts app. Issue 13, 2nd story on the second row. Listening to it through the speakers with an empty headphone jack. The reading lasted 11 minutes and 45 seconds. He was a 49-year-old, with white-grey roots of his receding hairline. His puffy eye bags hidden away from the black Ray-ban aviator sunglasses. He wore a single digital hearing aid in the inner ear canal of his right ear.
Here he was, all by himself. His nostrils plugged by the clean aroma of mowed lawn, freshly cut grass. Cole Cambern could feel the soft breeze of air. The house was empty of a single person, excerpt Cole. There were never any relatives coming to see him or even hear of him, they never did. His wife had passed away three years ago, peacefully in her sleep. At the age of 46. Scarlett Cambern hadn’t been plagued by disease, just sailed across from natural causes.
Their daughter, Sylvia Cambern was a bright, beautiful young 26 year-old who graduated from Ohio State University two years ago. She looked so much like Mischa Barton. Cole hadn’t seen her for quite a long time.
The voice narrating the story abruptly went mute. He tried hard to listen. There was no voice. Cole had completely ignored the low-warning beep emitted from the hearing aid. By the time he would have stood up, the battery would have completely worn out anyway. He gently removed the hearing aid and placed it onto the ground beside him, next to an empty beer bottle of Heineken. Then plugged his middle finger into his left ear and shook sideways, clearing away the itchy sensation. Just as he was about to unplug his finger from his left ear, he heard words pass through his right ear. He paused abruptly. His brows squashed together only slightly. His eyes glinted. Removed his finger from his ear and sighed, quietly and deeply.
Cole was partially hearing impaired, especially deaf in his right ear. But he heard the words. Like he had done for the past few months. A voice so familiar. It invoke tears to his eyes with such powerful glint.