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With Different Sight

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A young man facing the loss of his eyesight finds help in an unexpected time and place.
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Author: Charles Mossop
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With Different Sight

by Charles Mossop

Genre Fantasy

Tags Fantasy, time travel, disabilities, ancient Greece, eighteenth century, New England, bridge, psychology, history, America, slavery, deafness, sight impairment, epilepsy

Release August 31, 2015

Editor Christine I. Speakman

Cover Designer Charlotte Volnek

Pages 44

ISBN 978-1-77127-746-4

Price $1.99


Back Cover

A young man receives a medical diagnosis which condemns him–or so he believes–to a meaningless and unproductive life as a disabled person, In a final, desperate effort to find a cure, he journeys to Boston. On the way, he meets a woman who seems to know about him, in spite of his never having met her before. This woman makes it possible for him to visit the world of eighteenth century Europe and America, as well as Ancient Greece. In these lost worlds of the past, he meets and converses with disabled persons, and comes to a new understanding of who he is and what life can hold for him.


Excerpt

Kevin walked carefully out of the gas station parking lot to the sidewalk, turned right, and made his way up the street in what he presumed was the direction of the restaurant. At last, seeing tables and chairs though a window, he pushed open the door and paused for a moment just inside.

Okay. The light’s pretty good. There’s a booth over to the left, I think. Not much room to walk. Just take it slowly or you’ll make a fool of yourself. There’s not too many people in here, by the sound of it anyway, thank God.

He threaded his way cautiously between the closely spaced tables, making for the booth, but as he neared it, his foot caught one of the chairs and sent it careening into the leg of a table with what sounded to him like an apocalyptic crash. He felt as if everyone in the restaurant was watching him. He gritted his teeth in anger and excruciating embarrassment as he slid onto the booth’s rather lumpy plastic-covered seat.

God, I hate this. I just hate it.

He’d been on the bus since early morning, and it was now past noon. He was dying for something to eat, but ordering food meant facing the problem of the menu, and he was damned if he was going to admit he couldn’t read it. The thought of sitting there like some sort of half-wit while someone read it to him was utterly mortifying.

“Hi there,” said a young woman, appearing at the booth with a bulbous glass pot. “I’m Amelia. Coffee?”

“Please.”

“How about something to eat,” she said, placing a dog-eared menu on the table and filling a large white mug with coffee that smelled exactly as he liked it: ferociously strong.

“Just a hamburger and fries, please,” Kevin said, without touching the menu. He used to pretend to read menus, but not any longer. Every restaurant, café, diner, and greasy spoon in the land had hamburgers and fries.

He picked a creamer from its rack and felt for the small paper tab to remove the top. He reached for his coffee, warning himself as he did so.

Careful. Slowly.

He ran his finger cautiously around the rim to find the handle, then slid the mug across the table until it was in front of him. He added the cream–he’d figured out how to do that without pouring it all over the place–took a good mouthful of the hot, potent brew, and sat back with a sigh.

Hamburger and fries again. Why can’t I just ask what’s on the menu and order something else?  

Taking his cell phone off his belt, he put it on the table, hoping people would think he was reading his messages. He felt awkward just sitting there like a spare part.

“’Scuse me.”

He looked up. Amelia had returned with his food, and was waiting to put down the plate. Realizing his coffee was in the way, he reached too quickly for the half-full mug, misjudged the distance, and sent it rolling across the table and onto the floor where it bounced on the linoleum. There was a momentary silence during which he heard coffee dripping from the table, before Amelia said, “Whoops.”

“I’m sorry,” Kevin mumbled, quickly feeling around for a paper napkin to mop up. As he did so, his hand struck a bottle of ketchup he hadn’t seen, and it fell over with a loud bang.

“Dammit,” he muttered, humiliated and overwhelmed by a feeling of complete disorientation.

“Hey, slow down,” said Amelia, with a good-natured chuckle. “Everything’s okay. No harm done. I’ll just go get a cloth.”

She put the plate down on the far side of the table, and walked quickly away, leaving Kevin alone, seething with rage and frustration.

I can’t deal with this. I’ll never be able to deal with it. No one gets it, and I don’t know how to make them understand.

Disorientation began to give way to panic, as it so often did nowadays.

I’ve got to get out of here. I was stupid to even come in. I’ll tell her I’ve got to get back to the bus. Yeah, that’ll work. I’ll just pay for everything and go. Then I’ll be all right. I just need to get away from these people.

Amelia’s voice startled him.

“I’ll just clean this up, and then you can get to your lunch,” she said, as she quickly set about mopping up the spilled coffee. “At least it wasn’t a full cup.”

Kevin said nothing. He knew she must be thinking he was a total klutz, but he couldn’t bring himself to explain. He was ashamed of his imperfection. He felt incomplete and inadequate. Hungry as he was, he had to get away.

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