The day the lights went out was the last time anyone saw anything. A world of lights and colours, of flashing neon and ten-storey billboards, of Hollywood and beauty products, and it was gone. It was the day the world went blind.
The music industry soared, replacing almost all other entertainment. Voices became the new beauty. Cosmetic surgery meant a tuning of the vocal chords. Food, already treated as an indulgence by many, became the lifeblood of society. I think people became fat. It was hard to tell, because while we listened, and we tasted, the thing we refused was to touch. Turns out putting your hand somewhere you can’t see is a universal fear.
We moved in single file now. No one used canes; we would all trip, but guard-rails lined everything and we followed them, listening to every footstep, every echo, every breath of every sorry bastard before and behind you. We saw nothing, but we heard everything. A sniff, a cough, a sigh, a racing heart, a stopping one. The rustle of new clothes, the creak of old bones, ever present, ever listening. Which was probably why it took me so long to notice the voices.
They weren’t the voices of people talking, those vibrated and pulsed through the eardrums. These voices came from within, and were heard within. A gentle nudge, as much feeling as sound, and yet part of neither. The thoughts of others echoed through my head and deafened me. I heard nothing else, nothing but the endless chorus of Hows and Whys and What Ifs.
It was too much. I would not be their conduit. If blindness let me hear the world, I would undo it. And so, I opened my eyes.
And the lights came back.
FlashFictionMonth day 19
Prompt: We live in a sight-oriented world. What happens when we shift that to a sound-oriented world?