Welcome to Day 18 of the Third Annual A to Z Challenge!

My theme my 26 fiction posts will revolve around something musical – it could be anything, as long as it's musically-related… maybe a song title, an artist/band, musical terminology, musical instruments, words relating to sound/rhythm/movement/dance etc.



Words reverberate, bounce back and forth…

Red rubber flip-flop. Red rubber flip-flop.

                   red rubber flip-flop

                                      red rubber flip-flop

                                                       red rubber flip-flop

                                                                      red rubber flip-flop

                                                                                  red rubber flip-






They echo in the chambers of a disturbed mind, a mind that cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality.

Best to remain in fantasy land… in your own private limbo… neither here nor there…


Reason is the unwelcome guest.

The party pooper.

She tries to erase the senselessness. Forces conscious thought. Alters the mindscape by inviting memory along.

And memory in turn, invites concrete images, which are linked to events… all of them, party poopers!

And when the party poopers tag along, and senseless, formless shadows morph into substance, the echoes take shape and play out the old familiar scenario…

It always unfolds in a set pattern: the nursery rhyme emerges from the formless shadows, creeps up in the same old unsuspecting manner: old shoes, new shoes, red and pink and blue shoes…

Shoes? A red rubber flip-flop… the back of the broom cupboard… what was it doing there? Odd…  where was its mate?

The party poopers warm up. A thought materialises – haphazard and formless. Then it takes shape. Sandal. Tricycle.

The two words are somehow connected. The mind rebels, refuses to link the objects, no matter how hard it tries. Sandal. Tricycle.

She grapples with it. A sound? Screech? Of tyres? The screech merges into a scream until the two become indistinguishable.

Like a switch that trips, the mind shuts down.

                           *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *



  1. Rekha on April 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    A disturbing but realistic description of Dementia or Alzheimer…poignant and unnerving.
     Enjoy your weekend.

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Yes… a mind that refuses to accept the tragic truth behind the flip-flop sandal and the tricycle. Thanks Rek! Hope you had a good one too… 🙂

  2. Leslie Rose on April 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I used to design sound for the theatre. I loved using the brush stroke of reverb to temper sounds. Flip-flop-folding the original sounds was fun.

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Is flip-flop-folding a sound technique in theatre? I never knew that. My word, talk about coincidence… I just chose the red rubber flip-flop sandal as the odd item at the back of the broom cupboard; it could just as easily have been a red sneaker or a red glove…

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    That would be scary to live like that.

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      And it is a reality for lots of people! Do you know what's just as scary? The line between sanity and insanity is fragile, and can often be blurred…

  4. Elise Fallson on April 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Twisted but I like it. "The screech merges into a screem until the two become indistinguishable" is chilling. I can picture this poor soul rocking back and forth on a bed while her mind is tormenting her…. Great job on this one!

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      "the poor soul rocking…" You've captured the essence of what I've attempted to portray!

  5. Cecilia on April 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    wow! I work as assistant nurse, visiting homes. This really portrays what i've seen, what the patients go through. Not easy.

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Gosh, I can only imagine what it must be like to witness and deal with this… I'm sure it requires loads of compassion and patience… I take my hat off to you, Cecilia!

  6. Robyn Campbell on April 22, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Excellent job. You captured someone with dimentia perfectly. I can't imagine living like that, but your portrayal seems spot on. Such a fantastic post. 🙂 Write on!

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Robyn 🙂 I tried to get into the mindscape of somebody who is mentally disturbed. It must be a real challenge, on the part of the caregiver,  to deal with such an ailment… that's besides the mental horror that the patient suffers… *shudders*

  7. Cheryl on April 22, 2012 at 1:10 am

    "the nursery rhyme emerges from the formless shadows" -It's something to grab onto, though.
    We all want humanity to make sense; and sometimes it just doesn't…
    Really evocative post!! Thank you for sharing it!

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      The nursery rhyme, which is about shoes, is linked to the red flip-flop sandal… somewhere inside of all the mental madness, the sufferer "knows this but doesn't want to know this"… if it makes any sense? Well, it's not supposed to be fully understandable anyway… fits in with the mental condition…

  8. Rachna Chhabria on April 22, 2012 at 5:20 am

    You have portrayed it so well. A really great and evocative post. Thanks for the follow and the lovely words.
    I would like to follow you too, I tried but I could not follow  🙁

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Welcome to my place, Rachna. You can follow via the Networked Blogs Widget (need a Facebook account…) or the Linky List, or sign up for e-mail subscription to receive notification of new posts.

  9. Julie on April 22, 2012 at 8:08 am

    This is such a powerful post!  I never thought of dementia that way before, though sadly you describe the confusion and chaos all too well.   Julie

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Dementia is characterised by confusion and chaos. Depending on the cause of this condition,  and the level of severity, there are traces of reality amidst all the madness (as in the scenario above), though the mind rebels against it… too painful…

  10. Stephanie on April 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    And, yet again, this post leaves me wanting more.  I really think you need to "behind the scenes" for some of these posts, letting us know what you were thinking about when you wrote it!  Very cool post.

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      Not a bad idea, Stephanie. Some of the pieces do require backstory/extra info to place them into perspective. Thanks!

  11. Sherry Ellis on April 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I like how you visualized the red rubber ball flip flop reverberation.  Very creative!

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      It's actually meant to be a red rubber flip flop sandal. Sorry if I didn't make it clear enough!

  12. Mina B. on April 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    This post hits home.  I can't imagine what it must be like, but I believe this is a helpful, imaginative description. Wonderful. Thx.

    • michelle on April 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      I'm glad it resonated with you on some level, Mina! Thanks for the positive feedback.

  13. mary aalgaard on April 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    The echo of a memory.

  14. michelle on April 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    In a nutshell… 🙂 🙂

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