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The Stranger

26th May, Story #147/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read

The oak door swung open on to a silent courtyard. A novelty for Amelia, whose life had been a cacophony of other people's thoughts.

In cities, it was a cacophony, enough to drown her in voices and madness. Worse, when there were fewer folks about, she could hear every thought that tripped across a person's head. Often thoughts they didn't want, and squashed immediately. Amelia was no stranger to the ugliness that lives in us.

Here, at the Compound, she hoped for control. To drop the curtain sometimes, give people privacy. For their sake and hers. And to still her own mind, not broadcast every stray notion to other people like herself.

There were a few jewel-like times, when she'd been completely alone. Such peace! Each one like taking a deep breath after toiling on the seabed. This was like that.

The second most remarkable thing about the person walking towards her was the snow white skin. From the shiny scalp to the thin throat to the long hands, the shade almost matched the white robe. It took a moment for Amelia to realise the most remarkable thing: she could hear nothing. She could believe the person had never said a word all their life. That all communication had been through those cold, diamond-bright eyes.

Amelia opened her mouth to call a greeting, to explain why she was here... and then felt quite silly. The pale lips seemed to stretched slightly as if in answer to the thought.

This must be how Mother must have felt around me all the time.

The stranger turned and walked back across the courtyard. Amelia hurried after.

How can I learn from these people if I can't Hear them, and they don't speak?

The place reminded her of an old monastery. She was shown to a bare cell, empty except for a mattress and a plain low table with a glass of iced milk on it. Thirsty, she drank it down, wiping drops from her chin.

When she came to, her scalp was as smooth as the stranger's. The base of her skull felt itchy and tight, her exploring fingertips felt stitches.

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Word count: (excluding author's note): 366

Submitted on: 26th May

*Quick Author's Note*

First, and most importantly:
thank you so much for reading my story! The ha'penny that Vocal will toss in my hat for your eyeballs landing on this humble piece will be well-spent.

If you enjoyed this one, the very best compliment you can give me is to
share it, or read another!

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one continues my 146 day streak since 1st January!

Please do consider lending your support to the other creators who are also on this madcap "a story every day" adventure. They are putting out excellent content every day!

Rachel Deeming

Gerard DiLeo

Leave a comment: Please do leave me a comment. It makes it easier for me to reciprocate the read.

The story behind the story: I aim to write these so that you can enjoy them as stand alone stories, or one after the other. If you'd like to do the latter, this one follows on from Amelia's Secret and The Compound.

Edit: the image was created with AI.

Thank you

Thank you again, most especially if you are one of the wonderful people who has been staunchly reading these daily scribbles since the start of the year. I see you, and appreciate you very much indeed! 😁

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SeriesShort StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (11)

  • Muraliabout a month ago

    It felt like new Stranger Things series 😉

  • Oh! Jeez, that took a turn!

  • C. Rommial Butler2 months ago

    Well-wrought! Worlds within worlds, everywhere we go...

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago


  • Esala Gunathilake2 months ago

    Oh LC! That was a world of imagination.

  • Oooo, that ending felt so creepy! Loved your story!

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    I can’t believe I missed the compound. This is such a fab series.

  • Gerard DiLeo2 months ago

    Great anesthesia, apparently. Enticing read.

  • John Cox2 months ago

    This series continues to delight, LC. Looks like AI did a better than usual job on the illustration as well!

  • Belle2 months ago

    Brilliantly written, and gives goosebumps! I love reading these micro-fictions, because most often, they leave on the craziest ending! I'll have to go back and read Amelia's Secret and The Compound now!

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Did they operate on her? This was fascinating I want to know more! Well written!

L.C. SchäferWritten by L.C. Schäfer

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