In the eye of the beholder

26 Jul

cloudsPhoto copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy

After only the briefest glance, Deena slammed the book shut and stuffed it with shaking hands back into the box the UPS driver had just delivered to her door.

Jake had spent the last ten years schlepping his assortment of Nikons from country to country, capturing unique views of the world’s most stunning vistas. Now that his efforts had finally drawn the attention of a publisher, her brother had every right to be proud.

She was touched that he’d sent her a copy from the first printing.

But the book was the stuff of nightmares for a severe agoraphobic.


friday-fictioneersThe muse has been on strike for the past couple of weeks so I’ve opted out of participating with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ crew of writers at Friday Fictioneers. The muse and I have reached a tentative labor agreement, so here’s my 100-word attempt for this week’s photo prompt.


Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction



8 responses to “In the eye of the beholder

  1. sustainabilitea

    July 26, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    What a unique twist you have here! Do you know someone who’s agoraphobic? Would pictures of this sort really have an effect? Just curious. I never thought about this possibility before.


    • dreaminofobx

      July 29, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      I don’t personally know anyone with agoraphobia, and I took some artistic license with its triggers. I know arachnophobes can be terrified by a mere photo of a spider, so I made the leap to fear of open spaces.

  2. troy P.

    July 26, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I’m with Janet – of all the twists this week, I NEVER saw this one coming!

  3. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    July 27, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    How sad.

  4. rochellewisoff

    July 28, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Dear Michelle,

    For a period in my life I developed severe agoraphobia, a side effect from a drug I was given. I don’t know that a book of photos would’ve had that effect, but possibly. In any case it was a nightmare time in my life that I pray I never repeat.
    Beautifully written story and tell your muse I’m glad she’s speaking to you again. 😉



    • dreaminofobx

      July 29, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      I admit to letting my imagination dictate the trigger for my character, since I do not personally know anyone who is agoraphobic. I know someone who is terrified of spiders who can’t even look at a photo of one, so I sort of followed that pattern, hoping it wasn’t too much of a stretch. I’m glad your agoraphobia was temporary–was it fear of wide open spaces, or fear of being trapped in social situations? I didn’t realize what a range of situations agoraphobia covered.

  5. The Bumble Files

    July 28, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Michelle, what an interesting twist at the end, indeed. I had to look it up. Interesting, too, that Deena ended up with someone like Jake. Maybe she wants to overcome her disorder in some way. Great story!

    • dreaminofobx

      July 29, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to look into Deena’s phobia!


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