All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction, Short Fiction, Writing

Understanding John by Hugh Cron

I have no friends but the words talk to me. They don’t say what I read, they say something else.

When I was young I read what I heard. I was diagnosed as being dyslexic but I ignored everyone and concentrated on listening to the words. I hid in that diagnosis for many years.

Sometimes the words make me smile, sometimes they make me cry but most of all they make me curious.

I’m never sad, I want to make that clear. My tears are strange, they’re not due to emotion, I simply cry every now and then for whatever reason. I don’t think too much about it.

I tried reading other books to see if they told me different things but they didn’t. They all say the same. I think they must speak to each other or be linked in some way that I don’t understand.

When I was nineteen, I mentioned hearing them. Doctors assumed I meant voices and I didn’t correct them. I ended up being diagnosed as schizophrenic. I thought this would give the dyslexia some company. I get an injection every fortnight but it does nothing. But I know that it may affect me later on, so time is of the essence. Again, I’ve never mentioned any of this.

I don’t fully understand the words yet, they are jumbled and more of a list than a sentence but I know that I’m getting there. They say the same thing over and over again and it’s only with each additional read that I’m beginning to understand.

The words are there, but the clarity of the meaning is a way off. I’ll get it one of these days. I reckon that day will be the third of next month.

I need to realise which ones to ignore, if I do that, I’m certain that the others will make sense.

It’s difficult ignoring but listening at the same time. Not many could do this. I’m not ‘John The Retard’, I’m special.

When I do understand, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I have a suspicion that they are giving me instructions, but that could just be my expectations. I’m not sure if I’ll have a choice.

I hope that no matter what, they will give me answers. Answers to why I hear them.

I’ve listened to more and more books over the last few months. I needed to hear the words.

There are some books that are clearer than others. I will leave them in my flat so that they may be found.

I wonder if they’ll talk to who finds them?


…It’s the second of the month. I know about tomorrow.

The last book did it for me.

I wonder what would have happened if I had read the last book first.

I highlighted the paragraph where I heard the clarity.

I have my instructions. There’s only one other book that I need to read. It might take me a while but not as long as it would have a few years back. I’m grateful for that as I need to get started.

The last book I will ever read will be the phone book.

While I’m reading it, the names will simply say, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.


Hugh Cron

Image – Pixabay

10 thoughts on “Understanding John by Hugh Cron”

    1. Hi Leila,
      700th – Hah!! I wish!!
      For you poor souls reading it probably just seems that way!!
      I’ve found a few stories from god knows where of late and have been working on one tonight. I had to change it completely as coincidentally, a story that was published not that long ago was in the same ballpark.
      Thanks so much for the kind words – All appreciated and savoured!!


    1. Hi Dave,
      Cheers for that!
      This all evolved around thoughts on diagnosis and depending what it was, whether or not someone could hide in their own.
      I’m delighted the story interested you!
      Thanks as always – Much appreciated!


  1. The “Third of next month” seems pretty ominous. Some people hear voices that tell them jokes all the time, so they laugh a lot, but this guy’s voices from the book words certainly don’t seem to be funny. Intriguing look into a different way of perceiving, and of finding meaning.


    1. Hi Harrison,
      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comments.
      At first there doesn’t seem to be a difference between finding meaning or finding reason.
      They can both be positive. On the other-hand, each can be as deadly as the other.
      Your continual interest in my work is much appreciated.
      All the very best my friend.


  2. Hi Doug,
    Thanks so much for the comment.
    Good point.
    It makes you wonder if he is as understanding towards those to hide his denial at something more worrying.
    Great to see you back around the site!!
    All the very best my friend.


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