Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday Flash - Seeing the Light


I surfaced from the coma at 7:02pm on a Tuesday evening. Two people sat either side of the bed, with a third standing by the window. The man with the heavily weathered face dabbed tears away from his pale eyes. The woman gripped my hand, chapped lips cracking into a smile. The young man by the window shot out of the room. The middle aged couple talked at once, their words tumbling around and over each other. Did I know them?

The young man returned with a nurse. She fussed over the monitors at my side and dished out platitudes about my condition. I caught only four words. 'Near fatal' and 'car crash'. My head pounded as though my skull played host to a troupe of elephants on rollerskates. The nurse checked my chart, patted my free hand, and left the room. The questions erupted at once.

Can you remember anything?

I shook my head, setting off minor explosions in my temples. Expressions clouded. Worry vied with elation on their unfamiliar faces.

Could you hear us talking to you?

I lifted my shoulders in a half-shrug. They wanted me to say yes but I couldn't lie to strangers. They talk among themselves, convinced I had heard them on some level.

Did you have a near death experience?

A strange question from the young man. A pale, earnest face. Again, I shook my head. I spread my hands in apology, and that earnest face fell.

They geared up for the next round of questions. I stared at them, claiming amnesia as my only defence. For I had indeed found myself standing at the mouth of a tunnel, surrounded by other shadows, only vaguely aware of the sirens and carnage I left behind.

But how could I tell these people that the tunnel sloped downwards...towards a roaring inferno?

24 comments:

Carrie Clevenger said...

Nice pic for this, first off. Second...yeah. This story says a lot. Nice work as always, Icy. xx

emmakerry said...

Ooh, I like this. Love the descriptions.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Given the chance, that's a pretty good reason for turning back. Nice one.

Larry Kollar said...

I wasn't expecting that ending! Good job, Icy.

I'm with Tim, that's a good reason for turning back if there ever was one.

Von L Cid said...

Thanks for the story. I could feel the disillusionment of the fellow.

Clive Martyn said...

It's where all the interesting people end up :) Nice flash icy.

Tony Noland said...

GREAT ending! If ever there was proof that the religious types were right, this would be it... but NOT the kind of thing people would want to hear.

Well done!

Sulci Collective said...

I'm reminded of sartre's hell is over people. The inferno is the bottom plane of hell, so anything's better than that, even returning to the bosom of one's clueless family.

Nicely done Icy

marc nash

J. M. Strother said...

Did not see that coming at all. Excellent!
~jon

Steve Green said...

They only ever want to hear about the bright light at the end of the tunnel, this one would shake 'em up a bit.

Brinda said...

I like this character with the concern for the 'strangers' feelings. And what a twist!

Aidan Fritz said...

I see, I love the image of elephants on roller skates. She's quite a character for recognizing the value of leading us a little bit of hope.

storytreasury said...

Wasn't expecting that ending! Nice.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Carrie - Thanks!

Emma - Thank you :)

Tim - I wonder if she made the decision to turn back...or if this was a wake up call?

Larry - I always like to keep people guessing.

Von - Yeah, she's not particularly enamoured with how these strangers behave.

Clive - Thanks!

Tony - Even if she told them, they'd probably only hear what they WANT to hear.

Marc - Thanks!

Jon - Glad you liked it!

Steve - Technically, it is still a bright light...just the wrong colour...

Brinda - Thanks!

Aidan - It seemed like a weird enough image to include!

Sonia - I like to keep readers guessing!

ganymeder said...

Yikes! And the kicker is they don't even remember what they did to deserve damnation.:(

Helen said...

Oh shock! No I think she'd best keep that one to herself and reflect a bit on why it did!

David Cranmer said...

I enjoyed that, Icy.

Richard Bon said...

I wonder how the narrator will live life going forward, knowing what awaits upon death? Or could that fate change yet? Very thought provoking.

Richard Bon said...

I wonder how the narrator will live life going forward, knowing what awaits upon death? Or could that fate change yet? Very thought provoking.

Katherine Hajer said...

Yeah, but was there a white light?

The best part for me wasn't the last line (although it's a nice zinger), but that the family -- if that's who they are -- are so ready to pounce on the car crash victim with questions. I've worked in two hospital offices, and both of them had stories about families like that.

Jen Brubacher said...

Oh, yes. I love how much this is right inside the character's mind. And how many of us would admit what we'd seen? This is a very good one, Icy.

brainhaze said...

Brilliant ending - love it. Well done Icy.

tom gillespie said...

Har har.. that would knock the wind out of their hopeful sails! Lovely internalised dialogue here Icy..

Stephen said...

Hi there Icy -- you know what, I don't think I've ever heard of someone considering the light from the opposite direction. Lovely idea. Why aren't some near-death-experiences not so pleasant? Nice set up, well presented. Just long enough. I like. St.

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