Last week, you had the option of writing a story or poem about ‘darkness’, an ’emergency’ or ‘freedom’. Well, the ‘darkness’ theme certainly got you thinking. Some fantastic stories are published below. So, this week, we move on to ‘G, H and I‘. My themes for your stories and poems are ‘Grotto‘, ‘Hospital‘ and ‘Isolation‘. To give you some ideas on these themes, click on the link to my ideas page:
Here are last week’s stories. A word of warning – you’ll need the tissues for the first two.
Keith Channing brings you his highly emotive story:
His bike skidded and fell into the pit. Though the lights were dim, the pit was wide enough to be seen and he was not speeding. He had practiced road concentration and alertness in his car or on his bike on high speeds even on the rugged roads. He had a dream of going into the Himalayan Car Rally. But today’s accident changed it all.
His life was nothing less than a race. From all sorts of sports to studies to gaining knowledge on diverse subjects and technologies, he didn’t ever get tired or slow down. His dreams were equally swift. He wanted to join the air force and design a highly modern aircraft. At the same time, his pace never allowed even the slightest of details to overpass his eyes. The same happened that evening. He stood near his fallen bike pondering as to why he slipped.
He sensed that there must be something wrong with his eyesight. He went to the local ophthalmologist, who told him that everything was fine. But the doctor’s statement did not satisfy him. He started observing and comparing his vision with his peers, and concluded that a further diagnosis was required. He went to one of the best ophthalmologists in the town, who conducted rigorous examinations as nothing was clearly apparent. The diagnosis resulted in the existence of a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. The doctor asked him to sit outside while some discussions with his parents were taking place. He was very sure that something serious was being hidden from him. He went home and searched the Internet. What he found gave him the shock of his life.
It was a degenerating condition, where his genes would keep on killing the cells of his retina till he went completely blind, and even the high doses of vitamin A would not be able to help him. He was off-grounded. His fast paced life was put to an abrupt halt.
He felt that a strong gush of wind took his dreams with it. He went into a phrase of depression. He circumvented his environ, and started digging deeper in himself. His desires took a back seat, and the question of leading an honourable life took precedence over everything else. Depending on others for his survival and well being was like a living death for him.
But his energy didn’t let him stay in the state of despair for long. Soon he realized, he had to act fast. This was indeed a state of emergency. He must prepare for blindness before it actually came. He went to a rehabilitation centre to gain all the required skills even when he had a decent amount of useful vision. At the same time, he started exploring career options that would enable him to live his life with dignity.
He was fascinated to see that the visually impaired could operate computers with screen readers like a sighted person. This stream of study appealed to him as it dealt with innovations, and he enrolled for Computer Engineering. During his studies, his vision started deteriorating further, and he could read and write only in an exorbitantly lit room or the natural light. Every time he wasn’t lucky enough to get an appropriate seat. He spoke to the head of the institute to allow him extra time or provide him a writer, which got a very negative response. It was suggested he leave engineering studies and look for some secure government job, where he needn’t do anything to get paid. This was enough to challenge him.
He prepared for the exams by writing in dim light. He used scales for getting the correct alignment of words, and finally, he cleared his engineering with good grades. The path ahead was still not easy for him. A company wouldn’t hire him unless he had a proven track record. He started as an volunteer for an organization that was aimed at injecting accessibility in every book being published. His skills were admired and he was appointed as Software Developer by the organization. This opportunity unravelled the knots and unleashed a limitless field of success for him.
At each step, he kept on acquiring new skills and kept on growing in his career, and every time, he had to struggle for accessible study material. He had now found a purpose for his life. Knowledge acquisition, as he believes, is the key to the personal and professional growth. He aims at equipping everyone, regardless of their disability, with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to lead a satisfying life.
Now he works as strategist and project director for the organization of world fame, and is determined to unleash the world of knowledge for everyone irrespective of their disability. He believes this was God’s plan. The darkness of his life created an emergency to prove himself that made him work on an action plan for the freedom of the entire community.
Jason Moody‘s atmospheric story will intrigue and entertain :
The street lamps flickered into life along the leaf littered street. The stars above began to creep out from their hiding place and fill the sky with a million wonders.
All was quiet. All was well.
In her third floor flat, Georgina Applegate sat up in her bed. The bedside lamp bathed the room in a comforting orange glow.
Sat on the bedside table was the latest novel by her favourite author. As far as she was concerned, the world was right.
A little less than an hour later, the book slipped from her hands and fell to the floor. Georgina’s snoring signalled the beginning of another night of blissful, uninterrupted sleep.
The electronic buzzing of the alarm shattered the silence of the morning and dragged Georgina from her peaceful slumber.
The led display flickered: 7:15 am.
Her hand reached from under the duvet and groped at the alarm clock, desperately seeking the snooze button. She hit the button, sank underneath the duvet and went back to sleep.
She finally awoke to the sound of cats having a conversation outside in the street.
She shuffled out of bed and headed for her window, oblivious to the lack of light beyond her yellow curtains.
She pulled open the curtains and rubbed her eyes. Everything was black. Not a light to be seen.
Cup of coffee in hand, and wrapped in a winter coat, but still with pink pyjama bottoms showing, she stood outside.
She looked left and right. Other people were milling about in the darkness, just as confused as she was.
She looked up. No glimmering moon, no twitching dots of light punctuating the inky blackness. Nothing. Not a light to be seen.
She opened the gate and crossed the road. She took out her mobile phone and using the torch function, walked down her street.
She had made it as far as the crossroads when she stopped. She couldn’t see them, but the darkness was filled with the confused ponderings of other folk.
“Bloody council. I don’t pay my taxes for this bollocks,” a man she couldn’t see raged.
She made it to the small parade of shops at the next corner. She held her hands out in front of her and groped the darkness. She knew there was a bench here somewhere.
“Ow. Jesus,” she screamed.
She’d found it. She sat down and began to furiously rub her shin. She stopped, only because she could hear laughter beside her. She looked to her left and could just make out a figure.
“Hello dear,” a kindly, gentle voice said.
“Err…hello,” Georgina replied.
She felt a hand text on her leg. She froze.
“It’s ok. There’s nothing to fear, the lady said. “I suppose you are wondering what’s going on, aren’t you?”
“I thought as much,” the lady said. “There was once a time, when people would look to the skies and feel wonder.”
“They would marvel at the beauty of both the sun and the moon, and all they would bring.” The woman sighed. “You once worshipped these things. They were once held with such regard. They were miracles.”
Georgina felt a soft hand coupled in hers.
“Make it so again, my darling. Help bring back the wonder. Bring back the light. Until such time, there will be darkness. Sorry.”
Georgina reached for her phone. She switched on the torch and shone it to her left. There was nobody there.
Georgina made her way home. This was the strangest start to any day.
She wandered into her bedroom. Lying flat on her bed, she closed her eyes; She tried to convince herself it was all a dream.
The alarm buzzed again. It was 7:30 am.
The darkness has persisted since.
Now it’s over to you to take up this week’s challenge!