Unsure which way to turn . . . .
~~ a short story
The darkness surrounding her is so thick and black, she is certain it can be cut with a knife. The intensity of the weight it carries threatens to take her breath, leaves her dizzy with anxiety. There is no hint of light anywhere.
Julie cannot remember ever trying to maneuver in such vexatious surroundings. The dead silence only adds to the unwelcoming ambience which renders familiar surroundings unhinged. The unrealistic fear of stepping off into the unknown–a great abyss–besieges her. Moving forward stealthily, carefully placing one foot in front of the other, trying to recall the territorial map in her mind, Julie slips in the mud, stumbles, screams as she lands with a “Splat!!”
The scream is totally unexpected and only adds to the breach of peace skittering through her.
“Who’s there???” (a little less than forcefully).
“Who screamed?? she quivers.
Dead silence responds.
If only there were the least hint of light, the effort of traversing the familiar field would not be so affronting. She can almost hear the howling scene in any one of the mystery thriller movies she has ever seen. The scream, apparently emitted by some imagined other, has set her nerves on edge. There is nothing to hold too, . . . nothing to help her calm the jerkiness of movement. She slowly rises from the muck and steadies her stance by separating her feet just a bit. Standing there, covered with mud, she forces a slow steadiness to her inhale, then to her exhale–followed by another, and another.
Now, as she calms herself enough to think more clearly, it dawns on her that the fall has shifted her sense of direction and darkness is confounding her ability to decide which direction to take now. Bit by bit she turns, tries to orient in the inkiness, and bit by bit she searches the darkness for even the tiniest hint of light. At this point, any direction will do if it helps her find familiar territory again.
There, she sees it. Then it’s gone. She sees it again–a hint, ever so slight, a hint of light. It seems to be moving. As she watches, it grows ever so slowly–then a flicker–and she is sure of it. A light to move toward. Step by step she inches forward toward the light, not allowing any thought into her mind except the task at hand–move toward the light!
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 8:12. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (24 June 2021). JOHN 8:12 KJV “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).
Photo Above: by Jeni Holland at Unsplash.com.