Friday, July 18, 2008

To whom the night belongs



Prompt: Pick a character who loves the dark, and tell us why. Avoid the obvious choices: stealth, monsters, sex, and anything else you immediately thought of.


Tap tap, the branch knocked on the window pane as the wind outside grew stronger.

“It’s a ghost Margie. We better tell mum!”

“Shh Nick. Its really late – shes in bed and she’ll be mad if she knows we are awake.”

“But the scratchy fingers of the monster. Its trying to get in!”

I patted Nicks soft hair as his big brown eyes looked up at me in real terror.

“Its just the wind Nick – look – the cherry trees branches are just knocking against my window.”

I shone my torch light towards the window to show him.

We giggled hiding under our bed sheets, torchlights in hand and stolen snacks from the kitchen strewn around my room.

A golden memory, forever etched in my minds eye.

Nick was always the one who was scared and I would save him, comfort him and soothe his fears.

I loved the dark. Its inky, mysterious velvet cloak wrapping me seductively and carrying me away to far off lands .I felt free and light as I used to wander around the house with all the lights turned off. My night vision was exceptional and had nothing to do with eating carrots. I despised them.

I could be whoever I liked in the dark. I could be as tall or as beautiful as I could imagine. No-one could see my birthmarks or make their judgments on the huge portwine stain across my face. I used to hide in the shadows or keep my face lowered during the daytime. But night time belonged to me.

Even though he was scared, Nick would accompany me camping and trekking in the bush. He knew I would always look out for him. He loved the bright sunshine days full of chattering birdlife, bounding animals and clear colours. I longed for the gloomy reaches of the evening, with its curious cautious nocturnal animals. Somehow we found peace together in the flickering half light thrown from the campfire in the dense soft unbroken darkness that can only be explored in places far from civilization.

It was dark when Nick left us. He’d always been the careful one, warning me to buckle up and not to speed., not to wander around the suburbs at night or alone.

A drunk driver. Blind drunk. I am glad it was quick. Nick hated the dark or being in places he was unsure of. At least he would never have seen it coming.

I threw the single rose onto the casket as it was lowered into the ground.. Feeling for the bulge in my trenchcoat, I pulled out an old battered torch and pushed the button so that the light shone weakly outward. Deliberately, I threw it into the hole, listening for the heavy clunk as it met the wooden caskets lid.

“Good bye Nick, this will light your way onward. You don’t need to be scared of the dark anymore. Its part of you now.”

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Listen to this first draft on Audio Boo

3 comments:

Vanessa said...

I like the melancholic mood of this.

keith hillman said...

What a tender piece. You so skillfully mixed humour with pathos. A lovely read.

b said...

This has such a metaphorical feeling to it. Fear of the ultimate darkness can be the worst. Thank you.

b