MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “darkness”

A shining star in a dim sky

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GV1XqVMta2c/V9OWt2dc12I/AAAAAAAAE2k/FynYSq2JkNMytbviNilB41CD2JSBpt7JgCLcB/s1600/shining-star.jpgThere is a story an elderly monk used to tell his young novices:

“There was a star born one night in the darkness. Its light was dim and it could hardly be seen in the night sky. No-one really even knew it was there. It existed unnoticed. The star was upset and disappointed. It felt invisible. But as time passed it was growing in size. Disheartened as it was with life, its shine was still absent. A dim star is one that hardly exists. Other stars gathered beside it, bigger or smaller, they were certainly brighter. The star – that was no longer little – became even more upset. It was discouraged by the competition. One night it heard a little girl point to the sky and shout in amazement “look at all the bright lights!”. The star felt for the first time noticed. And for this,  it wanted to make its presence even more prominent. So it tried with all its heart to shine the brightest. And suddenly the entire sky lit up. The sky was hiding its glow within it; over the years it had gathered so much light but failed to find a way to transmit it. Or rather, a reason to do so. It’s difficult to be a shining star in a dim sky. But you should never allow the fear of glowing too brightly from dimming the shine you have within you. And knowing that you’re bright all alone. No need to be compared with anyone else.”

Also part of Daily Prompt: Dim

Snowy mistletoe

http://cache.desktopnexus.com/thumbseg/852/852154-bigthumbnail.jpgThe first snowflakes had hit the ground early at dew point. He was sleeping when they arrived. But that was the best surprise.

When he woke up, a white velvet carpet was awaiting him outside his window. The door needed a hard shove in order to open.

And then, as the frozen air slammed his face, it hit him. It was mid December. That season when everything suddenly seems so much nicer, so much more peaceful, more wonderful. The sparkling lights appeared even more brightly coloured now with the snowy background. People were more cheerful and smiles were abundant. It didn’t matter that it was so cold.

The only thing that mattered was that another year was slowly exiting, and everyone was striving to account for everything that had passed during these 12 months. It had to be good, so that the next ones would be even better and more fruitful.

It is the time when dreams are revived, ambitions reinvigorated, and emotions rekindled.

So when he saw the bright red mistletoe gleaming under the snowflakes on his frontfoor, he consciously knew that there will always be a light shining no matter how dark it gets. Surviving, no matter the weather.

What to do in a blackout

http://www.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/blackout_1.jpgThere you are, enjoying a steaming hot shower after a freezing cold day. You take your time, reveling in the warm water running down your shoulders, allowing you to relax and feel rejuvenated after a tiring day. A flicker of light gets you worried for an instance, but you decided to think nothing of it. And just when you lift your foot to get out, the lights go out and you find yourself in a total blackout. You can see absolutely nothing, so it is good you already know your way around. But what do you do?

Firstly, you need to put something around you, if only to soak up the water dripping from you. Then you need to find light of some sort – be it candles, the computer screen (for as long as the battery lasts), or even a torch on your smartphone (see, it is smart after all).

Voices are heard in the corridor, because it is not just your flat that lies in darkness, but the entire building. You half-open the window shutter to witness that the entire block is out of power. This is interesting.

It might take a while to get back the technology you are so accustomed to, so what do you do? You mainly appreciate the silence, acknowledging how much noise electricity actually makes – well, you did have the fridge, computer, television, radio, heater, and tea kettle on.

Then you begin to wonder what would people do without electricity? Sure, you still have your computer and phone working, but for how long? And there is no internet, so basically you are cut-off from that form of communication.

Are you dressed yet? You need to keep warm.

There are noises outside, running up and down the stairs. At least, someone is trying to fix the problem.

You head to the kitchen for a snack. There is no use staying hungry all through this ordeal. Find something healthy, like wholemeal chips. That will keep you busy while waiting in the dark.

You hope the power will return before the battery of your savior-machines bails on you.

And all of a sudden, there is light! You can hear the fridge sounds return, the TV turning back on, the modem signaling it’s on, the computer plugging in, the radio singing, the heater warming up again. You rejoice with the “return to civilization”. You exhale a sigh of relief, as your boredom ends.

But it is short-lived, as the blackout revisits. Apparently, the problem was not fixed.

So you sit and wait, until the power eventually returns for good this time. And as you watch the candle light casts its shadows in the dark, all you can do is acknowledge how addicted we have become to things we take for granted. Things that we can now not live without. Things that may help us, but at the same time have converted us into technology-junkies vulnerable to any situation that does not involve their use. Because, be honest, how many of you took a photo during a blackout to post once the power is back on?

 

N.B. Based on a true incident, Athens, Greece, 30 November 2015 (apart from the blackout selfie).

Light up the dark

http://www.brisbanekids.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Brisbane-christmas-lights.jpgAs children, we’ve all spent nights when we wanted to sleep with the lights turned on. We feel safer this way. As if the monsters hiding in the closet or under the bed or wherever else they may be won’t be able to reach us. As if the nightmares won’t come if the lights are on.

Growing up, we still try to illuminate our lives in whatever way possible. We open the windows each day, hoping the sunlight will come bursting into every corner of our house. We go to work, preferably in a brightly-lit environment, knowing that when located in such a one, we are more productive and efficient. We fill ourselves with knowledge reading about everything and everyone online. We thrive in our certainty that the more we know, the safer we feel.

And we get depressed when autumn arrives, with the falling leaves, the cloudy skies and the rain. The ballads and mood-killer songs overwhelm our heads, our rhythm slows down, and we find ourselves seeking more daylight. Since the early afternoon when the sunset is followed by the imminent darkening horizon, we are urged to get up and turn on the lights.

Because in the end, that is exactly what we need: some light to drive out the darkness. That is why we light candles whenever and wherever possible. Or why, come Christmas and New Year’s we immerse ourselves in coloured lights and sparkles. Because we want to feel safe and certain that the future that lies ahead has in store for us nothing but hope, optimism and the positivity that is so lacking in our times.

In the darkness

Shadow in alleyShe was no ordinary girl. She lived in the shadows.

Among the darkness formed by the towering walls at midnight hours. Among the lanterns that were blown out by the breeze that blustered from the dark alleys. Among the black figures cast by the inferno of abandoned souls.

She was not a usual person. She dressed in blackness.

Like the despair that covered her soul when she knew not what more to do. Like the colour of the cats you are supposed to superstitiously avoid crossing paths with. Like the colour of an evil witch’s garment.

She was not smiling. Not even when I first saw her or gave her a hug.

She could not, for there was a hole in her heart. Torn out by the sadness looming over her head like a dark cloud. But the rain would never come to wash it all away.

She could never live again. Not in the happiness she deserved. She had lost it all that night the car took a wrong left turn. It was all too quick. Too fast. Too sudden. There was nothing more to do. To be. To see.

She was no ordinary girl. She was just a shadow.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Nightmares

The ring, the stranger, and the spiders

gold ringThe golden ring was stolen on a Monday. Lewis couldn’t sleep until he had figured out a way to get it back. It was already Wednesday by the time he had devised a plan that might work.

He knew who had stolen it. He remembered a dark, sinister strange, brushing against him as he hastily left the room that day.

It only took a minute. He still did not know how it had happened. But the golden ring with the sapphire-shaped heart in the middle had somehow disappeared along with the stranger that day.

It was an extravagantly dressed, corpulent woman who had noticed it first, as her shrieks even scared the guard dogs outside. It did not seem that the glass surrounding the luxurious and exorbitant ring was cracked at all. So how on earth did they manage to steal it?

Lewis remembered following the stranger into an alley behind the Museum. But there was absolutely nothing there, other than three walls leading to a dead-end. And the stranger was gone.

All day Tuesday Lewis contrived his plan and suitably equipped himself for the mission that lay ahead. Two special policemen accompanied him to the end of the alley, but from there he would continue alone. It was his responsibility and he would be the one to retrieve the ring.

They scanned the area for a whole five minutes before they found it. The stranger’s escape route.

It was a trapdoor at the left side – the darkest part – of the alley. But the minute Lewis shed his torch light on the dark abyss that opened up below, his heart stopped.

A hairy-legged black spider crawled slowly out of the darkness onto the grey-stoned alley road. And then another. And another.

Lewis hated spiders. And most importantly he feared them. He shivered all over with disgust as he dreaded the idea of climbing down there with these awful creatures.

No, he would not. He could not. There must be another way. This would simply be a decoy. The real exit was elsewhere.

Soon the left side of the alley was slowly being taken over by spiders.

Lewis shuddered and jumped up with such a yell that the museum guard dogs ran to his rescue. They had been trained to react with every scream.

Lucky for him that they did not have the same problem with spiders. They quickly forced them all back under the trap door.

But the most fortunate coincidence of all was when one of the dogs chased around one spider which was pretty fast for its genre, crashed out of excitement onto the back wall, and revealed the real exit.

The back wall was simply plaster. Thick layers of plaster.

After that, it all fell into place quite easily.

The wall opened up to a wooden, poorly constructed shed, where apparently the stranger-thief had hidden the priceless jewel in a shoebox until he returned from somewhere. All it took from now on was a hideout until the stranger came. He didn’t take long; only 40 minutes.

The ring was returned to the Museum. And the dogs given a life supply of bones and treats.

What was most surprising though, was that the ring thief was actually the extravagantly-dressed, corpulent woman’s husband, who also happened to be the ex-director of the Museum who had been fired for misconduct and embezzlement a year ago.

Revenge can truly take astonishing turns.

But payback does belong to a dog.

 

Inspired by Story-ideas-three elements

A spark in the forest

light in forestIt was the midst of the night, in a dark, humid and particularly unwelcoming part of the forest. Night owls were perching on the trees with their eyes gleaming like crystal stars among the emerald leaves. Suddenly he stepped on a fallen branch and the crack awakened a whole swarm of tiny birds which screeched such a deafening noise in chorus that all Patrick could do was fall on his knees covering his ears.

“Someone make it stop. Please,” he begged, as he sunk his head deeper into his chest and crawled up like a caterpillar on the floor of an enormous forest.

He sat there for what felt like half an hour. His shoulders were already tense and his neck started to hurt. Where on this planet was he anyway? He took out his compass. That was no help at all. The needle had gone crazy, spinning around with no direction, making it completely useless.

Antisios the prophet had told him to enter the unknown in order to find light. So what did that mean?

The only thing unbeknown to Patrick in the area was that forest. And now he was at the heart of it. Still not knowing. And it was so dark he could hardly see his feet moving. Who knows what was even crawling, sliding, or marching beside him!

As the birds disappeared amidst the trees, silence was restored. Now it all felt too quiet. So much, his breathing sounded as heavy as a trumpeter’s sighing. He walked on a little further. At the edge of his right eye he caught a rapid movement and froze on the spot, turning only his head to see a bear-like creature run with the speed of a leopard until it reached a thick-barked tree and then climb up it with the agility of a koala.

“This is a weird place,” thought Patrick as he resumed his quest.

He was already feeling tired. As if this journey had worn him out, both mentally and physically. If he did not succeed now, he would not bare it. He could not stand to lose once again. Defeat had torn him up and the very little energy he had left was feeding on his hope that this time would be different. This time he would find it.

He approached an opening among the trees, when he suddenly saw a gleam of light creeping into the darkness. It was still dark, so it couldn’t be sunlight. As he searched, he found that if he lifted up this large eucalyptus-like leaf…

Light burst like a balloon popping in his face. He was blinded for a second and forced to jump a step back. When his sight was restored he saw a shadow before him, an image of a young maiden. A girl with golden curls trickling down her side, wearing a white dress with an orange trimming. She was walking towards him. He was startled.

And lost for words.

“I knew you would find me,” she said, as she fell into his arms.

“I was ready to die trying. My Juliette,” he replied, as tears slid down his cheeks. He had found her at last. She was his light in the darkness. And now they were together.

Life is an ocean

100Logo_RGB

100 is a milestone. In every respect. And this is my 100th post. So to celebrate, here’s a life-embracing, heart-warming, hopefully-inspiring (!) story…

rainbow

Tina had just finished braiding her pigtails. She loved the feeling of innocence, carefreeness and childhood that these emitted, and in these hard times for her, she so longed for something lighter to lift off the weight of the world that had rested on her shoulders.

She was stuck at a job she did not like, in a city she despised, living in a neighbourhood with people she didn’t even talk to. Her only true friend was her Maltese dog, Polly. And today, it seemed she was the only one who remembered. The one who rushed into the room this morning slapping a big, juicy slurp on her as she prepared to get out of bed.

Tina wasn’t looking forward to a day at work today. She didn’t really think her presence even mattered there. And her colleagues…they were nice, but…really? Just “nice”? She was hoping that all those kitchen conversations would lead to something more. That she would find friends in that group who demonstrated they cared.

She arrived at the office, looking brighter than usual. It was her day after all. And she tried to embrace it. As she opened the door, certain it was going to be “another day at the office”, she heard a loud tooting of party horns accompanied by enthusiastic cheers wishing her a happy birthday. She walked in and found her colleagues in party-wear, the room decorated joyfully, and a large mouthwatering cake waiting for its candles to be blown out.

What a surprise! Tina was enthralled. Just when you least expect it a light appears in your darkness.

Life is like an adventure. And there is always a party waiting for you at the end! There is always land across a boundless ocean. You just have to be patient and bold enough to weather the storm to get there. After all, the only way to see the rainbow is to endure the rain.


Also part of
Trifecta Writing Challenge – the prompt word was LIGHT (noun)

3: a source of light: as
a : a celestial body
b : candle
c : an electric light

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Exhale

Chasing traces of light

broken_lightShe began running. What she had seen in that dark alley had already started to infect her soul. Creeping up inside her and instilling fear in her head. She had to run. To keep moving. Out of the darkness. Her arm was still numb and she wasn’t even sure if that needle was sterilized. Blood was still dripping on the corners of her dress, but all she could think about was getting out of there. Finding light. She couldn’t feel anymore. She was scared but couldn’t sense it. The past fortnight had been a nightmare. How she got into it, she can’t remember. She just wanted out, now!

The shadows of those men chasing after her, first with a stolen car and then on foot, running behind her as their body masses seemed to grow larger with every step closer they came. It was all so vivid in her mind still. And every couple of minutes she would turn her head round, out of fear that a tattooed-muscle-pumped arm would reach over and grab her. Pull her back on to a stinky t-shirt, gag her and tie her up on a wooden chair in a dark room, with only water and stale bread for survival. She didn’t want to go back to that. And what did they want from her anyway? She had no money, and knew no one in the area. It was all a series of wrong choices that led there. Spur of the moment impulses that in hindsight were so wrong.

But that was over now. All she had to do now was persevere and find a place with light. With people. With life. Her eyes had already gotten used to the darkness but she just had to reach for more light. And she was bound to find it…

 
 306 words for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge – to include the word infect
INFECT
3a : contaminate, corrupt <the inflated writing that infects such stories> 
 b : to work upon or seize upon so as to induce sympathy, belief, or support <trying to infect their salespeople with their enthusiasm>
 

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