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Second Light

The chairs are empty, three of them under the lonely spotlight. All three are draped with a white cloth. One is slightly in front of the other two as if wanting to stand out solely in the light. One is without a cushion and is made of pink plastic. The other two are wooden and have cream-colored cushions. They do not look too old and appear to be waiting for someone. Someone to come and occupy the empty space and throw an additional shadow taller than that of the chairs but blending in with their manufactured uniformity. Perhaps they are like the Sirens of Circe placed there for people fate has abandoned in the alleys of failed ambition.

Time passes. Now there is a man. He is sitting in the plastic chair, the least comfortable of the three. He is foaming at the mouth. His hands are clutching a thin black rope made of plastic. At his feet lies a disposable syringe, old and ugly. His eyes try to concentrate on the spotlight as if by doing so he can find all the answers he ran away from every time. But it is too bright for them. His pupils dilate suddenly. The light overwhelms him and rushes through his open mouth, up his nose into the brain. As everything turns a brilliant white he sees a young child walking away from him, hand in hand with his mother.

(second part in a trilogy of short pieces loosely based on the themes of light and death)

9 responses to “Second Light”

  1. Mermaid says:

    I read this before, but didn’t catch something till now. ‘Spotlight’ comes to mind. The man picks the most uncomfortable chair. I wonder…was he conditioned for a sad ending, a drug addiction, a shadow in the eyes of his mother? Is this his last attempt for the spotlight, for abandoned love, for recognition from the first woman who ever loved him?

  2. transience says:

    the light. there are scientific explanations behind that light people see in their near-death experiences. reading this made me think of that. very intriguing.

  3. gulnaz says:

    i saw my grandad pass away, some 9 years back; that day is still sharp in my memory.

  4. stella says:

    very rich with imagery. you take the reader there. brilliant.

  5. anil says:

    Mermaid: perhaps what you interpret is true…but frankly I do not know anything about him….all I know is that this will be his last gasp and my job is to record his passing….

    transience: yeah, even I vaguely remember reading something about that….it is something that fascinates me…is there something after death or at least during the process of death that reveals itself..I dont mean god and paradise and such stuff…but basically whether we just become elements to be recycled back into the system or go to some other level….I wonder do molecules have memory? what do you think? I subscribe to the recycling theory!

    gulnaz: did this evoke that memory? I hope he had a peaceful death, not like this…

    stella: a warm welcome to you…and thank you for all your wonderful comments…hope to see more of you in these parts!

  6. finnegan says:

    This is surrealistic minimalism with a visceral punch. I especially loved this: “The light overwhelms him and rushes through his open mouth, up his nose into the brain”.

  7. lorena says:

    “chairs waiting for someone” i love such imagination. assigning feelings to objects so effortlessly. great writing 🙂

  8. gulnaz says:

    he suffered from a paralytic stroke, for 9 years he suffered before his death. he had multiple problems, i took care of him. one morning i found him dying, i had not known that is what was happening. it was rough on me.

  9. anil says:

    finnegan: thank you…but was a little surprised that you found it surreal….you are the first to say that actually!

    lorena: *grins*…thank you as always

    gulnaz: I’m truly very sorry to hear that….until now i’ve not experienced any great personal loss so I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it is must have been for you to lose someone who was living around you pass away…that sudden emptiness must have been very jarring…in the end you were there for him at his last moments….that is something to cherish and remember I feel…death is inevitable but to die in the presence of a loved one is something very very precious for me…I hope I’ll not die alone…

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