#1 The Light

by Carla Phelps Wert

I have one thought—BELIEVE.

Snow quickly buries the screeching tracks of my 2004 Jeep Cherokee, now a twisted reminder of itself, sputtering a last breath. No sun peeks through snow covered branches; no sound inside fragmented glass. The silence sucks me in—faith pulls me up.

I float above carnage. Looking down there is only the stillness.

“Where am I? What’s happened?” Questions intertwine among thoughts I don’t recognize as mine. Below me, arms twisted and body scrunched tightly between steering wheel and seat, a young woman lies lifeless. I wonder, is that me? Am I dead?

A sudden burst of light saturates the sky around me . . .

“Caroline, you must go back,” a whisper whistles amid snowflakes, finding me. “You must go back . . . you must go back.”

I grab, holding the whisper in my hand. I feel peace. Instantly, I am back in my body, eyes straining to open. I hear myself say, “Oh, God, don’t leave me now.”

I drift in and out of consciousness, thoughts not unlike the shattered glass around me. “Someone will find me,” dances with “just let go.”

Pain is jack-hammering into my brain. I want to go back—up and up; to not feel. My eyelashes flutter and lift to discover my world—snow falling on snow, shattered glass and sunlight creating beauty and color.

I am alive—I know it’s okay. I am okay.

Suddenly, a burst of light appears . . . a flashlight.


Aniket Thakkar said...

You've captured the thoughts of helplessness, and pain very well. I'm curious as to whom were whispers from, her inner self, or perhaps some loved one who had passed away.

I also loved how you ended the piece with 'a flashlight'. Placing it right after the cliched 'a burst of light appears' gave me a chuckle.

Jade said...

Carla, I feel that flashlight!

Sam Knight said...

You made the pain a palpable thing to avoid, to dread going back to. The beckoning of peace and faith felt strong.

Rachel Green said...

What a super flip-flop between the light of death and the light of life.

Flutterby said...

I love the line, "I grab, holding the whisper in my hand." It's that otherworldly moment where the narrator touches her immortality and it's fleeting like the whisper itself. Nice touch.

You have a lot of nice imagery in this piece.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Great mood and scene setting. Love the conflict.