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The Light Vanishes

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I transfix my eyes on his arm as he reaches across his body. Stunned, I am unable to react with any sort of direction or plan. A familiar looking object flashes at me the reflection from overhead bulbs, the only light that is illuminating the cold concrete surroundings. He reveals it from beneath his long jacket. Before I can clarify what the object is, he swiftly pulls it from its holster and holds it at arms length, a look of determination and focus in his eyes.

An image of my friend laughing uncontrollably by my side materializes in my mind. I remember that day vividly: the day I knew I had a friend as close as a brother. The image dissolves into a still of a girl I had true infatuation for. It happened to be in my wallet within my back pocket. I feel the urge to reach for it, when the image shifts suddenly to my cluttered apartment. I loath the putrid smell of mold accompanied by loud neighbors and dysfunctional plumbing. A symbol of my life as it had become. All has been downhill since I, naïve and ignorant, left college to live off of drug money. My forgotten ambitions to create TV commercials left in a notebook at my parents’ house; drawing and catch phrases about hundreds of products and services.

He steadies his hand, aims. For a millisecond, he freezes. I hear car tires screech as loud as a high speed chase – probably the floor below. I become warm, my blood is hot, and all I can see are two spotlights that he and I stand under; everything else is dark.

My breath leaves; I grasp for it. A faint explosion rings in the distance; the warmth flushes from my body. A feeling overcomes every nerve and square inch of my skin. Then it leaves, the echoes leave, the aged car exhaust aroma leaves, the dry taste in my mouth leaves; then, all the light vanishes just as the cement ground rushes at me.





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