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Wait For The Light to Fade
in the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing – robert ingersoll
He was falling but not quite feeling the threat. He was drowning but no alarm bells rang as he slipped deeper and deeper.
He had always wondered how death felt. Mother had always told him to stop thinking of such morbid things but he was curious. Was it painful? Was it easy? Or did you just simply slip away into oblivion, a void where you cant quite be reached?
He hoped his death would be an easy one. Terrified to the bone of illness, he took extra precautions by using Cod Liver Oil and Vitamin C to prevent anything painful happening. He hoped his death was significant; he read about men who had died saving their family from a burning building or a soldier who was defending his country dying in crossfire. He hoped (as far as he could when it came to death) it was heroic and important or, at least, worthwhile.
He was still freefalling through the spiral.
Death was so final it frightened him. Not usually one for goodbyes, the idea of such a thing as life ending so abruptly seemed terrifying to him. He was also not the type who liked to end things. Endings are final. He dragged out books for months so he didn’t have to reach the end and did the same with films. Its best to keep an end at the end, he reasoned, and not in the middle.
He never thought it would amount to this with ambulances squealing and people shouting. He had always attempted to be careful and not tar himself with the wrong brush so when his breathing became shallower, it shocked him more than the dying. Not like this, he rasped. Not in this way.
When his breathing eventually stopped and his heart beat one last time, all he could see was light. An unbearably strong chink of light that he found himself falling through and a glow that rose from his chest. He could vaguely hear people’s voices as they panicked. I’m okay he wanted to say. It’s okay here.
Time passed considerably. The light never ended but glimpses of his life slipped through the mould. Writing surrounded him, quotes he assumed he’d said during his life. The light was beginning to hurt his eyes and he held a hand up to shield it. Fade, he pleaded. Fade like I did.
Suddenly the light flickered and he was thrown into darkness. He was in a room with only the shine of his chest to cut through the shadows, it’s dull glow barely making a dent in the choking darkness.
Footsteps echoed throughout the room. The man clapped his hands and the light was back, though not as blinding as before.
The man put an arm around his shoulder. ‘See fading ain’t so bad is it?’ he said cheerfully.
Michael shook his head and his light glowing from his chest finally faded, just as the rest of him did.