Archive for June 8th, 2011

8th June
2011
written by amber

The Last Thing

This is the last thing I’ll ever see, I thought as the lightning hit me. A solarized image of mountain and sky, crazy colours and edges too sharp.

I was enveloped in a flare of hellish flame. The rocks beneath my feet shook violently, thunder reverberated through my body. It was over quickly, leaving me unable to see, to hear or even to exhale. I felt a burning at my waist, followed by a massive jolt of pain in my chest. Breathing out in a great gust drove the pain to an intolerable level.

I presume that I fell, for I woke to find myself flayed over the rocks, arms wide, as if inviting the sky to pierce me again. The pain was gone. I had no idea what time it was; everything was dark but I hadn’t seen anything since I was struck. Perhaps I had been struck blind.

But as I lay without moving, I was eventually able to make out stars. Although my ears felt as if they were stuffed with cotton batton, deafness seemed preferable to blindness at that moment. When I’d been hit it was the middle of the afternoon, now it was the middle of the night. I didn’t want to test my legs yet. I couldn’t feel my toes but that might be temporary. Questing around with my hands, I found my backpack lying next to me, smelling of char. With difficulty, I removed my sleeping bag. After draping it over me as best I could, I dozed for the rest of the night.

The sunrise was the most glorious of my life. Puffy clouds on the horizon in shades of apricot and lilac parted to reveal searchlight sunbeams fanning the sky. Small birds darted about. Perhaps they were singing, but I still could not hear. The mountain I had climbed loomed above the others around it, most of which still slumbered in darkness.

When the sun had warmed me sufficiently, I rolled sideways and pushed myself into a sitting position. Something chafed beneath my belt, so I undid it and found that my belt buckle had burned my skin, leaving a square blister that seeped and bled. I pulled my shirt open and saw a perfect image of a lightning bolt tattooed on my chest.

My legs still had no sensation, so I lay there all day, eating gorp, drinking from nearby puddles after my water bottle was empty.

Early the next morning, the villagers came seeking me. I asked them to carry me down the mountain, but they were awestruck by the image on my chest. They brought sticks and rock, they built the hut around me.

Someone brings me food and water every day. Once in a while someone from outside the village comes, questing for wisdom or insight.  I tell them what I can.

I am content.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012.  Stories must be a minimum of 200 words.  Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.