Fading

In one sudden burst, the light shone brightly. Everywhere. Its
beams flooded his surroundings, inundating him with light so intense, so
brilliant, that it hurt his eyes. Distressed, he raised his hands to his face,
shielding his eyes from the blinding gush of light. With one hand glued to his
face, he extended his free arm and hand forward, grabbing air, warily feeling
his way through his invisible environment. Exploring the unseeable. He did, in
slight, cautious steps.

 

He felt drowsy and, from time to time, a shrill sound would
ring in his ear. Like skidding tires, he thought, distorted and warped,
screeching endlessly. Then, gradually, it lowered in pitch and volume before
evanishing completely. Again and again it assailed him, paining him for a
moment, and then disappearing. A vexing, repeating melody.

The light had begun receding, its gleam slowly diminishing. He
could tell because it didn’t hurt his eyes as much as it did before. Carefully,
he peeled his hand away from his face, one finger at a time until he had
removed it all, leaving only his eyelids to cover his eyes. He slowly uncovered
them, and was met with a wall of green.

It took his eyes a moment to adjust, to feed him his
surroundings again. A haze of barely visible, albeit clearly green, objects
before him came into view. Before long, his eyes focused. He could see again.

 He saw a field, lush
with greenery, and, in the middle of it, was him. Running. Not knowing where he
was running to or from what, he ran. As fast as his legs would allow. The feel
of earth beneath his feet, grass cushioning his every step consumed his thoughts.
That and, overwhelmingly, the happiness it brought him. The feeling of hovering
over his worries, of bypassing them. Like a thick cloud of contentment in his
head. Of feeling as though he was a blade of grass, like the ones he was
stepping on, not a care to hinder his enjoyment. Endlessly dancing to the
gentle breeze.  He relished it, every
second of it. The faster he ran, the happier he got.

He looked down at his right hand; found that he was now
holding a doll. It was worn out, its colours had faded, loose strings of thread
protruded from its hem, its exterior battered by what must have been years of
play, toting around, loving.

A familiar voice rang out, calling his name.

“Adam!”

He looked over his shoulder, taking care not to fall into a
small pond of mud ahead of him, skipping over it before he turned to look. A
few feet behind him was a girl, chasing after him. Her long, thick locks of
illustrious hair tied back in a ponytail that bounced behind her and,
occasionally, spun around, striking her on the face. He saw her, very visibly,
trying to stifle a laugh, trying to stop herself from bursting into a frenzy of
snickers and giggles. She attempted to look serious, to threaten him into
giving back her cottony friend.

Clutching it, he ran and ran. Skillfully hopping across
little pools of water, puddles of mud. She matched every maneuver of his, anticipating
his every turn, swerve and jump with the apprehension of someone who had been
through similar kidnappings before. With the apprehension of a lifelong friend.
His tactics had become predictable, easy to foretell and counteract.
She knew that, every so often, he would tilt his body, as if
turning to run in another direction, only to thrust his body in the
opposite direction a few seconds later.  She
knew not to fall for that, to veer sideways before he did.

She knew that he runs as fast as he can, that he, excitedly,
uses up all his energy, funnels it into one joyous and short dash, and that,
when he drapes his arms on his sides or flails them about, that he had tired
himself; that the calculatedly conservative approach she takes to running him
down would, eventually, prove a better strategy.

Looking on, he saw a stream of dense, black smoke in the
distance, emerging from the tree line. For a fleeting moment, everything was
blocked out, his attention drawn solely to the trail of ascending blackness. He
blocked it all, the wind ruffling his hair, the wild, unkempt vegetation, the
wobbly reflection of the sun on the many ponds along his path, the faint whoosh
of leaves rubbing against each other, the buzzing of an all-too-curious bee
that wouldn’t leave his side, the thought of how much he enjoyed his pursuer’s
company, how much he loved her.

“Adam!” she called again.

She had caught up to him and, with all the might she could
muster, shoved him from behind. Letting out a hearty yelp as she did. Not so much
impacting him as forcefully, and surprisingly gently, pouncing on him. He lost
balance and, after a few failed attempts to regain his footing, started to
tumble, falling face first into a stale, still patch of murky water, his face
piercing its undisturbed surface.

He fell and fell, perpetually sinking into the water, into
the darkness. Into a pit of nothingness. Again, the screeching tires plagued
his mind. It hurt the most this time, feeling like a blunt blade wedged in his
head.

And, with that, the last of a string of a thousand memories
bolting through his mind had ended. In rapid succession, they occupied his
thoughts once more. Every cherished memory, every warm, welcoming smile, every
image of a loved one engrained in his mind. Memories of life-long friendships,
of days spent laughing till it hurt, of lost loves. Every agitation of his
soul. The insufferable screech assaulting him in between each one.

The sound, as it did before, started to die down. Drowned out
by the ebony of a never-ending emptiness.

Fading one last time.

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9 comments

  1. Samir dearest, this had me Google 20 words man! #YesItIsThisGood. And again, your way of portraying a scene that wouldn't take 3 minutes of filming is Amazing. #IWouldABuyABookWithThisShitIncluded and again, #ItIsThisGood.

  2. I only have three words to say to you, because simply, I cannot express how good this is. Three words: I Loved It.. want another three words? You Are Talented. EPIC!.. Amazing! just too good! (Ok that was way more than 3 words).

  3. One more stunning piece of writing! I love the seemingly insignificant yet precious moments you capture in your stories… short experiences that feather-touch the heart like a flash of light.. they end from where they start but they stretch vertically into the soul.Kudos ya Ahmed!! :))

  4. Awe-inspiringly, brilliantly, sensationally written! Your imagery is so…spot on mashallah. And as always, the horizon of my vocabulary is significantly broadened after reading your writing 🙂
    Can’t wait to read more.

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