Oh dear I am rather later than normal with this Sunday blog post – I’ve been busy decorating and time just got away from me. Afraid you’ll just have to make your own tea today but I can offer this little story as compensation – although how much compensation it is remains to be seen! It was actually written in 2010 in response to the prompt “Trip” and this is where my trip took me!
“Hello… is anyone there? Hello?”
My voice echoed back to me, the only sound I could hear apart from my own ragged breathing and the steady thud, thud of my increasingly rapid heartbeat.
I didn’t know how I had ended up there, but even worse I didn’t know how to get out. I was trapped, caught, lost in a darkness that offered no hope of rescue or salvation.
Far above me I could see the smallest pin prick of light, a suggestion of the world above, but if my terrified voice even managed to penetrate so high there was obviously no one above to hear me.
With my knees pressed up to my chest I wrapped my arms around my legs, my own embrace the only comfort I could find and that was scarce comfort indeed.
I knew it was pointless, hopeless, but I called out anyway. What else could I do?
I tried to look around me but the darkness was all but absolute. The ground beneath me was solid, a cold compacted soil that my fingernails could only scratch the surface of, releasing a few particles of dirt to become embedded beneath my nails. The walls around me were the same, smooth and with no breech, no corner or sign of exit.
Was it a hole or a well? I had no way of knowing. Did I trip and fall into its depths? It seemed unlikely as such a fall would have at the very least caused injury and yet I felt no pain. No physical pain.
I didn’t realise how cold my skin was until the heat of my tears scorched my cheeks, my whole body shaking with a combination of hysterical sobbing and utter fear.
A million questions raced through my mind but not a single one of them was rewarded with an answer.
What the hell was going on?
With my eyes squeezed tightly shut against the darkness I began to rock. Back and forth, my arms wrapped so tightly around myself I could hardly breathe, I rocked, a methodical motion with which I attempted to soothe myself.
“Hello?” My voice was barely a whisper, tear filled and afraid; more than afraid, alone… defeated.
In my mind I tried to conjure memories of anything other than the darkness in which I found myself.
I could recall the warmth of the sun on my skin and the softness of the newly mown grass beneath my fingers. The fresh, alluring cut grass scent filled my senses, mingled with the perfume of the blossoms around me. There was a soft buzz as a honeybee rushed past my ear and the joyful song of a dozen birds as they perched on the high branches and sang of the joys of being alive.
I smiled at the memory, I felt almost as if I could get to my feet and run across the grass, flinging my arms out joyfully as I raced through a spring day.
Leaning back slightly I felt the hard wall at my back, its cold unrelenting bleakness stealing my memories, my dreams, from me and bringing me back to the cold darkness where I inexplicably found myself.
“Hello? Anyone?” I didn’t even shout this time. What was the point, there was no one around, no one able to rescue me from the pit in which I found myself. No escape.
Opening my eyes I winced at the brightness of the light, lifting one hand to block the beam that seemed to be directly right into my face.
More silence, more stillness as my eyes slowly adjusted to the newly found light.
Rubbing my hands over my face I let out a small derisive laugh. I knew exactly where I was. There was no deep dark hole, no dirt beneath my fingers or glimmer of light far above my head.
The wall facing me supported a large brightly coloured picture of a man, his strong handsome features looking directly at me, his guitar held out before him, his full pink mouth holding the promise of a smile.
To my left was the window through which the early morning sunlight had begun to shine, its beams blinding me only moments earlier; and to my right was the door to the rest of the house and beyond that the rest of the world.
I was nowhere more terrifying than my own room in the home I had known for many years.
With a sigh I swung my legs from the bed, stretching up high to ease my aching muscles.
Looking around my brightly coloured room I still saw the darkness.
You don’t always have to be at the bottom of a pit to be lost in the shadows