Vietrov, D (Photographer). (n.d.). Serious guy in a black robe. [Photo].
(Short Disclosure Before Story)
I am an aspiring author and writer. What makes or breaks a writer (I am learning) is the amount of content one writer has circulating out there in the world. The more content, the more likely it is for you to be noticed so it is logical that the lack of content can make it harder for audiences to know your voice and genre of mastery. So I’ve decided to begin posting some of my private works along with some of the insight I learn throughout my journey in the writing industry. Below is my short story, The Choice. This is only Part 1 so look for Part 2 later this month. Enjoy!
- The Choice
An aggressive bedlam absorbs the world into utter desolation. Dizzying red and blue lights perched atop distinguishable vehicles rotate everywhere but I’d lost the ability to hear their wails some while ago. Heroes of the community, too, discernable by their uniforms are laden with apprehension, overwrought by the scene, running about with masks of desperation, attempting control over the unassailable chaos, screaming words that are inaudible to me. Camera crews capture the occurrence, broadcasting the fatal news to millions of people. Everything is blocked off by a massive perimeter enforced by yellow tape and officers.
Disbelief won’t allow me to look away from the horrific happening, this chaotic scene surrounding a smaller, more dreadful one—a boy with his small brown arm sticking from underneath the back end of a white sedan lying in a pool of red with a teddy panda clothed in green overalls just inches away from his fingertips.
The car’s nose had shattered upon striking the wooden electric pole, the driver’s face painted with a bloody, wide-eye death. Black fumes rise into the air from the front end of the car.
I should smell the smoke, shouldn’t I? And given the monumental fear and panic disseminating about the ether, delimiting everything and growing thicker and thicker, it should possess perfume too…shouldn’t it?
I remember my left shoulder being hot by the summer sun’s kiss. Now, I can feel nothing but a cold numbness. All I feel is the overbearing weight of an emotion that I cannot begin to decipher.
A woman across from me stands shouting at one of the uniformed heroes dressed in black and blue. Her black hair sprouts out in natural curls around her head like the petals of a sunflower. Pain shreds her more than anyone. Tears relentlessly stream down her smooth face.
The rescuers and heroes work against time to get the child from underneath the car. A stretcher is yanked from the back of an ambulance. Others try and migrate the crowds away from the wreckage that has now turned violent. A fire begins to feast upon the parts and wires underneath the hood.
The dead driver is removed first. A device is used to inch the car off the ground. Both hurriedly and meticulously—once the car’s back tires are elevated—some heroes help the boy from under the car.
The fire no longer eats with subtle hunger. It now professes its insatiable appetite. With every bite it grows mightier and fiercer.
Once the child is pulled free, they rush across the asphalt. Seconds follow and the car ruptures the silence that had taken my hearing, spitting noise, fire, car parts and energy against the air. I cover my ears as a hot wind pushes against me. My head throbs from the immediate presence of sound and the blast leaves a residual ringing inside my ears.
As I watch the world shift from frantic to elegiac, a memory enters my mind.
“Baby boy,” Mother says with a smile. “You don’t know how much I love you. You are the best thing your father gave me. But you must make me a promise, okay?”
I nod, the sadness in her eyes constructing her face in such a way that I inadvertently mimic the expression.
“The world will not understand you. They will hurt you. They will try and take you from me. They will destroy us if you show them your gift…your beautiful gift. Even if something happens to me, you must never use it. Okay? Promise me.”
“I promise,” I say.
I am tugged by desire and obligation to promise. I see so many heroes trying to make the pain go away but can’t. They can only do so much, only that which the description of their worn uniforms define.
No. I can’t. I made her a promise. Even when I lost her I kept my promise. I did not use my gift albeit my overwhelming desire to. Besides, with the whole world watching, the ramifications are unspeakable.
A sensation fills my skull and I feel a couple tears fall over my cheeks. As I watch the woman cry over her son’s corpse, this small life taken so soon, I’m torn thin.
Without thinking, I grab the yellow caution tape and slip underneath it, into the thick of funereal air.
“Sir!” one of the uniformed heroes shout. “You can’t be on this side of the tape. Please make your way back—”
“You will let me pass,” I say.
The man’s resolve is shattered and he doesn’t attempt to stop me. I continue through the thickening dejection until I am before the woman and her dead son. She looks up to me, sobbing. Through her eyes, I feel her broken heart shatter mine, her sorrow steal away my breath, and her hopelessness cry for help.
“I am most sorry for this unfortunate fate that has befallen your son. If you wish, I can make your pain go away.”
The sorrow swimming in her stare invites an inkling of intrigue.
“I offer you choice. I can bring back your son. This is something in my power to do. However, it comes at a price. You will live with him until you grow old and die but your price is oblivion. No afterlife. No heaven to rejoin him in. You will become nothing. If you wish for him back, this I will do.”
Consideration overtakes the sadness in her eyes. She contemplates over it and over before nodding.
I place my hand on the boy’s body. I open his mouth and breathe the white Spirit into him. His wounds begin to heal, his heart is revived with a steady cadence, and his lungs start to move his chest up and down. He wakes with a strong cough, gagging off of death’s alleviated hand.
The mother whelps with elation, crying with her boy in her arms.
Smiling, I turn around. Every pair of eyes ogle me, mixed stares of trepidation and awe, bemused by my supernatural performance. An odd and sudden gravity distends inside my chest that sinks to my stomach.
I lift my hands in gesture that I am harmless but my movement attract a series of drawn guns. I see the consequence of my broken promise, the consequence of my ignorance. For the first time in my life, I was truly, truly terrified.