Saturday, June 18, 2005

Choices in the Smoke

Now that I'm back from Biloxi it's time to begin posting my old stories once again. This one was written in November of 1999. The theme was "Smoke". I didn't really remember this story but on re-reading it I kinda like it. Hopefully you will too.

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All around me was smoke. I could see nothing but that. It was light and I could see, just not anything but smoke. What? No I know it was not fog it was smoke. I don't know how I know I just know, maybe because it didn't feel damp. It really doesn't matter. Walking didn't seem to do any good so I finally just stood there.

I heard a rushing sound and looked toward it and there was a dark stain or something swirling in the smoke in that direction. It was getting bigger and just looking at it filled me with dread. I tried to back up and run away but the dark smoke soon engulfed me. I looked around and I could see the smoke swirling around but leaving breaks now and then. I looked at them. The one that looked closest got clearer. I saw a little boy in a store take a pack of gum and put it in his pocket. Then the smoke obscured the scene. Another clearing, this one a car on a dark road trying to turn around and knocking over a mail box then leaving in a cloud of dust. Again smoke soon obscured the scene. Then I knew what I was seeing because I saw myself as a college student in a scene I recognized. Unsure of myself I looked at somebody's test paper for the one and only time in my life.

I tried not to look but could not not look if you know what I mean. Even though I wanted desperately to get out of here to not have to see all the things I was seeing whether I wanted to or not. I told myself it must be a nightmare and not to panic, that I'd wake up soon.  That didn't do much good. I saw more and more. Little things that hardly seemed so bad as well as things I'm not going into here because I'm so ashamed of them.

Not panicking didn't work though. Soon I was in a sweat and felt like a trapped animal, looking for any way out. I remember thinking "God I've got to get out of here". I looked for a way out but saw only more and more hideous things including some that I know I'dnot done. Was it things I was going to do? I hope not, it was horrible!

Just then I saw a small light spot in the dark smoke. It seemed to be driving the dark smoke away. Soon there was a light area that like the dark had gaps and I could begin to see scenes. I saw me freeing a trapped squirrel from a net over my tomatoes. I saw me changing that lady's tire for her in the rain. More and more scenes like this came to the forefront and the light area spread. It did not eliminate the dark but it got seemingly equal time. Here too I saw things I know I didn't do or hadn't yet done.

What was this? It really didn't feel like a nightmare. I haven't read "A Christmas Carol" for ages and that's sort of what this reminded me of with the Ghosts of Christmas past and so on. Only there were no ghosts. I did think I caught fleeting glances of dark and light figures. They were too fleeting to be sure though so maybe I didn't. I remember wondering when I would wake up. All around me now was about half light and half dark mixed all together now where it was hard to see the good without having to look the bad in the face. I tried my best only to look at the light scenes since the feeling of comfort was, well comforting.

Then it all started like fading. It got more and more indistinct. Then I woke up here. I don't remember going to the hospital. I was out for my morning walk. Now I find myself here and you tell me I passed out. Well I don't remember. I remember what I dreamed only it is so much more real than a dream. I think maybe I was sent a message. Out of the smoke I think I was told that I'm not getting any younger and I've got a choice in my life in the things that I do and that I will be accountable for them when all is said and done. Well I was there, I got a sneak preview and I know which I'd rather be faced with for eternity.


1 comment:

jen73169 said...

WOW!!! I LOVE it!!! Welcome Home Bill.
Jennifer