The Light Source
Written by: Daniel Shearer
I awoke from my sleep. I stood up and walked to the bathroom. The cold tiles like ice cubes on the bottom of my feet. I splash some water in my face. Looking in the mirror wondering what happened to my youth I get the overwhelming feeling that I am not alone. I turn around and stare into the empty room where I had just unconsciously resided. The bed was a mess with emotions and let downs. On the ground were the scattered remnants of what remained of my existence. I had done this one too many times. My life is similar to a bridge that continuously collapses and the engineers that constructed the bridge are puzzled as to why they keep building a bridge that collapses. At some point in time those engineers that construct the bridge, that is me, will cease to build. Upon doing so I will be released from existence. All this flows into my consciousness from looking at the torn hotel room. This hotel was one that you don't need any identification to check in to. Identification isn't necessary because the people that come to this specific hotel don't usually leave. The scarce few that some how slip out the cracks of fate can rest easy, because everything will work out for them. For those that remain are not so lucky, myself included.
My face dripping with cold water, I breathe slowly. My appearance no longer has the appeal it once had. I used to be a much younger man, my skin and voice has become tattered and worn through the struggle of time. Pausing for air is no longer an option. Standing there on the cold tiles with my stomach hanging I go to turn off the light. As I do my eyes catch sight of a small light coming from the corner of the mirror. I touch it and the corner of the mirror is hot. Perplexed as to why my mirror would be warm in the corner, I try scratching at it. Little slivers of silver mirror sprinkle onto the marble sink. The light began to feel warmer, and appeared to be getting brighter.
The whole problem with my life is that I am not what you call a go getter. I drift on through existence. One day at a time so to speak. I never quite understood what the point of life was. You come here, forced without an inkling of freedom. Slowly the days compile into weeks, months, years, birthdays, girlfriends, tax returns, car break downs. After a while it is like there aren't even days to live in; there are only events churning over and over.
The light coming from my mirror was now the size of a quarter. I couldn't look into the light directly because I have sensitive eyes. As a result I have to wear glasses. The pair of glasses that clung to my face is the only pair that I have owned in twenty years. I remember my ex girlfriend gave them to me to help me read. I had been getting head aches from the strain of using my eyes, just one of the many anguishes of my pointless suffering. The more I think the more difficult things become.
The slivers of mirror on the sink were reflecting the image of a fat man wearing glasses scratching at his mirror while light slowly poured out. The more I scratched the more alive I truly felt. This had been the longest I stood in front of a mirror in years. I was beginning to see who I had become, as my memories whispered all the horrors in my ear. There had been many times where I contemplated suicide because I could not stand the reality of who I am. But I don't think I am alone in that. Anyone who has ever been has considered suicide a viable option, to say the least.
My fingernail was beginning to sting with every scrape. A little blood began to drip down the wall. The light had grown to about the size of a cantaloupe, and was brighter than ever. I peered into it with curiosity, but every time it produced a sensational pain in my eyes. I took off my glasses and looked into the light. It blinded what little amount of blurry vision I had. As I felt around the edges of the mirror I felt something sticky on the opposite corner by where I had initially began scraping. I scratched at it and it felt somewhat like a sticker. I began slowly peeling it back. The light grew with immensity. Blinded while I peeled, light began pouring into my hotel room from out of the bathroom. It felt like I was pulling a giant sticker off where the mirror once was. The sticker like mirror peeled around the light where I had been scraping at from the start. I completely peeled the mirror off, and threw it to the ground where it shattered and then turned into a liquid. My hotel room and bathroom was engulfed in a haze of bright light coming from where my mirror once was. I could not open my eyes.
I look at the ground that is now reflecting the light, and tears began running down my face. This was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I climbed onto the marble sink countertop and looked down at the liquid mirror. I felt the bright light's warmth on my back. I turned my head towards the light and it felt like the soft warmth from a person's face. I could not peer into it because every time I did, my eyes sealed shut. I closed my eyes and turned around, blindly stepping forward into the light where my mirror once was. Immediately I was consumed by the light.
Knocking came from the hotel door. The hotel manager had just received complaints from the other patrons that there was a blinding light coming from one of the hotel room's window. There is light coming from underneath the door, the manager thought to himself. After several knocks and squawks about how the man should open the door, the manager slipped the key into the lock. A series of pointed teeth and notches aligned with the lock and he rotated the key. The door unlocked and the manager was instantly hit by a warming sensation coming from the light. The light poured down the dark hallway like a wave of water crashing on a beach. The manager walked forward blindly while yelling for the light to be turned off. But this wasn't a light that could be turned off with an electric switch.
A woman in her mid forties awoke due to the light coming from underneath her hotel door. She had just fallen asleep crying because her husband cheated on her with his secretary. Now she was going to have to get a divorce, which would cause the kids to be cut in half. Torn by selfish desire and indignation for her husband, she took her kids in the middle of the night and ran off to a trashy hotel. Now there was a light coming from the hallway. She stood up, tired and worn out with emotion and walked to the door. She peered through the peephole out into a light that was too bright. Confused and blinded in one eye she peeled her eye from the peephole. She unlocked the door and stretched her neck into the hallway. The warm sensation hit her face, and she forgot all about her husband and how evil the world was. She stepped out blindly into the hallway which caused her hotel room to fill with light. Her kids awoke alarmed by the light and followed her out into the hallway with their eyes closed. Huddled as a group they continued down the hall blind, but the feeling of warmth guided them to the source. They reached the open door with the manager and walked in. They all stood together in the man's apartment, held in place by the light.
A kid in his late twenties wakes up. He blacked out because of the heroin he had injected into his skin via a syringe that lie next to him on the ground. His arm was scattered with dots from poking holes to fill his body with chemicals. Because the regular chemicals were not enough, life's natural chemicals are never enough. It came to this as result of him being reckless and not considering how precious life is, but he doesn't know this. He always thought people pushed rather than pulled, which was partly true. As he slowly gained consciousness he walked up to the window. Pulling the shades aside, he looked out into the ghostly night. The empty street was dormant yet active. Like a volcano ready to erupt, at any moment there could be a shoot out between a cop and a bank robber. This hotel is that kind of hotel. Every decision the kid had ever made led up to him standing at that window. It could have been different too. If one person would have reached out, his whole life could have been different. For him it is never too late, because he feels invincible. He could wait forever, over consuming drugs, until finally someone pays attention. Unfortunately his insides are made of mush and too much of any poison spoils mush. From the window's reflection the kid sees his hotel's door and the bright light coming from underneath it. Curious he walks towards the door, kicking his syringe on the way. He opens the door and is hit with warm light. He is immediately engulfed.
This happens as the manager and the woman with her children stand in the man's room, blinded by the light. They faced the bathroom where the light was coming from. Every few seconds they took small peaks from behind their eyelids at the magnificent light. They could see the bathroom floor covered with a glassy liquid. The liquid reflects the bright light coming from where the mirror once was. And this is the most beautiful thing that they have ever seen. They all get closer to the bathroom doorway. The manager opens his eye a crack and sees a glowing arm coming from the source of the light; where the mirror once was. He steps into the glassy liquid and feels the coldness rushing up his body. He reaches out and grabs the arm coming from the source of light and gets pulled into the light. The woman and her children get the overwhelming urge to follow the manager. The source itself was extremely bright and the warmth was so comforting. The woman picks her children up one by one and sets them on the marble sink countertop. Stepping into the cold liquid the woman feels cold hands grab onto her legs. The glassy liquid had arms coming out grabbing onto the woman. The children tried their best to pull their mother up. She struggles kicking and screaming at the phantom hands pulling her into the glassy liquid. She looks down into the liquid and sees an image of the future.
Her husband would lose the settlement case but later prove that the mother couldn't support the two children on her own. So the brother would go with his father and the daughter with her mother. The woman looked up at her son's face and saw as it began to fade. Her husband would take her son. She looked down at the glassy liquid, which displayed an image of the two children growing apart. The reflection of the source of light began to fade on the glassy liquid; no longer reflecting the same beautiful image. The children looked on in horror as their mother and the water's emotions became evident to them.
The gambler awoke. He was a short man with only three fingers on each hand. He was such a degenerate he bet his fingers for money and lost. His face was bruised and battered due to a beating he took from his bookie. He rose from his sheets sweaty and tired. He saw the light coming from the hallway and dismissed it despite how bright it appeared to be. He went into his kitchen and took a pull from his whiskey. Feeling the urge to evacuate his bladder he rushed into the bathroom. The cold tiles felt like ice cubes on the bottom of his feet. Once done peeing he looked into the mirror at his terrible image. He had lost all hope for himself and mankind. The reason why his bookie beat him so badly the night before was because he didn't dispose of the dead body the way he was told to. He had to dispose of a body to pay off some debt that he had taken on. But the bookie had other motives. He had planted the murder weapon in the gamblers car, which was enough to ensure that he gets the death penalty. The gambler had no idea of this, and was going to be sentenced to the death penalty two months later. As he stared into the mirror he noticed that a corner appeared to have sunken into the wall. He pressed on the edge where the missing chunk was, which caused his entire mirror to crack. Enraged he smashed the mirror with his fist. The shards of mirror instantly turned into a glassy liquid. The gambler looked on shocked. He touched the liquid, which didn't have the same texture as water. Where the mirror once stood was a black image. The gambler hesitantly reached his hand out and touched the blackness. Instantly he was swallowed whole. The gambler opened his eyes and saw a murky image of children screaming and a mother kicking at his arm which was grasping to her leg. He did not understand where he was or why he was grabbing her leg. But he felt the sudden urge to pull her in. So he tightened his grip.
The mother kept screaming at the phantom hand. She was pulling at the other arm coming out of the light source which had reached out to save her. When she looked into the light with her squinting eyes she felt a warm feeling, like she did when she was in love, or the first time she held her daughter. If she looked away and looked into the glassy water at the phantom hand holding her leg she felt cold and dead. She looked over at her children who were reaching out to her, but the light source produced another arm which reached out and coaxed her children into the light. The mother watched on as her children disappeared into the warm comforting light.
The mother clung to the arm coming out of the light source. She was frightened for her life, and the only thing she could think about was her children. She imagined them safe, with a happy and united family. The glassy water began to rise and splash up on her. She felt the presence of death and felt her shadow cower in fear. The water rose up to the sink and began to touch the edges of the source of light where the mirror once was. The mother could only watch as the water rose up her torso draining her will to live. The gambler within the water gave it one last pull and with that, the mother's leg broke. She fell into the water with all of her will power drained, accepting the inevitable. The only thought on her mind was how beautiful her two children were, and how the world would balance out. With her last thought she hoped that her children could grow up to be stronger than she ever was. Her body sank into the glassy water. The gambler devoured her.
The water continued to push on the source of light cutting off the waves of light from crashing into the hallways. As the water rose, the gambler's body and remains of the mother's body became one with the water which had turned a muddy black color. As the water pushed into the light source, the people inside began to scream. One by one the children's bodies, the manager's body and the heroin kid's body poured out of the light source. The bodies were consumed by the water. The only one that remained was me.
I had become one with the light source, once this happened I became aware of all things. What the water didn't know is that I knew how the whole situation played out. I turned all the water back into the mirror that it once was. I picked it up and smashed it into little pieces. Then I turned it back into a whole mirror and smashed it again. I rebuilt it one more time and this time I could see all the people that were swallowed by the water. I smashed the mirror one more time and the people appeared out of the shards. They were all soaking wet, and there were no more remainders of the mirror. I turned to the light source and allowed it to engulf me. As the light faded from the light source, I saw the mother, and I knew she would get back together with her husband. I saw the kid in his twenties and I knew he would clean up his act. I saw the manager, and knew he would quit his job. But I did not see the gambler. Nor did I see myself.