To see the light

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
To be forever drenched in rain, with no sight of the sun even in the day. How would people survive?

Submitted: September 01, 2016

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Submitted: September 01, 2016

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Illlight

(pronounced ill- laigh)

 

Rain.

It greeted us every morning, accompany us through the day, said goodnight to us at night and lull us to sleep with its continuous pitter-patter of droplets. It covered the ground by a foot or higher, we have never seen a patch of dry land in our whole life.

It was there the day I was born. Monotonous, endless in its existence. Ever-present so much that one drop seems to form a line from the sky to the ground, making a few meters distance seems like a thick, penetrable wall.

I live within a small community made up of people, boxes that made up our homes and these enormous walls, only a feet in width, that has been ‘ there even before we’ved moved here’ the elders say. Peculiar they are, dull, ragged on one side, shiny and polished on the other; so clear we could see ourselves even through the heavy blanket of water droplets. Even more peculiar in that these seven walls are somehow linked together, all of them moving when one is pushed; a feat made possible only by their incredible lightness. Angled as they are, we used the shelter it provides to build our homes in a relatively protected area. More could fit under those that were angled backwards so severely, while others content themselves with lesser space under those that were tilted only slightly.

There was a sun.

Old stories say, so long ago that it is almost a myth. They say it was a huge golden ball in the sky that sheds light on every surface it touches. It marks the end of the day with its setting, the start of the day with its rising. Now we measure a day by our body clocks, so ingrained we still woke to what should be the light of dawn, for there was no difference. Hours, days and months pass by yet the light forever remained dim. The sky always clouded, grey and stormy, blocking us from seeing what’s beyond - even the mythical sun. We have enough light to see our hands, to see our faces, people who are nearby and places we walk on. Yet there is the limit. For we couldn’t see what’s beyond our abode, what lies further in the darkness surrounding us, what place was it that we call our home. With the absence of light colors have no meaning, thus everything was dull and monochrome.

Again, again and again. Everyday remains the same, the actions we do; routine. Nothing changes.

 

Until one day.

 

That day, we woke as usual, expected nothing that we have not seen. It went as we wished, rain, boxes, people and walls. It was different however when we tilt our heads to listen. The sound of the falling droplets of water is there, as it always was however, it compelled us to turn and venture beyond the walls to the outside.

To an observer, they would see blurred shapes of people, different stances, sitting, standing, squatting, with the absence of any motion, quiet and still as they waited in the rain.

It took me awhile, to recognize what we heard, or more precisely what we did not hear. Even as we see the blanket of rain before us, the heaviness of its presence, the deep hum of its life, was lifting. Not so much but enough that a few were unnerved by the difference in the accompanying song of the rain that has been there throughout our entire lives. Agitated, pacing- calm, waiting, we stayed outside as we listen. It did not stop – no – it is continuing to abate ever so slightly more as the time ticked by. No work was done that day, for we were captivated, marveled and some feared, at the change that was unveiling. We went to sleep, still listening to the ever- abating sound of our lullaby.  The next day was significantly different than the day before, or any other day. The heaviness is still there however, for the first time, shapes became visible to us. Distant as they are we could not see what it was, so it was with restlessness that we went to bed that day. What beheld us the next day has frightened some into saying the end is coming, for there is Light.

Far towards the horizon, a pale yellow light can be seen, quickly did it spread, nearer and nearer, driving a few into the safety of their boxes. It stopped spreading quite a ways from us however, the comforting layer of grey clouds still covering the sky of our abode, showering us still with its water.

 With the light, we can see. 

At the distance, what we saw before was what the elders call Mountains, hills made of the ground we feel piled high. The mountain forms a ring around us, an enclosure we are in. Nearer to us, what was more peculiar was the stone wall, waist high that circled our home as well. Nearer than the mountain, but still farther away than our massive walls. And here is the wonder-

What we thought was just seven walls that were linked by magic was actually held together by long, torso-wide beams and pillars. Sprouting out beyond the walls and making up the structure within. Before there was light it was thought that those obstacles were merely boxes in a row. We never had reason to move the walls, it was the elders that said they discovered in the early times. A beauty it was, in a crude way to the eyes that has rarely seen much.

 A huge structure with glinting shiny walls facing outwards, attached at uneven intervals to the menacing black beams that spoke of warning or protection.

With the wonders of sight, there is much joy among the people, sitting in comfort, basking in the ability to see in so much detail. I ventured out, near the stone wall and not after it, sitting there and watching the bright sky peeking behind the grey clouds. Hours passed again, and as the old stories say, the brightness of the day began to fade with the setting of the sun that we couldn’t see yet we know it exist now. All was dark again.

Truly the touch of dawn greeted us as we woke the next day, again never reaching further into our land.  I took my place again, this time watching the land that was dusted in the orangey shade of the morning sun. The land was dry there, not a hint of water outside the boundary of the grey clouds.

The adventurous spoke of travelling beyond the boundary, of feeling the grains of dry land, yet none dared to take the first step, for water is all we know. But what they told stirred a long hidden desire of ours to finally roam free, discovering what lands truly do we inhabit, are we the only ones here. I sat there through the day, as the sky beyond starts to darken, I waited for the darkness of night to fall again. A gradual change it was, light ever so slowly disappearing in the horizon. As it continues however, a change once again came as we discover soft beams of light breaking through the clouds directly above us. One at first, then two, then more, creating another sort of rain, scattered as it were. The light of it illuminated the steady downpour of our water droplets, glittering lines falling from the sky.

Enraptured we were again, as our dwelling continue to shine as the rest of the world grows dark. Sleep did not come for me, content to wait by the wall and observe. A marvel it was, that I didn’t look away until a sliver of something caught the edges of my vision, I turned, and there is another miracle. For upon what must be the mountains was light, rectangular in shape.

I must have made a sound as the one nearest to me turned as well, shouting a cry that was echoed by many others as more and more did the same. We stared at the sight, wondering where the light came from. Nearer I crept to the wall, until my knees brushed against it and my hands leaned upon it. There is something strange about that light as it was moving; flickering, trembling. As I looked closer I can see what seems like shadows of waves flowing downwards, never ending. Familiar.

“It’s the walls!” I shouted.

Murmurs and agreeing exclamations answered my call. Many swiveling heads back and forth from the wall nearest to the stone barrier to the mountain. I looked myself, seeing the reality of the light basking the wall in all its glory, it shined so bright my eyes squinted of their own accord for I had no desire to close them. The droplets of water created small rivers and lines as they flowed down. Free in its way, it broke a line to swerve to the left, then to the right, continuing in its dance as it travelled down. Rain has been a constant companion to me yet this is the first time, I saw so much beauty in the infinite drops. The beams disappear as the sun rises.

The night passed and it was day again.

Though we bore little excitement for the light of the sun today, trembling with anticipation we are, yearning for the magic of the night again. Changed we are, mundanity ceased as suppressed energy and tension roiled underneath surfaces of skin and communication. Eager we waited for the dark to come back.

The cover of darkness fell. Once more, the peaceful serenity of the light at night, as well as the glowing raindrops kept us spellbound to our positions. The mark of light on the mountain was there as well, a beacon in the dark. A sudden thought it was, of somebody who thought a lot. The structure can be moved can’t it?

Again the near mad adrenaline overcame our body, the accompaniment as we grappled with the fast changes that was being thrown upon us day after day, we moved boxes, homes and whatever loose debree we saw, freeing the structure, so that it stood in its bare body at last. A ring the mountain was, plenty of things for the light to shine upon. A few people to a wall, around seven or so, for make no mistake while the walls are light it was in relevant to its size. A single man wouldn’t be able to move it. Positioned, ready, waiting.

“Heave!”

And we move.

We are all positioned to the left of the walls, thus now turning it to the right with a mighty shove from our bodies. It was with little sound it turned, docile and obedient it can be. As it moved however, the huge walls cut a trail through the foot high water that made up our ground. The water parted before the walls like it was nothing but mere air, sliding along the front and back, separated before the first’s man’s feet and joining back together after the fifth’s man heel like there was never a gap in the beginning.

As we push, the rectangular light shifts as well, slowly moving off the mountain, hitting the gap between two, and finally hitting the next one. Cheers there are! With glee we tried again.

The different walls have different angles to them, and we played with them. Some of the projections were on the mountains, though on different height, while some of them managed to reach the sky, using the grey clouds as its background.

All night we played, we heave and push, forward, to the right, to the left, what fun it was!

The Light of the sun arrive too early for us, yet as it reaches our eyes we felt the drain of energy we had from the strenuous heaving all night, and one by one everybody drifted to bed. Strange, to sleep in the day and to be up and about at night, I thought. We slept through the day we did, I rise only when the pale yellow horizon was touched by the blue darkness of the coming night. Again I took my seat, looking to the outside. The land is still dry again, in fact it seemed to be parched, not receiving the water it sorely need, what we have in abundance. We are lucky then, for the uniqueness of our home.

Darker and darker it became outside, and once again the scattered rain of light began to emerge. We took our positions again, ready to play.

“Heave!”

And it started.

The structure was pushed round, forward, backward and all sorts of direction while we try to get the light where we wanted it to go. While the people were pushing outside however, I was within the boundary of the walls, watching the huge beams turn and move, having to quickly jump when its upon me, a good seat it provides too when I sat upon it. Patches of light streamed from above, what little escaped the capture of the shiny walls. Blinking in appearance, then disappearing again when the structure move, only to appear somewhere else. The vertical rays of bright light clashing with the array of black beams giving the space an impression of a dance.

Through the night we played again, the projection of the water ever so fascinating. I still sat there with my rays of white and black.

Shouts of surprise drew me outside however, as the night was near ending. I gasped and stared, for upon the clouds was a rectangular light, though familiar, most definitely not one of our own. Seeing as on this patch there are shapes on it. Lines forming one shape then preceded by another shape, four in total in a horizontal line.

Puzzled are we as to what message dos it mean, it still couldn’t overcome the shock of discovering another group of people besides us in this strange world. We paced and stared, unsure as to how to answer them, until the sun rise again and erased the image of the four shapes. For a while we stood there, still looking at that spot before one by one we went to bed again, the night will have answers.

Time passed and again night came. We pushed the structure, still having no name, so that the rectangular light falls in between two mountain, reaching beyond to whoever is there to answer. We waited. This time there were less exclamations but nonetheless we were startled when another rectangular light emerged on our grey sky. This time however, the message was clearer, in a liquid of a thicker substance than our beloved rain, was a drawn image of a water droplet.

Water, they need. The image of the parched land came unbidden through my mind.

“Water they wanted! There is none outside.” I told the others.

We shifted the contraption, so that one of the angled ones hit the clouds as well, next to the message, the flowing rivulets of water clearly visible on our light.

“We must show them the way! There is plenty of water here!” Another shouted.

“Yes! Help them!” yet another.

The cry was spreading as quick as light, until the whole community was shouting their agreement. Together we composed a way of directing, then we head to our positions.

“Heave!”

We pushed.

First to the left, turned to one of the angled ones, making sure the light hit the barest edge of our cloud boundary. A few seconds we stayed still, then we moved again. This time turning to the one that is slightly more angled, moving the structure backwards, making the projected light nearer, in the same line. A few seconds we waited again, and we move. This time turning to one of the most angled and the structure backwards, so that the light is nearer than the second, still in the same line. A pulsing image of direction towards us. We are restricted by the waist high stone wall, in a circle it is, not letting us push the structure further than its given space.

A sequence we established, and we repeated again.

As the Walls were moved, the trails of split water followed in its wake, also the ground beneath it was dug a shallow trench. A trail of its passing. Forwards, water parted so severely, a hole was left behind for a few seconds, giving us a view of our grounds for the first time before it is covered again. Turned, the trail brushing the sides of the first’s man’s feet, covering the feet of the six’s, the trench a path for the feet to follow. Backwards, lines of trenches erased and smoothed, turned, a new group of trenches and trails form. Backwards, smoothed, by the width of the walls, turned, cutting through water and flattened ground.

Repeat.

A dance it was, patterns shaped and formed only to be erased a mere few seconds later, wide trenches by the width marring the ground, thinner streaks by the side. The water sloshed and splashed severely, yet the swirling little waves followed the movement as much as a baby follows it mother.

Again, again and again.

How long we went on we were not sure, all just thinking of our brethren who needed help that we can provide.

As the sun was near rising, and our energy was drained, we nearly gave up on our quest, hope diminishing. That is until, along with the horizon of the morning sky we say a band of people, carrying some shiny things, appearing from in between the mountains.

Yells and shouts. Cheers and tears. A meeting of two.

 

 

 

 


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