Black darkness had the world wrapped in a filmy smoke screen. The people of the earth had not but the false light that comes from wires in glass that hangs on a chain like some lifeless animal.
Nothing but crowded graveyards overcomes by only plants that fed of the gloom that rose from the shadowy cities. The stench of decay and death was over powering, like being in a gas chamber filling with a poisonous gas. The people knew nothing of flowers but only the tearing hunger growling and tearing like a demon in their stomachs.
In one small town there lived a girl that had dreams when she slept but not the dreams of the others. In hers there were no monsters or darkness but instead she dreamed of oddly colored things that sprouted from the ground. Some had soft delicate petals that smelled of a fragrance so sweet it made her dizzy. Her dream had none of the gloom of her world but instead it was filled with a warm light that didn’t come from a bulb but from a great orb too bright to gaze upon.
When she awoke in the cold black she would often pull her knees up to her chest and cry. She would go out to her school and draw pictures of green things growing from the ground and she would day dream of the great light. Her peers would often poke her and make fun of her but still she drew her pictures and continued to dream.
After a couple of years of dreaming, hoping and smiling she was on her deathbed. Visitors would come by with their lights shining from tubes and lit wax and they would whisper to her their empty apologies. She would stare at them and their dark features then she would smile warmly and tell them that she wasn’t afraid to close her eyes for the last time. The people would shake their heads as though she was mad and leave quietly, taking their false light with them.
After about a week people began to mourn her and she found that she could no longer stand or feed herself but still she found the strength to smile and she dreamed on of the great orb of light. Finally came the day that she could hardly speak as the sickness shook her little body. Her parents stood solemnly at the foot of her bed and as she looked into her parents faces, she saw only despair and gloom. They seemed so forlorn that it made her heart hurt and she wanted to cry but she no longer had the strength.
She wanted so much to share the light with them but there was no way she could. After all it was her dream, wasn’t it. That night she had a dream but her dream was dark like the others, there was no great orb but only the pressing darkness. She looked down and saw a dirt path under her feet. She began to walk, the pebbles crunching under here feet. She kept her eyes adverted down so she wouldn’t have to look at the horrible dark.
Suddenly a light filled her eyes and she looked up, butterflies in her stomach. Suddenly she felt her heart run cold as her eyes fell upon a terrible sight. The great orb was locked behind huge iron gates. A padlock the size of her head held them shut and she fell to her knees. Tears began to stream down her face and as a last resort she folded her small boney hands in front of her in prayer.
Her tiny voice rose above all else, “Please, if you are there. I ask you to let me bring this light back to my people. I want them to see beauty and know true happiness. Please let me give them something to enjoy for they suffer. I’ll give you anything to release this light to give to my people.”
There was no answer but the wind howling somewhere in the darkness. Disappointed and weak she looked down to see a silver key that had appeared at her feet with a note attached to a string tied tightly around it. With trembling hands she reached down and unfolded the yellowing paper. From the light of the orb she could read, “This key unlocks the treasure you seek but let it be known that whoever lets it out has to takes its place. The door of darkness has to always hold a prisoner.”
The girl stared up at the orb with her face tear stained but determined. She wanted her people to have the light no matter what the consequences. She wanted them to be able to laugh no matter how much they had laughed at her. No matter how much they had beaten her and knocked her down she wanted them to have the opportunity to live under its warmth.
With a steady hand she held the key and inserted it into the key hole and turned. As the lock fell to the ground with a crash the orb flew out like a freed bird. Happy she walked through the open gate and walked into the growing darkness. There was a faint clank as the door shut tightly behind her and locked itself.
© Copyright 2016 Amaya Kateke. All rights reserved.
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