Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)
TITLE: Blind Truth
By Amy Michelle Wiley
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The police come, their voices floating over my hospital bed, asking questions I don’t understand. Questions I don’t remember the answers to, if I ever knew. My brain is stuck in that one moment, in that redness so bright it fills my brain, crowds out everything else. Only one other thing is there...a sound, a word, yelled above the explosion.
“No!!” It lingers in the darkness sometimes, only barely tinged with red. I turn it over in my mind, listen to it again, seeking for meaning.
I gather bits of information from what I catch of conversations, from the questions they still ask. Mother tells me more, patting my hand, trying to be gentle. “They say Daniel was dabbling in things, dangerous things. They don’t know all the pieces, but they say he bought parts that could be used to make a bomb.”
The pieces… the facts… are there, shattered by the blast. Torn apart and drifting in the sea of red. I wonder if they can be repaired, put together with the right meaning, or if everything will forever be broken, carried to the grave with Daniel, gone with the vapors of my vision.
I think of Daniel, how he’d been so attentive recently. Did he do it on purpose? I know that’s what everyone is asking, even if it’s silently. I hear the echo again, try to picture what happened besides the red and the yell. Did the bomb just go off too soon? Did he yell “no!” because he’d made a mistake and gotten trapped? Or was the no because it happened at all? Maybe, perhaps, it was a cry of repentance. Would God forgive a cry, just one word? Would the crimson of Jesus’ blood cover the red of the explosion?
For a time I wonder if I’ll find out. The pain is so strong I think I might slip away to the other side, and I’ll see for myself which place Daniel landed. But it abates over the days, pain mingling with medicines, voices, and the colors, always the colors, all the tumbling shades of red.
The doctors come, and for the moment the questions fall to the side, slipping away as easily as the bandages that come from my eyes, one layer at a time. For a moment I think I see, for the red is so bright, so strong.
But it’s a lie. The color I see is the light that took my sight to begin with. The flash was so brilliant, so strong it took everything with it as it faded, leaving only illusions, only memories.
Memories. Have I even those? I draw my hand across my face, feeling the skin that weeps, though my eyes do not. Then suddenly I see it, clear in my mind’s eye. A shadow falls dark against the red, a Daniel-shaped shadow, running not from the blast, but toward it, throwing itself over the redness, swallowing it up. And I know then the red is for sacrifice paid—Jesus’ and Daniel’s.
“I remember. About Daniel.” I speak to the room, my words falling from my mouth. The swirl of emotions and colors slow, and I grab the right one. Passion. “He saved my life.”
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