Light and Dark

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Light and Dark

Tammy hummed a tune as she walked, contentment a pleasing weight on her shoulders. Home’s warmth drew her onwards.

Until light shattered the darkness.

She stumbled back, shielding watering eyes. Her throat tightened with sorrow. She’d known the summons would arrive someday – but, so soon? How could she leave everything behind? She wasn’t ready…

But she had to be ready. This was no request, and there was no choice to be made.

With tears running down her cheeks, she stepped into the light.

***

Marcus skulked along the darkened street, dragging his feet as he made his way home. He was in no hurry to arrive. After all, ‘home’, now, was simply an apartment stuffed full of rancid memories and bitter emotions, empty of any joy.

He was tired of living such a meaningless life.

His days were spent watching the world go by, simply waiting for his summons. Misery had been his only companion for too long.

When the gateway finally flared into existence before him, he smiled.

And stepped into the light.

Word Count: 175

To read the other entries, click the little blue frog.

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. I know, it’s very late! This week’s (very nearly last week’s) prompt was provided by Maria @ Doodles and Scribbles. Thank you, Maria!

This piece actually began life as two separate stories that I tried to write for this prompt. I couldn’t really get anything to work. After leaving them for a few days (work and Christmas tasks keep conspiring to keep me away from my blog) I realised that, with a few changes to each, the two actually fit together quite well.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide what exactly ‘the summons’ and ‘the gateway’ are… Have the character’s died? Were they alien spies, now called back by their masters? Were they creatures from a different realm of existence?

I’d be interested to know how you interpreted it. 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Light and Dark

  1. Hmmm…aliens? death? No. No. No. They are a couple, now separated, each waited for the other to be served with divorce papers. Neither one wanting to make the first move. Both dreading the inevitable. Am I way off base?…sorry…I am a divorce attorney…that’s what it sounds like to me. 🙂

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    • There are no wrong interpretations! I left it purposely open. I love to see how each reader provides their own context depending on their own interests and experiences. I might not have ever looked at it that way without your input, but I can definitely see it. 🙂 Thank you for the insightful comment, Jeanne.

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  2. Great story, Louise! I think the stories fit very well together. I think of the light as something mysterious and we will never know the answer until we too are summoned (drawn) into the light! Wonderful!

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    • Thank you, PJ. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment when I went back to the two half stories to see if I could make anything of either, only to realise that I practically had a whole story sat there between the pair! I’m glad you think it worked. One of the reasons I couldn’t really develop either half was because I wanted to keep the light as a very mysterious thing, so you’re definitely right in your reading of it. 🙂

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  3. I really liked this. You know — I only interpreted it as the winter and summer solstice! The ‘summons’ of light comes for everyone. Some dread it and some welcome it. I will be welcoming it. As I clicked on your page, I even thought ‘In the dark cold of winter I can click on Louise’s fantastic forest — with the creature’s hiding in the trees… it is summer here.’ So you see how my mind works, lol!

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    • Thank you for the lovely comment, Christine. A lot of my writing tends to link the wheel of the year to the human condition, so I’d say that’s a perfectly valid interpretation – even if I hadn’t consciously considered it this time! I’m really glad you liked it and enjoy visiting my blog. 🙂 I hope you enjoy your solstice celebrations. Xxx

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  4. For my reading of this story, I saw Tammy and Marcus switching life’s ! I rather liked the phase ‘contentment a pleasing weight on her shoulders’

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  5. Ooh, very mysterious! The first thing which came into my mind was alien sleeper agents or researchers or something.
    Tammy (real name G’Kch’ai) has fitted in and wants to stay in her new life, whereas Marcus (or N’Dn’ya as his brood mother named him) has made rather a mess of the whole thing and is eager to return home to Mk’nijm Prime.

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