This is my response to this week’s Trifecta challenge. The rules are here, but in short it’s like this: between 33 and 333 words, using a given word (LIGHT) in its third meaning under the given definition. Then they get voted on. Anyone can vote. So I worked on this all week, all the while doubting its worth, but now i feel okay about it. Without further ado, here is my second work of flash fiction in 329 words:
The traveller awoke on sand, insistent light tearing through darkness and dream. It must have been a bad one, he thought. I hate when that happens. Years had passed in a blink; now he lay with the Sun burning white holes into vision. Rising, he saw where his home would eventually stand.
He closed his eyes, focusing on that point between them; it became a tunnel that drew him in. Easy… easy. He willed himself to go slow, then emerged, expanding into the moment. Again light assaulted his vision – the flickering flame of a tiki torch little more than a foot from his face. It’s taunting me. Several young revelers stopped dancing to thin strains of surf music from a portable radio and stared, mouths agape.
“Far. Out.” A loud whisper. The traveller closed his eyes, returning to the tunnel. Moments rolled away, blurring to a xanthic haze. He couldn’t stand the looks on the faces of those who saw him doing his thing, which he never did anymore except in cases such as this. It frustrated him, yes – but also embarrassed him a little. He hated to lose control.
Going slower now – the closer he got to where he was supposed to be, the better he could feel the sensation of belonging, like the click of a dial position. He came out to a light that spilled pools of radiance onto the boardwalk – one of many lights that lit the path home in deepening shadow.
The traveller trod the boards, whistling a perfectly innocent tune. He might have to redo a day or two, but better that than go too far; he would rather avoid the light at the end of the tunnel. He came close once, back when he was still young, reckless… remembered that all-consuming light… the roaring heat… a mad gravitational pull that grabbed him with desperate fingers and threatened to pull him in. Never again.
That would be the end.