“You lost your sight – along with everyone else on earth – in the great blinding. Two years later, without warning, your sight returns. As you look around, you realize that every available wall, floor and surface has been painted with the same message – don’t tell them you can see.”
The following story I wrote from the above writing prompt I came across on the Instagram account @writing.prompt.s
After the Great Blinding, everything had essentially gone dark for the last 2 years. Humanity adapted quickly amid the chaos of those first few months. No could see and panic reigned, but soon ingenuity breed from absolute desperation.
Although civilization seemed to have fallen, at least where Gail lived. all was not lost. Order was beginning to return. Her colony had just over 30 people. They had gardens, water systems, and community. And they were not alone. There were other colonies to trade with and learn from.
On the day when everything changed again, Gail left her home to work in the gardens. She kept a careful hand on the rope guiding her down the street she’d lived on since she married over 40 years ago.
Their original group formed from her surrounding neighbours, but slowly over time, many had disappeared or died and newcomers have come and taken their place. It was the random disappearances that struck fear into the hearts of each colonist. There was never any explanation. To make things worse, it was difficult to send out search parties. They had dogs. They blew airhorns, whistles, but still, once someone was disappeared for more than a day, they never came back. They didn’t risk going after the lost. Not anymore.
The rope she followed now was thin with a tight braid. This one would take her to the gardens. It was her job, along with 3 others, to maintain the network of yards they used for planting.
She spent the day weeding. A rather slow process without her sight. She ran her fingers over the leaves identifying them by touch. She also monitored the health of each plant as she moved along, checking for pests, decay, and disease. She was so engrossed in her work that she gave a startled gasp when the dinner bell rang out. As she walked to the dinning house, she began to feel the beginning of a headache creep across her skull.
They’d converted the main floor of one of the larger houses on their street and brought in a mix of tables and chairs onto the main floor. She sat at her usual table with Owen, Richard, and Janet. Owen had been friends with her son back when they’d been in high school. Since the light was lost, they had both lost their families and he had become a second son to her. Richard and Janet had only recently joined them a few months ago.
“You’re awfully quiet today,” Owen remarked beside her. “Are you okay?”
She rubbed her temples. “I just have a bit of a headache actually.” She lapsed back into silence, but within a few moments, a searing pain cut through her skull. She held her head in her hands hunched over her lap.
“Are you okay,” Owen whispered beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder.
“My head,” she moaned. Then the light came back. It took her a few moments for her eyes to adjust. When they did, she saw scrawled on every wall the words: Don’t tell them you can see. Then, the pain was instantly gone.