The Day the Light Returned: Part 2 of 2

Gail looked around, but no one seemed to have noticed anything was wrong. She looked over at his empty chair and realized then that he was gone.

Slowly, she rose from her table. “Leaving already?” Richard asked, as her chair slide back as she stood up.

“I’m not really that hungry today.” She picked up her plate and walked towards the compost bins. As she scraped the leftovers into the bin, she heard Owen’s voice whisper behind her: “There is a man outside standing at the end of the road. Whatever you do, do not let him know you can see. Leave now, and I’ll meet you at your house.” She whirled around to ask him one of the thousands of questions that raced through her mind, but he moved quickly and was already back at the table with Richard and Janet.

She licked her lips nervously, but was careful to take the same number of steps to the door, running her fingertips softly along the wall as she went. At the door, although her sight was back completely, she took hold of the rope as she always did and crept slowly back to her house.

Spray painted on the road were the same words as in the dinning room. Every garage door she passed bore the same message. She could feel drops of sweat forming on her forehead as her shoulders tingled with fear. She tried her best not to look around. Then she saw him. A man dressed in a suit stood at the end of the road, beyond the borders of her community watching her. She tried her best to keep her face blank and her eyes unfocused.

She could feel sweat gathering in the middle of her back running down her spin. She forced her feet to shuffle towards him. Breathe in, breathe out. One step in front of the other.

Her hand began to burn from holding the rope too tightly as it ran through her hand. Finally, she turned down her driveway. Just as she reached her front door, Owen seemed to materialize out of n where and was by her side.

“Do you mind if I come in for a cup of coffee?” he asked, a littler louder than usual.

“Sure,” she said, her voice shaking slightly. They stepped inside and Owen closed the door behind them. He looked directly into her eyes as he pulled her away from the front window.

“You can see!” she whispered.

“Yes, and I wasn’t the first to get my sight back, nor will you be the last.” He peered around the wall to sneak a peak through the front window.

“Who was that man?” Gail whispered.

“As far as I can tell, he’s part of the new government. If he learns you can see, you will be removed.”

“Removed?” she whispered. “To where?”

“To their facility,” he whispered. “You won’t come back. I’ve seen it before. Larsons, Tony, Linda.” He paused. “My father.”

She put her hand on his shoulder. “I’m so sorry,” she said, her mind reeling. So they hadn’t just disappeared. After a few moments she asked, “Are there others in the colony who can see?”

He shook his head. “They always catch on. People see the signs and trust them. So naturally when they see someone else who can see, they immediately go to them for answers. Then, they’re gone. You were the first person I was able to catch before they noticed. It helped that you were inside, sitting right at my table when your sight came back. But there are others in other colonies.”

“Who was that man? If it’s just him, maybe we could fight him.”

But Owen was already shaking his head. “There are others all around.”

“Who are they,” she asked, nibbling nervously at her nail.

He shrugged. “No one knows for sure, but most think they were the ones who caused The Great Blinding. Whatever they used to create it, it seems to be wearing off in some people.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Or they’re bringing people’s sight on purpose.”

“So what do we do?” she asked.

“Don’t worry,” he gave her a rueful smile. “I have a plan. You’re going to run away.”

“What?” she stared at him incredulous. “Are you crazy? And what about you?”

“I need to stay here in case anyone else get their sight back,”

“Where will I go?” she asked, her voice choking as she spoke.

“I told you, I have a plan.”

Hours later she was threading her way through the woods desperately hoping she was reading Owen’s map correctly. For the second time in her life, she felt the safety of her world crumbling around her. But she survived that last time. She would survive this too.

The Day the Light Returned – Part 1 of 2

“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.