Lights

This story was inspired by this short, short film by Joshua Chislett: LIGHTS


The sun had almost full set beyond the hill when he found me.  I'd dared to hope, and now, he strode toward me.  His legs ate up the ground like always but still it seemed an ageless moment before they stopped a few feet from my knees.  My knuckles clenched the dry grasses encased in my fists until I realized I couldn't feel them anymore.  With an effort, I released the grass, looking up at gangly-limbed boy in front of me.

I licked my lips - no words escaped.  He stayed silent, as if only a sound from me could break the glass between us.  My mind searched for the right thing to say - no words surfaced.  One hand broke off more grass to crumble in my fist.  Our eyes stared into the other's soul like all the words in the world could be found there, and read, and understood.  Slowly, gangly legs folded onto the ground and my eyes lowered with his.

Again, I forced my fist open and scraped the torn bits of grass from the crevices in my palm.  His own hand twitched, like it knew it belonged with mine.  I was afraid to look away from his eyes, so I kept the stare while my hand rose up to meet his.  First, fingertips.  His were callused, and I knew every print and groove while I traced my own down to rest gently between his.  Palms met.

And then, light.  Not like sunlight.  Not like starlight.  Not false light from electricity.  Pure, untainted light, pouring out from my soul, racing down my arm and overflowing onto our clasped hands.  His eyes left mine to gaze on this marvel - our hands glowing with warm, colorful light, pulsing softly with our matching heartbeats.  I watched his mouth smile, and the light reflect in his eyes, and his hand hold mine.

And release it.  Slowly, hesitantly, he pulled his hand away, fingers untangling from my own.  My heart beat slowed; his sped up.  We were not one anymore.  The light flickered, failed and faded, receding back into my soul.  I dared to lift my eyes to his face which focused in his knees.  Then he was rising, gangly legs trembling ever so slightly as he stood.  He licked his lips - no words.  I opened my mouth - no words.  He turned away.


The day had turned full to dusk when his legs ate the ground out of my sight.  Hope fled, and my light went out.

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