Friday, October 2, 2015

Nightmare Fuel, Day the Second: Light

Day two, and a double-post today to catch me up. Another short and simple one.

The image, of course, is from promotional material from the film The Exorcist. Knowing this may or may not have influenced what follows.

I'll note that, thus far, the prompt images have appeared in a fairly literal way. This will, I promise you, not always be the case.


In the hospital room we barely noticed the glow. Well-lit as only operating rooms are,  us blinded by our joyful step into the unknown, neither of us noticed that our baby didn't cast a shadow. The truth is that it might not even have been so bright yet. The next morning it was clear, as I left my dear bride Maria recovering and walked to that observation window overlooking the neat array of bassinets. At first I thought it was a some trick of the light, but no; our Luna's skin was really and truly glowing, illuminating the web of scratches on the plastic bassinet. The nurses seemed to keep away from her.
So the tired mother and glowing baby headed home early, away from the prying eyes and suspicious glances, away from the nurse who crossed herself every time she looked at the glowing child, away.

The light ebbed and flowed, perhaps with mood, perhaps with hunger. Maria became a shut-in. Her parents were long departed, friends had left the city. By an unspoken agreement we kept Luna inside, with that blue and white striped blanket hospitals give you, alone with the tiny plastic bottles (BPA free!) to which Maria resorted when the little mouth refused to "latch on".

Alone with the glow.

A glow which was becoming an  unnatural, cold light. A glow that pierced my eyeballs and jabbed my brain when I woke up for the midnight feeding. A glow by which I could read to her, books she couldn't understand but with calming cadences (her favorites were the whimsical bear hunting berries and the little bunny going to sleep).  A glow that pushed at something in my head, that gave piercing and relentless headaches.

Maria wanted to call a doctor, call a medium, call a priest. Call someone. Anyone. I stood firm, fearing she'd be taken and we'd never see her again. Aside from the glow and refusal to take a breast she was a remarkably well-tempered baby. As least as far as I know.

I began working longer hours, as new parents must do to pay for all the things that would need paying for. I returned home very late to find the glow spilling out our window, casting an icycold pool of brightness onto the sidewalk.

For a long time I stood in the light, looking up towards the window. The light was growing, not fading. Just a day ago it had been dark out there.

Slowly, I climbed the steps, pausing outside our apartment door. Even here the glow was visible, showing in outline the poor sealing around our humble portal. Slowly I entered to a bright but silent home.

Luna is gone, Maria is gone.

There is nothing,

Nothing save a bright and sourceless light.

Nothing else.

Not even me.


  1. That had a wonderfully delicate touch to it.

    1. Thank you!

      Come back for more; I'm going to try to post one a day for the whole month.