Prompted #7 Challenge

The shimmering balloons of light don’t fool me. They come in all shades of intrigue – defiant reds, giggling yellows and violent purples. They appear to be hanging in the sky, suspended in flight by it endless black embrace. All around me people are sighing  at their beauty. What are they? they ask. Where did they come from?

But nothing can unfasten the knot that has formed in my stomach. There is something sombre about them, something no one else sees. A small boy near me gasps as the lights grow brighter, stronger.

The knot in my stomach tightens. A new age of darkness is coming.


The light is painful from where I float in the darkness. There’s been a terrible accident. My mind is a mash of screeching tyres and the silent smell of burning metal.

Elaine? Elaine, can you hear me?

I hurt badly but the light soothes me. It is hot, white, but warm like melting butter, too fluid for the hard sting of pain, too intense for the dull ache of sorrow. Voices drift from behind its veil, voices I thought I’d forgotten. The light wants me and I want it, but there’s a whisper at the back of my mind, and it hisses at me to stay away.

       Elaine, can you hear me?

Let me go, I tell it. I drift closer to the light. The grief, the anger, the shock…they fade into a dreamless nothing. I see the faces of those I love the most, and they are smiling, warm. For the first time in my life I feel true peace.

Suddenly something tugs me back.

“Elaine, can you hear me?”


Burning metal.

The light gets smaller and smaller. The ache in my chest returns. Once again, they pull me back.



The monastery’s stone walls glistened in the morning dew. Its stained glass windows came alive in great pops of colour – pop!-cherry-apple-pop!-aubergine-poppop! – like a tree bursting with new fruit. And were those vines – yes yes grapevines – with purple grapes bouncing in the sun, bouncing and laughing and popping and bouncing…


Ellen was tired of summer. Her dreams were awash with raindrops. “I can’t wait for the mosquitoes to stop biting,” she said, “My skin’s burning up and my head aches. And I’ll have no trouble sleeping when winter comes.”

Winter finally came, but Ellen’s dreams tasted of sunshine.