The following is a piece I originally wrote in 2006. Back then I was at the peak of my writing career and used to write small stories and poems. The idea for this piece came from a dream I had. I used to wake up in the middle of the night starved for air; I would often find myself gasping and choking. At the time I didn’t know what was wrong, but eventually (after doctors visits and a lot of labored breathing) I realized it was due to anxiety and fear. This piece conveys the emotion of one such dream.
The air is suffocating; stifling. It’s hard to see what’s going on around me. Words blur into cold, sharp puffs of air, coming at me from all angles. There is tightness in my chest. It hurts to cry.
But it hurts even more not to.
I need light.
But there is no light. The sun has dulled to a soft glow. Everyone around me is wearing shades, but to me, I can’t imagine why. It’s not bright out. I see my shadow along the walls around me; high walls. Thick walls. Everywhere I turn, there I am. Dark, long, no facial expression.
But wait, I see light.
Down, way down. At the end of my long, miserable tunnel of despair. I run. Running faster and faster. The further I get, the farther the light seems. A round blaze of illumination, offset by a silver rim. The reflection upon it makes me unconsciously shield my eyes as I get closer.
It’s getting closer. It has stopped receding.
There is someone there, at the end. He is holding out his hand. No, wait; there is something in his hand. I squint as I draw near. Trying to figure it out. A coin? Perhaps a pendant? I am out of breath. Anticipating the onslaught of joy, of knowing my dark journey will finally come to an end…
…I burst through the opening and run towards him, breathlessly awaiting what he holds.
Just as quickly as I come, I screech to a halt as he holds it out to me.