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CARLENE REED, AUTHOR
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Out of the Dark

 

Just when I thought I had done it all and my life was complete, I got a shocking dose of reality.  I learned that in the flash of a second, time is up.  I never thought it could happen to me, but it did and it taught me a very hard lesson. 

     On a warm spring day in March, we were returning from a vacation in southern Texas.  My family was talking and laughing inside our truck as we headed home from our relaxing vacation.  We were talking about going back to school and work and all the things we needed to get done when we got home.  Suddenly, after a flash of red and the sound of metal crunching, I was catapulted into complete darkness.

     I looked around and saw only blackness.  I knew I was standing up but I could not feel any legs.  The legs were there, werent they?  I searched and searched for the magical door to let me out to no avail.  Thoughts raced in my mind.  How did I get here?  What happened?  How do I get back?  I heard a soft voice singing and another different voice calling my name.  I headed in that direction.  I thought maybe those voices could help lead me out.  The singing voice was sweet and smooth singing to me of love and hope.  The other voice was more erratic, screaming at me to come back.

     I began to realize that the voices must be my angels coming for me.  I started to panic thinking I must have died.  I ran frantically and beads of sweat started to form on my forehead.  I called out to the voices.  Let me out I pleaded.  Help me, I cant go yet.  I hadnt done all those things I wanted to do.  I hadnt been to college, hadnt called my mother or even been to Disneyland.  I cant go! I cried.  The tears came freely as I ran frantically toward the voices.  The erratic voice screamed, Please dont leave me.  I felt like I was fading deeper into this oblivion and I knew my time was almost up.  I closed my eyes and began the process of fading away while listening to the soft soulful singing of Celine Dion.

     Later that day I awakened, to bright lights staring at me from all directions.   This must be Heaven but why does it smell like disinfectant?  I tried to sit up but a pale white hand pushed me back down.  I looked for the origin of the hand and saw a pale white doctor in a white lab coat stained with red splotches of blood.  I assured myself that this wasnt Heaven and it definitely wasnt Disneyland. 

     I looked down to see if I had legs.  They were there but really didnt look like mine.  The feet were twisted in strange formations and for a second I thought they might not even be feet.  Blood colored the bed and my clothes.   My pants were cut almost to my waste and all I could wonder was where had my shoes gone.  My legs were different shades of blue and black.  I looked around the room, which was littered with machines, wires, and white-coated people.  I didnt hear the voices anymore and I looked to find where they had gone.  I wondered why they had brought me back from my dungeon of darkness.

     After a year of physical therapy and being confined to a wheelchair, I got up and walked.   First I walked across the floor and then several years later I walked across the stage at my college graduation.  I celebrated every milestone.  I worked hard every day so that I would not waste one minute of my second chance.  A lot of things that happened in my life kept me from living and going after my dreams.  Life is a privilege that I should not have taken for granted.

    

    

 

     

 

    

 

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