Thursday, 24 July 2008

Like Tantalus




Somewhere in the corner of her mind, the light buzzed on.
Seeping through tiny wrinkles between her eye-lids, the cracks of light crept. She flashed her eyes open and the glare throbbed maliciously.
She let out a whine and rolled about on the white single bed. She put her head under the pillow and wrapped it around her face. She shouted down the hall for someone to come and turn out the light.
It stayed, taunting her, just far enough so that she couldn’t reach. Like Tantalus in Hades.
There probably was a light switch, but one never seems to see them in a place like this. They lie in dark corners, hidden from all but those who roam the halls and wards by night and have arcane knowledge of all such switches and dimmers.
The woman might have gotten up and somehow denied the light of power, but she could no longer rely on her legs.
So she turned instead to her clock. It was lit, gloriously, by the unrelenting bulb hung above her bed.
She watched the clock face. She saw the hands turning; one slow, one swiftly, one almost undetectably. They ticked ever onwards until three o’clock came.
Almost to the second, the lights rested at three o’clock. Perhaps an unseen timer controlled their rise and fall?
The woman turned over to sleep, but her restless mind was filled once more. This time a sound: tick, tick, tick. She almost screamed but reason held her, just. A sturdy wall and a strong arm meant this torment was easily restricted.
And then, sleep. Sleep was coming.

2 comments:

Sucharita Sarkar said...

You really have a fascination for the unusual. A simple light bulb in a photo and you can weave a layered narrative out of it. Fascinating stuff! Where do you get the pix from, BTW?

Paul Bernard said...

Thanks Sucharita.
I take the pics myself. I've been snapping for a few years now and thought I might as well use some of them.
In fact, I've just been to Milan for the weekend so I've a lot more pics to use now.