Dark Light (short story)

Susannah Christinah Hunter lay on her bed, and cut her wrist. She had mentally practiced that many times. It was all so easy, she thought, just two cuts and soon it would all be over. She passed the razor on her soft skin a second time, and the searing pain surprised her. Setting aside the razor, she rolled over, trying to fall asleep, to ignore the pain, desperately trying to die. No one would care anyway, she thought. They would probably be glad to get rid of her. None to know, none to care. Like good times, she wasn’t here to stay. Oh dear God, now she rhymed.

Her mother certainly didn’t want her; Susannah thought, her face deep in the pillows. She was busy running from one doctor to another, from one beauty parlor to another. Tummy tuck, silicon chest, Botox. Daily hair-styling sessions, mani and pedis, massages on the weekends, those were her first and only priorities. She didn’t matter, Susannah’s eyes filled with angry tears. If she ever wanted to talk, she was shooed away because mama was busy. There was a time when Susannah clung to her mother for some affection; any kind of affection, but that went horribly wrong, leading to this. She, as a mother, had said what no child wanted to hear: that she was just a mere accident. Neither she nor her father had wanted her. That explains a lot, Susannah thought, the memory still fresh in her mind.

Her stepfather ignored her completely but when her mother wasn’t in the house, which was quite often actually, he took pleasure in beating her up. Susannah had learned to stay away from him. Even if that meant staying locked up in her room until her mother got back, this could be either in an hour or three days. You could never know. If that drunk, dirty man ever caught sight of her, he would just take off his frayed leather belt with the big silver buckle, and beat her out of his way until she was all bruised up and broken. If her mother noticed it, she didn’t show it or tried to put a stop to it.

Sometimes he would come home so heavily drunk that he’d try coaxing her closer to him. And when Susannah fought back, he would simply beat her some more. Just last week, he had grabbed her furiously, reeking head to toe with liquor. Susannah struggled as he tried to thrust himself over her. The only reason he let go was because he was utterly and terribly drunk, he dozed off as soon as he hit the floor. Giving him a hard kick to his shins, Susannah had scrambled up to her room. She had locked the door and curled up on her bed, crying brokenly.

At school, none of her classmates spoke to her. She was the freak with battered, old clothes and nobody to attend her Parent/Teacher conferences. Every day, she used to go through Hell. They hurled her into the lockers, slapped her books away and stole her lunch money. Even the teachers didn’t like her. Susannah was quiet, timid and shy. She never spoke a word in school for there was nobody to understand her pain. But at home, the internet became her friend. She had met Kimberly, her only friend, online but she lived in Germany so they never met. Kimberly was older than her, almost 6 years. However, Susannah never found it uneasy to unleash all her anger, hurt and life’s problems to her. She was the only person who could understand… Until now. Now there was no one to stand beside her.

A single tear left Susannah’s eye. Her blood was soaking the sheets a deep shade of red, and her forehead was covered in sweat. She was having visions of Kimberly; she was alive again. She felt her heart break into a million pieces as she remembered, as she tried stopping her, telling her not to do it.

“Don’t you dare do it, Kimberly… You can’t be serious? Kim! Don’t do it!” she had screamed into her computer but all in vain.

And then Susannah had watched her die. She stayed there, staring at her computer screen for what seemed like hours, and then she backed away. The next thing she remembered, she had thrown her computer out the window. She had been boiling with rage, with unspoken agony. Kimberly had left her life in a blink of an eye. Just like that and poof! She was gone.

Susannah cried bitterly now, the pain getting to her. Her wrists rubbed against her sheets and she nearly yelped in pain. Her hands looked horrible now, all cut open just like Kimberly’s. Susannah bit on her tongue, not wanting to scream. Her heart was broken; her mother didn’t want her, her friends hated her and Kimberly was dead. Susannah could hear the clock ticking and her own unsteady breath. It was 2 am. Her mother would be home any minute now, from her wonderful cocktail party. Would she come in to check on her? Susannah thought unclenching her fists. Her head was dizzy and her heart heavy.

Suddenly she could see a tunnel. A tunnel with a bright light at the end. Susannah drew back, hesitatingly. The thought that this couldn’t be happening flitted through her mind for a brief second, but she continued on. As she did, the burning increased. The searing burning of warm blood creeping along her thin, pale, cold arms. She felt dizzy… The world was spinning, she thought. Shivering terribly, she was sure she would lose consciousness any moment now.

Everything was so bright.

Bright.

Dark.

Bright.

Dark.

A blinding light.

And warm.

So warm and soothing.

Susannah was now striding along with a heavy feeling in her chest, something that almost resembled confidence.

Cold.

So cold.

So bright.

A scream rippled across to her.

But faint.

So faint.

So very far away.

She almost couldn’t hear it.

She felt something grab her arm. Or maybe she was just hallucinating. She walked on. Almost there now, her mind spoke as the blinding white light engulfed her completely.

The sirens from the ambulance disturbed the calm of the neighborhood. Soon a crowd formed, pushing, standing on tiptoes, and trying to get a look. The front door opened twice. This would later make the front page of USA Today and The New York Times.

The first time it opened, a hysterical, screaming woman was brought out clawing, screaming, kicking and yelling. Tears ran down her face and her once perfect hair charged with electricity. Her expensive nails broke from her efforts to free herself. She was whisked away by some meds. They were saying something about her losing her mind, her not handling the trauma. An unsettling noise broke out and the crowd gasped. “Why, what happened?” They asked one another. “Was that really Renée Carolina Hunter?”

“The same who loathed the sight of her daughter?”

“Why, yes, that’s her,” said the neighbor to another.

“Did you hear she’s gone mad at the sight of the mangled body of her daughter?” whispered the paramedic to another, with a slow shake of his head.

“How come there are two ambulances?” asked the neighbor aloud.

The door opened a second time. And the silence was immediate, and deafening. It weighed everyone down. On a stretcher, two paramedics carried a white linen cloth. At the side dangled a pale, thin and bloody arm. The ambulance doors closed as the meds drove to the nearest hospital, knowing full well that it was over for the girl in the white linen cloth in the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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