Mary O’Neill

His eyes opened, blinking. His body as still as the rubble around him. The air was thick with dust.
 
A chaos frozen in time. Nothing moved.
 
Then panic cracked the silence. A sudden rush of breath filled his charred lungs. Shallow, erratic.
 
He began to move, to pick himself up, disorientated. Ashes fell from his covered limbs. He cried out
 
but no sound came. He scanned the scene; the impact had been instantaneous. He did not recognise
 
nor understand it. His land transformed.
 
Another rush as fear enveloped him. Tears flushed his eyes and cleansed his face. He was alone.
 
He peered desperately into to grey, searching for someone. Something. Hope?
 
At first it flickered so fast he almost missed it. Amidst the debris it appeared, winding toward him.
 
It weaved in and out of shattered obstacles, dancing playfully, dispersing the thick air.
 
A red cord. So beautifully red.
 
Red like the jewel his mother wore around her neck; like the strawberries they would pick in
 
summertime. Red like…….
 
It floated in front of him and dying for a connection he grabbed it. It wrapped itself around him,
 
embracing him like a friend; familiar and part of him. It beckoned him, come, come.
 
A soothing whisper that fed him comfort and softened his breath. In his daze he smiled and obeyed.
 
It led him away.
 
He followed it through the rubble. It tugged at him and he quickened his pace, a little game. The
 
sharper the tug the faster the pace. The grey began to dissipate. He was running. He laughed aloud
 
as he ran; his voice crackling, echoing. He was bound on hope.
 
The frozen chaos had become a sea of waving energy. He saw only the red cord and the world
 
whirling past him. He ran for his life until his eyes were bright and full. Exhilaration.
 
And then…..light.
 
His eyes opened wider, blinking, transfixed.
 
He saw only light.