A micro-story, experimental style
Most mornings nowadays I wake around five, the quiet of a false dawn reinforced by no hearing aids. Today was no exception. Rolling silently out of bed I padded down the corridor; arthritis sloughing off its nightly stiffening and discomforts. The cat met me in the kitchen. She only leaves the house via the front door now to avoid meeting the dog. Back along the corridor, a feline indecisive pause and she walked out – into nothing.
There was no freshly painted grey verandah (I still think the old red colour was better), no occasional bird calls, no mozzies trying their luck for an early breakfast. An absence of light, darker than black. It flowed into the hall, I flowed out of the door after the now invisible cat.
It was neither cold nor hot, wet nor dry, the ground under foot was neither smooth nor rough. I should have reached the rail or fallen down the stairs. Time slowed down and accelerated.
I came across the cat, or she met me. Two orange grey non-blinking eyes reflecting a non-existent light. “You have one wish,” the eyes confirmed.
Had I ever thought, really thought, considered in depth, agonized, sat on dilemma’s piercing horns, what single thing I wanted most of all in life? Health, wealth, better eyesight or hearing, less pain, to be young again, happiness, improved memory. Or more broadly, an end to world hunger, climate change, war, famine. More narrow the overthrow of the 1%, an end to occupation of Palestine, the collapse of US hegemony, a world without politicians exploiting pseudo-terrorism controlling every day to day thought and action. Democracy. Peace. Death.
Only one wish.
To start life anew, to kiss that girl, take that job, move house or not, take up that scholarship, ignore that advice, take some other direction. Start over, be born again to the same parents or different, in another country, another culture, another time. In the past, in the future.
I looked at those orange grey eyes and made my wish. They blinked, they closed they merged into an absence of light, darker than black.