Darkness

When something bothers me, the only way I know to ease that itch is to write. The last story I wrote still left something that needed to be written out. Another story. I didn’t know how to write it. And then, it just happened. Like a bolt out of the blue. Like the story couldn’t be said any other way.


Darkness {A Story}

The room is dark. The thick dark curtains drawn across the window stop any light from coming in here, into my life. Nothing around me. Except for the green lighter. Left by that stranger.

Click.

The flame appears, tear-shaped. Warm. Comforting… almost. I let my fingertips touch it, leaving a bit of me with it. A memory flickers, then I blow it out.

Darkness.

Just like me.

Click.

The memory flickers again.

There’s a cake. It has lit candles on it. I count eleven. I smile. I blow out the tear-shaped flames. I hear applause. I cut the piece with a knife. The blade glitters in the light.

I blow the flame. The memory vanishes.

Darkness.

Click.

But still only darkness. That’s the memory.

My bed. I’m on it. Many hands hold me down. Someone blows. Their breath on my clit. Cold. I realize there’s nothing covering it. A candle is lit somewhere. A hand moves toward me. I see that blade glittering again.

I blow the flame. The memory vanishes.

Darkness.

Click.

The blade cuts me. Below. I scream. At least I think I do. All I see is a flash of white in my eyes. Pain shoots up my spine. The world starts to spin. Quicker. Slower. Quicker and slower at the same time. Then it stops. The room spins back into focus. The blade glitters again. It finds its mark once more. And the world spins again.

I blow the flame. The memory vanishes.

Darkness.

Click.

I’m on a mattress. Alone. In the dark. It’s not my room. I call out. A light is turned on. I feel pain shooting up my spine again. I see the mattress. It is red. Becoming more red. With my blood. I black out. Darkness.

I blow the flame. The memory vanishes.

Darkness.

Click.

The tear-shaped flame returns. It has been my hope, my friend, my everything.

I remember the eleven candles.

I blow. The flame vanishes.

Only my tears remain. Always.

Darkness.


Writing from first person was never going to be easy. Jaibala told me so, and so did others. It was discussing the inhumane nature of this so-called custom of FGM that brought out that POV debate. This is the only other way I knew the post could be done. I realize one or two posts alone cannot do anything to make a dent in the practice. But like I said before, I just had to get it out.


(18th July 2014)

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Poetry & writing to me are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

24 thoughts on “Darkness

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  1. I felt as if some one punched me in the gut, and I mean that as a good thing. I wish people are as affected by this as you and I were. Some more people talking about it, might help a voice for change be heard.

  2. i like the way you chose to arrange each word as a different sentence. Paints the setting very vivid!just like those vanishing memories….

  3. ok.. that was brilliant! Made me just stop for a minute before commenting.
    I just wish people talked more about this and spread the awareness. It’s an inhuman, barbaric practice 🙁

    • Not many people are aware of this grotesque “custom”, Pixie. So not many talk about it. A week back, even I didn’t know of it.

  4. Brilliantly done, Leo. Even if it is on a topic that is “grotesque and inhumane” as you rightly put it. Yes, I’m rather surprised that more than 70% of the world knows not about this practice, which sadly is becoming far too common place for any of our liking. As writers, the best we can do is spread the word about this barbaric practice, and hope that there will be a stop. Full stop, like they say.

    • Even I am surprised that a majority of the world doesn’t know of this torture. I too hope that this practice is nipped in the bud soon, Sid.

  5. Beautifully written. Each word appropriately chosen and in the correct place. The pain seeped through me. I wish this reaches all quarters of the society and voices are raised against this barbaric inhuman practice. Well done!

  6. This tore into me Leo… as you intended. I felt violated. I felt terrorized. I felt ripped into shreds.

    Beautifully… so beautifully narrated. Such simplicity in your words, such deep impact.

    Kudos!

  7. GOOSEBUMPS…. a few minutes into reading this, and the feeling is still shaking me! This gave the effect intended!
    Such a practice should end instantly if not sooner!

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