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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)

TITLE: The Deep
By naomi thomas


The Deep

The old rusty gate made a loud creaky noise as Janice pushed it open. It shut with an even louder bang, but tonight Janice didnít care. No one had bothered to switch on the security lights. They didnít care and neither did Janice. Oblivious to her surroundings she walked down the darkened driveway towards her house for the last time. Her two alsatains nibbled at her feet and playfully jumped on her, but tonight she didnít hug or cuddle them. Tonight Janice didnít care.

The front door was locked, no one was at home. Taking her keys out of her back pocket, Janice unlocked the door. Leaving the keys in the lock she walked down the dark passage towards her bedroom for the last time. Once in her bedroom she walked towards her bedside lamp switching on the only light in the house. Sitting on the edge of her bed she opened her bedside drawer and took out all the little packets she had accumulated over the last couple of days. Placing them on her dresser, she walked for the last time into her bathroom to fetch a glass of water. Emptying the contents of the various packets into her hands, she tossed them into her mouth followed by huge gulps of water.

Wasnít there an extra packet right at the back of the draw? Relieved to find it, she proceeded to take them as well, just in case. What were these called? Janice couldnít remember the name but that didnít matter because tonight she didnít care. A couple of them dropped to the floor as she tried to get as many in her mouth as possible. Janice didnít bother to pick them up either because tonight she didnít care.

Lying back on her pillows she switched off her bedside light and closed her eyes for the last time. Peace rushed over hugging her as a duvet would on a chilly night. She loved the feeling, it felt so warm. She wondered if warm was the correct word, but what did that matter, tonight Janice didnít care.

They said sheíd be afraid, but she wasnít. Sadly sheíd never get the chance to tell them they were wrong. She wondered how long it would take and what would happen when the end came. Would she see a bright light and hear a voice calling her home? Would she feel cold or would her spirit rise above her body as she had seen in so many movies?

How long had she being lying down? Was that the gate she heard? Janice couldnít be sure. She was unable to lift her head or move a single limb. Was she unconscious? She wasnít sure, and really she couldnít be bothered. From somewhere deep within her she knew she didnít have long to wait. She wondered what they would say when they found her. No, actually she didnít care what they said or how they would react, or what they wouldÖ.
Her mind was too hazy, she couldnít concentrate for long, but then she didnít have to, not tonight.

She heard voices close by. Were there others coming on the journey with her? Janice wasnít certain, but the voices were becoming louder yet fading in the distance. Sirens were echoing, she was being lifted up onto another bed, voices were screaming at each other to hurry. The light around her was very bright, yet all around the light a dense thick darkness was threatening. A part of her was sinking deeper and deeper or was it lifting?

Janice turned to face the darkness. It almost seemed to be like that of a person beckoning her to keep moving forward towards it. A thin black finger touched her; it felt cold, clammy and slimy. She turned to the light. It was strong, pushing her gently back, encouraging her not to go towards the darkness but to take his hand and he will lead her back to the surface safely. Janice had to make a choice, she realized she did care and she knew that she didnít want to go with darkness. Quickly she placed her hand in the light; it was warm and felt safe. She held fast to the light and gently it pulled her back to the surface. Janice turned to take one last look at darkness and watched as the powerful light shoved darkness further and further into a valley of oblivion with its other powerful hand.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/17/06
Very effective repetition in "Janice didn't care." This is a really good piece; work a bit on sentence structure and it will be a great one. Loved your ending.
Valerie Routhieaux08/23/06
I liked this, kept me reading to the end. Liked the ending. Keep writing and sharing.
Ann FitzHenry08/24/06
This is very powerful! You really engaged me as a reader. Congrats on making the top 15 in beginners! I'm glad to see you back in the challenge!