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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: Out of Darkness
By Jennifer Hill
07/21/11


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From this side I see the pain that engulfs me and all those around me. The darkness opens wide and swallows us deep inside. It presses in and chokes out all the light. The only sounds that can be heard that of horrid complaints, sorrows and despair. The stale air here, taste of sour milk and moldy bread. This world is hard and so far from paradise.

This side seems to be a never ending barrage of pain. It fills the senses with its wrath. It fills my brain with its knowledge of wealth, with its knowledge of pleasure, with its knowledge of success.

Time goes by and this side of paradise goes on and I strive to get by with those around me. The darkness is vast and easy to get lost in. I run wild in it and have forgotten my way. How I first stepped into its wide trap.

The days run together, though there is plenty of fun to be had, I still find myself just trying to make it through another 24 hours.

I’ve done it all, the party has been grand. What more is there to do? I once heard some where every day has an opportunity. Today, I awoke and found myself bored. All the world’s offerings were bland. I looked out over the balcony of my life and saw the chasm of darkness between me and, and…

Well, I wasn’t sure what I saw in the distance. It was so far away. It looked like a speck of lint. No, it looked like, no, it couldn’t be. I hadn’t seen one in years. They had all but disappeared from existence. Maybe I was dreaming or maybe seeing things. It couldn’t be a star. Light, in all this darkness that surrounded me?

How has the light reached me? How was I seeing it? I looked down again at all that lay between me and the little glimmer I could still see. I saw the parties, the one night stands, the drinks, the drugs, the lies, the list went on and on. The darkness got deeper and darker. Along with it there were wicked whispers coming from it.

“You can’t get there from here,” scratched a voice.

“You’ve done too much,” heckled another.

“You can’t reach the light,” teased the last.

The whispers were snickering as they repeated themselves. I began to feel them stab into me, like a migraine. My stomach churned. My hands shook. My legs ached. Maybe I just needed a drink. Maybe I should just call some folks over and hang out. Forget about the star, the light, whatever it was. Probably, just my imagination anyways, I thought to myself with a little laugh. I turned away from the balcony and headed back away from that flicker of hope.

As I did though I heard something I hadn’t heard in years.

“Jamie.”

It was my name. Everyone else around here in the dark called me one nickname or another. Who was using my name? I looked around and I heard it again, only louder. It came from my balcony. I stepped back out to see the light.

The light was bright. It could not be mistaken for lint that was for sure. Not even a star could’ve shined so brightly. It had grown bigger and brighter. It had come closer to, crossing the chasm of my deceit that I could never have crossed to reach it.
The violent whispers were silent, they had nothing to argue against this gloriest light. The pain that laid beneath my balcony came to mind. All of it played across my thoughts and I knew how wrong I was. I knew I’d missed the opportunity for unity with the light sooner. In my heart I wanted more than anything to take back all that I had done against the light.

“Please forgive me.” I cried.

The light shown down on me and washing over me. It incased me in itself and carried me across the chasm. It then placed me safely down on this side of paradise only with a much better view. The light rose above and continued on until it shown all around for all to see, if they choose.

From where I stand, I now know the truth, no longer do I want to hide in the darkness. In faith I am ready to keep seeking the light. I am ready to chase each day’s opportunities and lead others to the light.


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Marita Vandertogt07/23/11
Good contrast between the effects of darkness and light - what they both have to "offer". Nicely done.