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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)

TITLE: A Flash of Green Light
By Denise Pienaar


We were young and in love. The perfect day was drawing to its close as the sun dipped slowly beyond the horizon.

You stood behind me, your strong arms wrapped around me as we gazed across the cool blue waters of the Atlantic and silently watched as the flame coloured sky began to darken.

And then in one defining moment – a moment which will remain permanently etched in my memory, we saw it. The green flash which few people ever get to witness. The rare phenomenon which occurs only when the conditions are absolutely perfect. When, at the last moment of the setting Sun, its upper rim glows like an emerald for a few seconds, before disappearing below the horizon. For that fleeting instant our world stood still and time ceased to exist. A second became eternity and eternity flashed past in a second. And then it was over.

We were both over-awed at what we had just seen and we took it to be a sign. A blessing. A seal upon the promise that we had made. The promise to love, to honour and to be together forever.

Oh, how naïve and innocent we were. For forever has no place in this world. Forever is a gift from God which we only receive in Heaven. Life can change in the twinkling of an eye and our carefully laid plans count as naught.

But, of course, we did not know that then. We had no idea as we climbed into our car and headed for home, that that would be the last drive we would ever take together. For a drunk driver ploughed into our car, killing you instantly and leaving me alone and desolate, my dreams shattered, my heart broken. And all that was left were the memories. Memories that haunted and tormented me. But also memories that sustained me during the dark, difficult days which lay ahead.

I remember how you led me to Jesus. That was your parting gift to me, for without Him I surely would not have survived. And, of course, I remember the green flash, for that was our last special moment together before God called you home.

There were times when I was too numb with shock to even think. There were times when I cried incessantly. But for the most part I was angry and bitter. Angry with the drunk driver, angry at the world, angry at God, even angry with you for dying and leaving me all alone. But most of all I was angry with myself for not dying. For, yes, there were times when I wished that I had died.

Then I met Bill and for the first time I began to believe that I could live again. Even love again. And I knew that I could do it with your blessing. Of course, the love I have for Bill is not the same as the love that we once shared. But I do not love him any less than I loved you. Only differently.

I want you to know that I will not forget you. One day we will be together again. Forever.
But for now, I have to move on with my life. So I am writing you this one last letter. To finally let go. To say goodbye. For now. Until……. Forever.


I stood with tears streaming down my face as I tore the letter into little pieces and cast them into the sea.

Bill stood a little way behind me and watched. He knew this was a private moment as I said my final goodbye to Kenneth. Slowly he came forward and wrapped his arms around me as we both watched the sea take the little pieces of paper.

The sun slipped slowly below the horizon and we both saw it.
The flash of green light.

And yes, we did live happily ever after.

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Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood04/26/07
I loved this story! Deeply moving, expressing vividly the narrator's tragedy so that I could feel her pain. Beautiful, haunting descriptions. My favorite line: "A second became eternity and eternity flashed past in a second."

I loved the symmetry of the green flash reappearing at the story's ending-it seemed a satisfying symbol of the narrator's inner healing as she experienced it with her new husband.

Was also drawn in by the story's unusual title. Great job!
Sheri Gordon04/26/07
Beautifully written. I physically felt the pain. (I'm sure partly because my parents were killed in a car accident, too.)

Your imagery was wonderful. (I have stood many times looking for the green flash, but alas, have yet to see it.)

This sounds like it is written by someone who experienced this -- if so, thank you for sharing.
Marc Smith04/26/07
Very nicely written. I love the full circle this piece takes. The description is well done.
Emily Ritter04/27/07
Thank you for writing this. Moments almost brought tears for me "from now until forever" and many others. Nice colors! I'd prefer if you left out the "happily ever after" ending.
Jacquelyn Horne04/28/07
A good story. A lot of pain and deep emotion here. But it also has a deep-seeded love and trust. Good writing.