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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel (01/23/14)

TITLE: Surreal, The Tunnel At The End Of The Light
By Judith Gayle Smith


Fumbling blindly for my misplaced comfy black scuffs, hastily responding to the clanging siren call of my soon-to-be overflowing bladder, I staggered off our snugly warm bed, immediately bemoaning the loss of our electric blanket. From nice cozy warmth to instant toesickles.

Scuffling down the oddly shadowed hallway I suddenly became unnervingly disoriented. Normally, this short walk takes me past my husband’s overflowing office, to his bathroom, and then to the bathroom I share with our insane Turkish Angora, Fifi, and her obnoxiously odiferous litter box.

Confused, bemused - I couldn’t see his office. The hallway is normally partially lit from the neighbor’s outdoor light streaming through the office window. I saw no light. Blindly I bumbled into walls. Staggering, stumbling over my slippers, I was quickly and horribly terrified and lost.

Breathless, I reached what I hoped was my bathroom, and suddenly tangled with several odd doors slanting against the wall. I wrapped my shaking arms around them and suddenly found myself swirling in a large open area – of course my mind refused to accept this. I knew I had no access to the back bedroom, which served as a strong “clear your clutter” space. I had several boxes of books and magazines ready to recycle, a wheelchair, a walker, a folding grocery cart, cat litter, ad infinitum.

Where was I? What and where was this wide open space my mind blankly disowned? Shivering, clawing for the comfort of the wall, I blindly leaned into it, wailing. I didn’t have the common sense to hit a light switch. I didn’t even think to pray. I darted a furtive glance down this unknown hallway hoping to catch sight of our bedroom, back to where I had so confidently began, purposing a normal trek to my bathroom. Very faintly, squinting, I saw a dim blue flickering ahead, eerie and unnatural. It appeared uncountable miles away.

Silently screaming, thoroughly discounting my sanity, I hand-walked the wall to that mysterious, welcoming glow. Agonizingly, this took me forever. Feeling for the familiar, I still could not find any bathroom, nor office with friendly outdoor light glowing serenely through the window.

Rocky, incoherent, barely maintaining my balance – mental, emotional, physical and/or spiritual – as I scuffled back to blessedly collapse upon my warm welcoming bed.

Trembling uncontrollably, I tried to explain to my sweet hubby what had just happened. It made absolutely no sense to either of us. I hadn’t groggily awakened from a dream to go to the bathroom. Teeth chattering, still whimpering, I put my bursting bladder to Dreamland and slept unbelievably soundly.

In the morning everything had returned to normal. Putting on my slippers, I made my way down the now familiar obstacle course, past the open doorway of the office, past the bathroom my husband shares with the washer and dryer. Almost tripping over Fifi as we both rushed to our shared bathroom, my bladder and I were much relieved.

Where were the doors I had thought were stacked against the wall? I leaned against my bathroom door, almost losing my balance, and steadied myself by grasping both sides of the door. Is this part of my confusion? Did I just grab my bathroom door last night? Did my mind just swoop away?

It was so unreal. Where did everything recognizable disappear to? I pray that I don’t have the early signs of Alzheimer’s. Dementia, I can understand – it merrily gallops, not just runs in my family. Please Lord, not Alzheimer’s.I couldn't bear the loss of all that is dear to me, all that are precious, forgetting those whom I love and You Who loves me.

So I must turn me over to You. I understand and accept “senior moments”, but this surreal brain-fog swirling through me I cannot abide. Where everything familiar becomes unclear, unreal?

Thank you, sweet Lord, for bringing me back from this terrifying time. I promise to turn on light switches to keep me focused and on track. Thank you for using a flickering television screen to guide me, sleepwalking me back from an unimaginable hell.

What horrors are we facing when we forget to “turn on the light?” Total confusion, missteps, fear, madness, vertigo, sin, injury, soullessness and the incredible unbearable hopelessness of a veritable living hell . . .

Please – turn on His Light.


This is a true experience I had two weeks ago, and my heart still strangles my throat.

It is nightmarish to become one’s own muse . . .

John 8:12 (KJV)
Genesis 1:3-4 (KJV)
Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
Exodus 13:21 (KJV)
Matthew 6:22-23 (KJV)
Proverbs 4:18-19 (KJV)
Matthew 5:14-16 (KJV)
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)
Psalm 43:3 (KJV)
1 Thessalonians 5:5-10 (NIV)
Isaiah 60:1-3 (KJV)
Psalm 27:1 (KJV)
Psalm 36:9 (KJV)
Proverbs 4:18 (KJV)
2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)
Ephesians 5:8 (KJV)
1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
1 John 1:5 (KJV)

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Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 02/01/14
How terrifying that must have been for you. I have similar experiences, but as of yet they always come in dreams while I am sleeping.

I enjoyed your finely written recount of your real live wide awake nightmare. So glad you found your way back by the glow of that light.

Excellent writing here.
Noel Mitaxa 02/02/14
I hope by now that you are flushed with success, but congratulations on such a descriptive portrait of the befuddlement that comes along for the ride when nocturnal demands propel us from warm beds.
Graham Insley02/03/14
Wow, one scary recount of one scary experience.

The fear and confusion is so well portrayed that I felt it with you.
C D Swanson 02/04/14
You did an excellent job describing your "night" in this entry. Perhaps you had a "night-time terrors" my friend used to get them all the time, and explain stuff just like you did! She was petrified of them when they happened, albeit infrequent, they happened a good portion of her life.

Thank you for sharing this with us, so sorry for what you went through. I pray it doesn't happen again. And, it's God's hands that will guide you no matter what.

God bless~
Toni Hammer02/04/14
When I reached the end where you said it was true, I felt a chill go up my spine. You wrote this terrifying tale so well that I felt the confusion and fear and, because of that, I am so sorry you had to endure those moments. I pray the good Lord uses this experience for His good.