Another weekly flash fiction prompt exercise; this time from http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/author/quillshiv/. The prompt is from You Tube, a short video of Jacqueline du Pre playing a piece from Elgar (Cello Concerto – 1st Movement).
My world is in total darkness, except for a warm light above me. I am a tiny atom, like a speck on the second hand of a gigantic vertical clock. The light above me is at twelve o’clock and as I circle beneath it, the light grows alternately warmer as I move upwards towards it and cooler as I drop away from it.
Gradually, I realise that I’m in some kind of torment, but can’t begin to articulate why or how. It’s the pure sensation of an indescribable and hitherto unknown throbbing agony. As I circle to reach the top of the clock-face, directly beneath the light, the agony peaks to an unbearable crescendo. I try to scream out but no sound emerges. I try to struggle but I’m completely immobilised.
Then there is a short respite, during which my whole essence pulsates with the after-glow of the torment. Is it over? No, it begins again.
This must be a dream. A dreadful nightmare of the worst possible kind. Nothing in my life has ever prepared me for such an experience. Never have I dreamed of an unremitting agony like this, and yet still I can’t describe what or from where the pain originates, only that it continues relentlessly.
I try to rouse myself out of this nightmare, as I have sometimes done in the past, but my efforts are in vain. This must, then, be reality but such a reality as I have never before in my life experienced or could have ever conceived of.
Even in my dreamlike state my mind still reasons and functions perfectly. There’s an overwhelming sense of betrayal, a sense that all my life I’ve been led to believe in the existence of a general fairness, a humanity, a mercy and that now, in the midst of all this torture. I must come to terms with the fact that I have been most dreadfully misled.
There is, my mind screams out in dawning realisation, no God after all!
And then gradually the darkness fades to grey, the light above me grows brighter and the agony begins to fade to a dull reverberating ache. I can make out shapes all around me, and realise that there are faces above me, concerned and nervous faces.
People are holding me down but as I surface from the darkness, they tentatively release me and stand back, clearly shaken. The room is full of strangers. Where have they all come from?
The dental surgery is strewn with broken glass. Instruments are lying on the floor, a man in the corner is holding a pad to his bleeding nose, and the dentist’s glasses are cracked and askew on his pointed nose. The freckles on the nurse’s face stand out in bold relief against her ashen face, looking for all the world like a bad case of the measles. With a hand that shakes she passes me a glass of pink water and motions to the sink beside my chair.
‘My God’ says the dentist, rubbing his face and examining the damage to his spectacles, ‘I’ve read somewhere that red-heads need more anaesthetic than others. That was a revelation.”
“It certainly was,” I mumble, spitting blood into the bowl.