Fading Light

Finalist in the 'Inspired 2019' competition

‘When the sun goes down today, you will die.’
I open my eyes to the beautiful beach. I never thought I’d see it. But here I was, in front of a breathtaking sunset. Never had I seen the ocean; all I could do was imagine it. I step onto the washed-out sand, my bare feet sinking under the surface. My toes tingle as I place my other foot in front of the first, one after the other, until I’m sprinting toward the magnificent horizon. I abruptly stop before the crystal water. My hair blows in the light breeze, a spray of water hitting my warm skin. I rest my eyes on the dulling sun, watching it slowly lower. I stand perfectly still, until I can taste the salt on my dried lips. Then slowly, I dip my toe into the cold water, sending a ripple across my dying reflection. A chill surges through my body. This was my dream. I had fulfilled it. Now all I had to do was go and die with my pitying family telling me how much they love me. But I didn’t turn back. I step deeper into the blue. I want to stay here and enjoy the sunset forever. I didn’t want to go back to the sickly warm hospital, with the smell of rotting bodies and foul blood. I didn’t want to go back to my lonely room; where I’d spent my lonely life pondering……..I wanted to feel normal. I wanted to live. I watch the sun fade in the distance. ‘When the sun goes down today, you will die. When the sun goes down today. I step further into the ocean. When the sun goes down. I look up. The sun is still there.
“Please…don't leave me…”
A voice begs. My voice.
“Pl-PLEASE!”
The sun keeps sinking.
“I don’t want to…” I sob.
I’m going to die, and everyone else will continue living their life. No matter what I do……but the sun is still there. I can catch up to it. If I just---- run.
I sprint until I’m chest-deep in the water. I’m screaming now. I can make it; I know I can. My wet clothes hug my shivering body. I take a deep breath and dive down into the sea. Even though I can’t swim, I’m moving fast. I kick forward until my legs hurt. Until my lungs burn and my eyes sting. I look up and see the vague light on the surface of the ocean. I need air………. But I don’t have time. I’m going to stay with the sun, so I’ll never die. My head is throbbing, my lungs are about to explode……. but I keep going. Then suddenly, my cold body is overcome with a warm sensation. All my pain seems to vanish, and I am in engulfed in the light. As I breathe in the humid air and feel the heat radiate off my skin, I know that I am finally one with the sun.

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