Day 11’s prompt for the 30 day writing challenge was something about a power shortage. Here we go: A story where the characters go without power for a day. Okay, so my story doesn’t go for a whole day, but it’s close enough. Here’s my story about the blind girl who’s finally good at something:
There are not many instances in which a blind person excels. Sure, we’re fairly good at bumping into things, and getting sympathy from people. But not much else. Tonight, though, there is no power and no candles, which means that everyone is looking to me for advice. I mean, I’m assuming they’re looking at me. I wouldn’t be able to tell.
‘What do we do?’ says Peter. I think he might be the one clutching my arm.
‘Um,’ I say. It’s hard to make a plan of action when this is exactly the same as what I usually do. ‘Um.’
‘Informative,’ says a small voice, Nina. ‘Very informative.’
‘No torches?’ I suggested.
‘Nothing.’ Peter again.
I stand up, putting my cane in front of me. Most of the time I can find my way around the house without it, so it’s more like a precaution than a guide. With one person’s hand on my shoulder, and one holding my right hand, I lead them out of the lounge room. Nina’s the one holding my hand, I’m sure of it. It’s a dry, steady hand. She’s a smart, sensible girl. But I know she’s still scared. Peter, though, doesn’t make an effort to hide it.
Once we’re out of the lounge room, it’s an easy matter to turn left down the hallway and into my room. We fall onto the bed, all three of us, and it’s pitch black. Well, obviously for me it’s pitch black anyway, but I hear Nina murmuring that there’s no moon tonight.
‘So what are we going to do?’ Peter says.
‘We,’ I say, laying down my cane, ‘Are going to make a fort.’
So we do. Peter and Nina fumble around in the dark, grabbing pillows and blankets and cushions. We prop up a blanket in the centre of the room, and lean the fort up against some bean bags. Eventually, we have a cozy little nest.
‘I’m scared,’ whispers Nina, clutching my hand.
I’m surprised. She didn’t seem scared before. ‘Why are you scared?’
‘It’s all dark. I can’t see anything…how do you stand it?’
The question makes me think. How do I stand it? ‘I guess…I imagine all the things I’m missing. Like colours…tell me about colours.’
‘Which ones?’ says Peter. ‘Which colours?’
‘The whole rainbow.’ I lie back on some cushions. ‘Start with the first one.’
His voice is warm and reassuring, reaching out of the darkness. He speaks with a strange tenderness. ‘Well, red is…anger. When you’re angry at someone, and you close your eyes, that’s what you see. But it’s also luck, and happiness, and love. When you hold hands with someone?’ His hand slips into mine. ‘That’s what red is.’
‘Orange,’ Nina chimes in, ‘Is the best colour. It’s in between go and stop – slow down. It’s mellow, and you can take your time with orange. Like the sunset. Candles. Fire.’
‘Then yellow…yellow is bright and happy. It’s the colour when a dog wags its tail. It’s the brightest part of the day. It’s energy.’
They keep telling me the colours of the rainbow, describing them so that I think I can almost see them. And when the power comes back on, we stay in our little fort, content simply to dream of the colours we’re missing.