These are the moments you live for. The soothing sea-breeze caresses our cheeks, whispering secrets of faraway lands. Splattering the sky in brilliant shades of red, the sun starts disappearing into the horizon, lined with roaring waves. Alice, with a warm smile, entwines her fingers in mine. The magic of young love floats in the air. Yet, the shadows creep stealthily in. In helpless horror, I see the magical seas fade away. Only a faint beeping noise shatters the heavy silence. Am I going insane?
With a start, I open my eyes. The beeping machines drag me back to reality. Ah! How distant the dream feels, now! How far removed from these deafening beeps! Yet, it’s the most hopeful music in the hospital. It whispers of recovery, of life. Past silent beds, I step into the narrow corridors lined with patients. Doctors and nurses rush by, unrecognizable in PPE suits. Thus, they fight on, even as hope trickles out, as ambulance-sirens grow more frequent and the morgue fills up faster than ever. They fight on, till they’re the ones on the sickbed gasping for breath. The air smells of death. Yet, I breathe it in- the taste of new life. For, I- Dr Stephen Malory- have beaten the deadly virus. I know, they need me here. But, tonight, I’ve my promise to keep. I had promised Alice that I’d visit her as soon as I got well. Tomorrow, I’ll be back.
The deserted road stretches on, before me, as I leave the hospital behind. The fresh night air feels addictive after days under the ventilator struggling for breath. Far above, the stars adorn the night, painting the sky in hope. Is the night more beautiful now? Or, is it just my craving for home?
Through the back-gate, I creep in, to surprise Alice. How happy she’d be!
Gently pushing the door open, I peep inside. She’s asleep on the floor, her head cradled in her arms.
“Alice!” I call. No response. She must be really tired.
As I plop down beside her, it catches my eyes- the newspaper-headlines…. my name!
“Another New-York doctor – Dr Stephen Malory- falls victim ”
I gaze on.. and on. Am I , indeed, dead? Darkness descends upon my eyes. Is the end always so sudden, so cruel? How we had planned our honeymoon to the beach! Will the dream never come true, then? Lomg-suppressed tears break free.
Yet, from the television, a voice booms on, “The virus is a hoax!”
“Murderer!” I mutter, gritting my teeth. They have our blood on their hands.
Alice sighs in her sleep. How I wish I could hug her one last time! Yet, I can’t, ever again.
But, they say, it’s a hoax. Anger burns within as I glare at the shouting leader.
I’m not alone. A million shadows rise from their graves.
The clock’s struck twelve. Now is our time for revenge, to throw the murderer off the throne.
Photo By: Unsplash
This is an entry for the event #twelve #Five00-10 at ArtoonsInn Writers Room.
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Event sponsored by The Archaic House
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