Flash Fiction | Reading

Dusk again. ‘Time to run home. Stay in the street light. Danger looming in the dark. Shadows in that alleyway!’.“ Who goes there ?” No answer. “Who, I asked?” No answer. Rustling. “ Must run ! “, He ran. Left, right, right, left. Pupils huge, dilated. No time to stop. ‘Shadows closing in’ he thought. His street was approaching. There was the doorstep ! “Light !” he yelled and hit the switch. Light on the porch. The shadows were gone but the hallway was still dark. ‘Backdoor or eyes closed ?’ He yanked the door open, leaped forward and hit the switch inside. A blaze of neon-brightness. ‘Yes’ he thought. His heart rate slowed. The rest was easy. ‘Home.’ A sea of neon. The maddening heat from the ceiling and wall-lights. Shelter. All blinds shut because of the insects. They came from kilometres away. The darkness locked out of his halogen heaven. Engulfed in light his soul could breathe. No one knew where it came from. The psychiatrists, neurologists, psychologists and wonder healers all had their say. Haloperidol, benzodiazepines, subconscious programming, brain-computer interface modulation. Pavlovian conditioning, electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation. Dopamine agonists. Dopamine antagonists, osteopathy, energy healing, vibration therapy, herbs. Illegal drugs, hard exposure. Nothing worked.

Here was his sanctuary. Bathing in a dry ocean of light. Sweating, panting, living. The senses heightened. Every colour at its ultimate intensity. The world outside was black or grey. Devoid of sensory input. A torture for his pristine eyes. A constant search for final values. Nothing but an inane imprint of what was really there. Thoughts perpetually raging. Suspended an in endless limbo. A blurry nightmare. A cheap illusion. Although they tried to cure him, he never told the truth. They would have not understood it. It stretched too far beyond their horizons. But he knew what his condition was: Kandinsky, Rothko, Monet. The day he first held a lamp to a painting was the end of his outside world. Once you see the truth, everything else becomes a lie. They were common trichomats. He saw a billion colours. Their eyes saw rgb and hex, his thousand variations. While he walked in the light they were trapped in the shadows. And from his throne of photons he cast his rays and smiled. Until another night began and his belly ached again.