The responses I received to the Answer Room were very interesting indeed, and honestly a bit surprising. Many of you stated that you might not want answers at all, and after reading that it started me thinking. So much so I fell asleep that night contemplating unanswered questions and scenarios where I might turn my head away from the answer. The following morning I climbed in the shower and ended up staying there until the water ran cold. My thoughts from the night before had seeded an idea for a story and I couldn’t let it go until I had built a suitable framework around it. This is what I came up with and I think it’s the beginning to a really interesting story. It’s still real rough.
White. All around me. Nothing but snowy-white. But I wasn’t in the snow. I wasn’t sure where I was, if anywhere. The whiteness seemed endless, going on forever. There were no walls, no furniture, nothing had definition and there no way to orient myself. Just emptiness…and white. I think I was standing upright, but there was no way to tell.
Normally this was just the sort of situation where I’d get really nervous and begin hyperventilating, but instead I felt unusually calm. I had to be dreaming. That would explain everything. But this was unlike any dream I had ever experienced before. Then I remembered a sensation of floating, looking down on a roomful of people all wearing blue or green scrubs with matching skullcaps. They were huddled over somebody lying on a table and a nervous energy filled the room. When one of the women shifted her position, I caught a glimpse of the face that belonged to the body on the table. IT WAS ME.
Then I was here, wherever that is.
I began to feel a presence near me. I spun around, but there was only more white. I pivoted back and a searing bright light forced my eye lids shut. I tried to open them again, but the light was too intense. Instinctively I lowered my head, cupped my hand over my brow, and tried again. This time I could almost make out an image. There was somebody, or something, there in the light. I couldn’t tell who or what it was, but I wasn’t afraid. I felt…comforted.
“You may ask one question,” a voice said. But I didn’t really hear the voice. It was more like…I thought it.
“I’m guessing I’m dead, right?” I didn’t feel my lips move as I asked the question. It was like the voice…I just thought it.
“Is that your question?”
“No…no, it’s not. An explanation would be helpful.”
“Under normal circumstances the answers to all of your questions would be revealed to you now. But you will be returning to your mortal life soon, yet you may have one question answered before you go as a token of your time here,” the internal voice responded.
There was no reply, but I perceived a positive vibe. The possibilities flooded my mind, but suddenly the question was in my head almost before I could finish formulating it.
“Who killed my brother?”
Although I couldn’t make out the person I was communicating with, I had the distinct impression a frown had appeared on his face.
“Are you sure that’s the question you want answered?”
“Very well. It was you.”
Shock paralyzed me for a moment. “That can’t be. He was killed by a hit and run driver and I wasn’t even in the same state when it happened. I didn’t kill my brother.”
“Use the information wisely,” was the voices only response.
“Wait a minute!” I tried to open my eyes to look directly at my host, but my eyelids wouldn’t stay open. “You promised me an answer and I –“
Agonizing pain. Grogginess. Nausea.
“Sinus rhythm. He’s back,” I heard to my left. I sensed that I was back on the gurney in the emergency ward I had witnessed from up high. A fire was ablaze in my chest and I was seconds away from puking, but only one thought filled my head.
I didn’t kill my brother.
I’m thinking this is could be an interesting premise for a short story or novel, probably in the YA genre. Any opinions? No fair blowing flowers up my shorts…just the honest scoop please.
- DL Hammons
- Continually trying to answer the question...can a man of few words write a successful novel?
I'm a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense writer from small town USA who struggles everyday to balance my passion for prose against the need to be a full-time bread winner. Finding ways to devote more time to my writing is the challenge, but for now all I can do is follow this tug at my heart to wherever it leads. I'm here primarily to soak up all the knowledge I can from the writing-centric blogosphere, but I'll do my best to contribute by thinking of new and innovative ways to churn the writing pot.