Shine A Light – A Short Story – Part 1

As he stood on the edge of the beach, watching the sunset as the cool, gentle breeze caressing his skin as the gentle ripples danced in the water. He reflected back onto his life as if he was watching old family movies on an aged VHS player.

He slowly inhales on a cigarette as he stares at the white filter, burning away slowly. Shaking his head as he drops it between his fingers, crushing and extinguishing the smoke with his sandals. He slowly sits down on the warm, coarse sand as he sinks his toes into the shifted earth. Staring at the sun as it lowers beyond the clouds, he cries knowing that there were only a handful amount of sunsets he is able to watch, he knows his time on earth is coming to an end, he knows he is dying.

Greg was like any other common man, short, stocky, fatish with a thinly combed mustache over his upper lip, bottle size glasses and a receding hairline. Married to a women who took him for granted and worked 9 to 5 for a company that didn’t appreciate his time and effort, in a little cubicle that was smaller than others around him. Working for a man who belittles his employees and makes obnoxious jokes. Everything was normal until earlier on that week when his doctor asked him to come and visit him.

“Thanks for coming in, I have the results back from your latest blood test” the doctor proclaimed in a monotone voice. Greg sat quietly and nervous, as he sat there patiently waiting for the results, nervously tapping his fingers on his lap.

“I’m sorry sir, but you have inoperable cancer” the doctor went into details but nothing was heard by Greg, as if time itself stood still, Greg sat there in silence. A blank stare fell on his face as he reflected on the news he had just heard. His wife began sobbing uncontrollably as Greg quickly shifted his gaze onto her. He quickly remembered that over the course of 6 months ago, he found her in the arms of another man and quickly remembered her excuse of how she didn’t remember how it happened. Staring at her as her mascara runs, she grabs his hand and the reflection of her wedding band glared in his eyes as he sat there in silence, still reflecting on the news.

“Greg?, Greg!” she said sternly as Greg slowly comes back to reality and looks at his Doctor and says “I have to go!” Greg rushes out of the office, down the corridor and out to the parking lot and made his way to his car. He sat in the warm, sun-soaked car as he fumbles with the AC. “Piece of shit!” He exclaims as he pounds his fist on the dashboard and lays his head on the steering wheel. He stares at his feet, noticing one of his shoe laces had snapped off and broke.

His wife quickly enters the vehicle and consoles him with open arms and hugs, he doesn’t feel anything. He shifts his eyes towards her and broodingly shakes his head as he puts the car into drive and heads his way back home in silence.

As he sits down in his favorite chair, kicks his feet up, his wife walks into the room. “Do you have anything you want to talk about?” she questions Greg. “No” he simply said as he turns his gaze onto the television. Flabbergasted, his wife stood there in a puzzled state with her hands on her hips. She stood in silence and stared at him in disbelief. “I need to get out, I need some fresh air” she proclaimed as Greg sat there in silence, ignoring her. “Do you need anything?” She asked once more. “No!” he said once again in a dismissive tone. Shaking her head, she grabs the keys and storms out the door. Greg sits there in silence, staring at the TV and reflects on the day.

As hours passed by and the night moon rises, Greg sat there flicking back and forth between channels until he heard the sound of sweetness come across the TV screen. The sound of a booming piano accompanied with slow swinging violas and echoing harps. He listened and watch the orchestra play beautifully as if the players knew of his pain and sorrow. He cried as he stared off at the moon light, burying his head in his hands as he sobs harder and harder, barely able to catch his breath, he falls from his chair and lies on the ground, sobbing uncontrollably to the sweet sound of slow classical music.

When the thunderous boom of the drums kicked into a swifter and uplifting pace, he slowly raised his head from his hands and looked up to the sky through his narrow window. On his hands and knees, he begged for mercy, crying out to god that he wants to live, that he wants to grow old, he begged and begged but god did not listen, no one did and it wasn’t until the lull, silent part of the song that he began to realize, that nothing can save him, that he is hopeless. The sound of booming drums picked up louder and louder through the TV. He became angry and angrier to the point of blinding rage when he finally let out a scream, proclaiming “Fine!! I don’t need your help! who the fuck have you ever helped anyways?” he roared throughout the house, cursing the sun and the moon, cursing god, cursing the world.

He picks himself up from the ground, wipes off his knees and put his hands in a fist and stared at the blank wall in front of him. He draws back his arm and releases and swings at the wall in a fit of rage, smashing through the wallpaper and thin drywall. He pulls his hand out and swung for a second time, making a second hole in the wall. As he begins to release a fury of angered punches against the crumbling wall, his hands become swollen and bloodied. He screams in pain “Ah!!” as he quickly turns around grabbing the lamp from the table and throwing it down the hallway.

He makes his way to the kitchen and opens the cabinet door, grabbing the plates and dishes and throwing them against the wall. Plate after plate, glass after glass until the floor was covered in a layer of nothing but ceramic and shattered glass.

Kicking the debris with his foot, he over hears the couple next door yelling at each other, looking out the window, he witnesses his neighbor violently striking the wife and watches as she falls to the ground.

As he quickly made his way through the rubble and down the hallway, he flung open the front door, he ran across the yard and through the thicket of the bush. He emerged in front of the angered husband and distraught wife. “Greg, get out of here!” she pleaded to him with tear-soaked eyes that were wrapped in bruises. The husband rushed over to Greg and stared him in the eyes “The women said leave bud!” as the neighbor shoves Greg across the yard.

Greg smiles as he looks down at his chest where he was pushed, locks eyes with the neighbor and as if time stood still, Greg released a crushing right hook against the temple of his attacker. Greg began swinging left, right than left then right then left and left again and followed by an uppercut and in a ball of rage Greg unleashed the final blow knocking the neighbor onto the grass. Staring at his hands in disbelief, he looks at the man lying on the ground in the cold, damp grass, motionless. Greg looks at the women and said in a cool manner “Check to see if he’s breathing, if he is, don’t ever let him do that to you again, if he’s not”, Greg pauses then states “than you’re welcome” Greg walked away, went into his house with his chest puffed out, walked up to his bedroom, took two shots of whiskey than went to bed.

It wasn’t long until he heard a shrieking scream come from the kitchen, Greg sat up in horror and made his way downstairs to find his wife, once again sobbing as she looked at the rubble around her. “What happened Greg!” she screamed across the room, panicked and waving her arms. Greg looks up at her and said with a smile “I hated those dishes” as he turns away, she screams at him one more time until he quickly turned around and snapped back “I’m going to bed!, I had a rough day, goodnight!” leaving her in a sudden shock of disbelief. She gasps as she stares at the floor covered in ceramic rubble and shattered glass. Greg walks up the narrowing stairs, lays his head down on his pillow and chuckled to himself until he fell asleep.

By Lucas Durelle





The Writer – Part 3

As he sat there in shame, pondering his next move, he looked over at his work bench, untidy and messy and covered in tools. He notices a yellow handle poking through the debris. Puzzled, he slowly lifts himself from his blood-soaked chair and hopped his way to his work table. Clearing the debris and unveiling his next plan of attack against the hard, sturdy oak door. A yellow handle maul ax. Quickly grabbing the handle, he slowly made his way through the dark, damp basement and approached the staircase where he once fell earlier that day.

Looking at the ground below the stair case, shards of broken glass and blood filled the floor as a gut-wrenching feeling passed through his body as he relieved the horror of today events.

Slowly making his way up the staircase, step by step, he reaches the top and steadies his footing and with his ax in hand, he took one mighty swing at the door. Boom! echoed through the short of the hall when he was greeted with excruciating pain shooting through his body as the impact of the ax sending a crippling shock to his leg wound from trying to steady himself on the staircase, He dropped to one knees and began breathing heavy.

He stood up and tried again. Boom! he fell to his knee and hanged his head. Gritting his teeth, He stood up and swung the ax for a third time. Boom! He screamed as the pain rushes through his body, but he did not fall. Turning his body once again, steadying his footing, lifting the axe from his side, he swung for a fourth time at the hardwood door. Boom! In an anger rage, he exhausted the rest of his energy, swinging faster and faster, boom, boomboomboom, boom, screaming in hatred, swearing with each swing, you, boom mother boom, fucker! Boom!!

He fell to his knees, sweat falling from his brow, blood dripping from his wound, feeling defeated. Pressing his hand against his wound, he glares at the blood dripping from his hand glistening in the sunlight. Surprised, he looks up and sees the sun creeping through the hole in the doorway.

Placing the ax against the wall, he slipped his hand through the make-shift hole and reached for the door knob on the other side. Noticing the door knob turning but not opening, he reaches a little higher and finds the knob of the deadbolt was fully engaged. He turned the knob right and watched as the splintered, beaten up door slowly open and felt the warmth of sunlight shining on his face.

Relieved, he crawled his way through the door, laying on the hardwood floor in the kitchen, bathing in the sunlight. Hope was restored as he pauses for a moment in the contrast of the dark basement in comparison of the sunlit room.

Staring at the ceiling with his hands on his chest, he knew he was not done yet and lifted himself onto the kitchen counter and reached for his phone.

Quickly opening the contact list and finding his wife, he never hit that green button so hard and quickly before this moment. He waited. Ring. Ring. The phone rang several times before an automated greeting came up, he left her a message explaining the day’s events and ending the story with a simple “I love you”

As he laid on the floor, the sun became brighter, almost a blinding white light as images of his life fluttered past his eyes. His first steps, the loving look on his mother’s face, the echoing voice of his father’s words, his first day at school, the loving smile of his wife. Becoming distracted, he quickly tries to focus his eyes on the dimmed screen of his phone, he slowly dials 9,1,1. as he slowly slips unconscious to the sound of an unknown woman, he’s only able to say one word.


As he passes in and out of consciousness and if time itself has stood still, only briefly seeing the flickering of overhead lights as he is being pushed through a narrowing corridor. He feels the crashing of being pushed through two heavy doors into a dimly lit room. The room is filled with chatter as he can hear the mumbles of people talking to each other, racing around him. with what strength he has left, he cries “where am I? but that cry fell on silent ears as he is not able to speak, the people do not know he is awake.

Terrified, he tries to struggle but is unable to move, being able to feel everything that is happening to him, tears fall from his closed eyes as he feels every poke, prod and stitch until he inevitably passes out from the pain and settles into the darkness of sleep.

“Quite the day you have had son” a familiar voice echoes across the room.
“who’s there?” he said in a puzzled tone, “I can’t move, help me!” he pleaded to the voice.
“Get up son” as he felt a reaching touch, grab his hand and help him sit up from his bed.

When the familiar face of his mother emerged from the blinding light, with soft pale blue eyes and faded white hair, she stared at her son with a gentle smile as he quickly embraced her and felt something he hasn’t felt in several months since her passing

“Mom, this can’t be real”  he said in a whimper
“No son, it isn’t” she said kindly as she places an open hands over the right side of his cheek, she smiles and says “This is the moment where you either come with me and rest forever or you be the man I thought you would be and go back, write your book, live an honest life and love those who love you, quit the drinking son, it’s not what I raised you to be”
“but mom, I’ve missed you so much, I can’t bare it” he pleaded.
” Son, that’s life, people die, I lived a good life and you need to as well” she said kindly
“I don’t want to leave you again” He pleaded once more
“that’s your choice son, but just know, you will be leaving those that love you, just like I had to leave you, the only difference was, it was my time to go. It’s not yours”

Hugging his mother one last time as tears stream from his face, he holds her tightly and gives his love. “Now blink son, it’s time to wake up” she says as she slowly disappears into the light.

Almost as if traveling through worlds in a blink of an eye, he awakes in a hospital room, on a bed that is too stiff, surrounded by lights that are too bright and the feeling of a warm hand touching his. He slowly fixes his gaze upon his beautiful wife. She sat there, and she was as perfect as he remembers her early on today. He takes a moment and watches her sleep upright in the chair. Her auburn hair shining in the moonlight, her hand gripping his, he gives her a gentle tug of his hand to wake her. As she wakes, her emerald-green eyes lock onto his as a relieving smile slips passed her lips as a tear gently falls from her eye while she exhales a relieving gasp at the sight of her husband smiling back at her.

She quickly leaps from her chair and into his arms and once again, time stood still as he felt the warmness of her body against his, as they sat there in silence, as they sat there in peace.

After a 3 day stay at the hospital, they finally made it back to their home and settled in. As he walks into the kitchen and sees the broken remains of the basement door, he feels a sense of panic rush over him until he is quickly calmed by the touch of his wife’s hand
“you go and rest, I got this” she said reassuring,
“No, there’s something I have to do” he states as he kisses her softly.

He stood at the top of the basement stairs, looking at the mess of the previous day, he takes one step down the narrowing staircase, then another and with each passing step, he relived the harrowing moment that not only changed him but changed the course of his life.

As he made his way to his office, He finds himself standing in front of the liquor cabinet, his wife watches behind the door with a concerned look covering her face. He reaches for his signature Rye and Whiskey. He walks over to the sink in his office, opens the cap and pours it down the drain. His wife smiles as she turns away and walks back up the stairs. He slowly walks over to his office desk, opens a word document, takes a seat, lights a cigarette and begins writing.

“As he sat in his Burgundy cloth high back chair, sipping on lukewarm coffee, taking small drags off his cigarette, he stares at the flickering white screen in front of him, wordless. He wipes his brow and takes another puff. The sound of smooth jazz playing on the radio behind him adds to the tension as he struggles to begin his sentence.”

The End.

The Writer –  A Short Story By Lucas Durelle

Part one can be found Here
Part two can be found Here