Dark to light

IT WAS COLD and dark, but she did not shiver nor was she afraid.

She was dead, lying inside a refrigerated cubicle in the morgue of the Hospital Popular in Los Santos, Mexico. She had died yesterday after weeks of silent suffering and waiting, waiting for this day and death.

Her children visited most every day, but not yesterday, the day she died. They should have been notified, of course, but perhaps the staff was rushed or maybe it was a clerical error. But here she sprawled inside the cubicle, alone.

The cubicle door opened, and the drawer on which she lay rolled out into the cutting room. Though it would be bright there, she remained in darkness, and the cold did not go away, though it did not bother her. She heard gasps of her two daughters, Gertrudis and Lupita.

Then she was pushed back into the drawer.

Time passed. She had no way of gauging it, and it did not matter anyway. But then the cubicle door opened, and she was pulled once more into the cutting room. There was Father Ignacio. He spoke in the tongue of the old Romans and she felt his hand on her head.

LeafShe opened her eyes. The blackness had turned to a baby-blue light, and another hand was on her head. It was Manuel, her husband of 42 years who died long ago. He smiled, and he was young again. And so was she.

And it was warm, like the constant springtime of Cuernavaca.

17 thoughts on “Dark to light”

    1. Ray: Thank you, sir. I would like nothing better than all-fiction posts. I am weary of bashing Barry and his cabal of egalitarians. What’s the point? Well, aside from putting a grin on my face. And lots of people drone on about Mexico. But the fiction is not coming to me like it used to. I hope it’s just a cyclical thing.

      This was inspired by the death a few days ago in Mexico City of the mother of my wife’s best friend. The hospital neglected to inform the family, and when one of the daughters showed up the next day, she found someone else in mama’s bed, and mama was in the cooler. So this is kinda based on actual events.

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  1. A lovely, poetic post. You note above in your reply to Ray that fiction isn’t coming as much as it used to. Do you just kind of sit around and wait for inspiration, or have you done anything to fire your imagination? Because if it’s the former, you might try some of the latter. Your fiction is evocative and fascinating. Take the Marbol hotel. You should be able to create hosts and hosts of characters out of that, with new ones checking in every night, if necessary. Seems like a seedy hotel would be a great backdrop for all kinds of stories.

    If you haven’t, read Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. I think that could well inspire you. I’ve often fantasized about writing something like that, but taking place in Mexico City.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Tehuacán, Pueba
    Where inspiration finally came this morning in the form of an earthquake.

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    1. Kim: I have no real interest in actually writing, fiction or otherwise, anything more than what I do here. I enjoy doing it here very much.

      Never read that Tales of the City, but I just had a sample sent to my Kindle via Amazon. Thanks.

      And yes, I do sit around and wait for inspiration. Don’t actually sit, however. What happens is that the fiction items almost always come to me in bed at night or near dawn when I am half asleep. Often they are inspired by something real. The Marbol Hotel epic came from one character in a novel I was reading at the time. I took it from there and made the rest of it up. About the only thing from the one character than I used was his name, Billy Lancing the redheaded negro (apologies to the critics of Clive Bundy). He was a pool player. I made his mama an octoroon hooker. And I added lots of other crackpots. Plug time:

      http://themarbolhotel.wordpress.com/

      Glad you survived the quake. I felt nothing on the mountaintop, which is how I want it to always be.

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    2. P.S.: You got me to thinking. I prefer short items here so people’s minds don’t wander. It’s a USA Today approach. Plus it’s easier for me.

      The Marbol Hotel epic was 9,176 words long. I just checked. It was serialized here, and then I gave it its own website. I would have guessed that the two Cuba posts combined would have been longer, but it wasn’t even close. The two of them have 5,059 words. No contest. The Cuba posts remain, and likely always will remain, the most read posts, which is why one or both are always in the Top Items list in the right-side column here.

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      1. The Cuba posts were VERY good. I personally think there’s far too much romanticizing of Cuba, and a cold, hard look is a refreshing change.

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        1. Kim: The number of people, numskulls all (if I may be permitted to be blunt), who still swoon over Cuba never fails to amaze and annoy me. As the young people would say: What part of communist dictatorship do you not understand?

          Not you personally, of course. I’m speaking broadly.

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    1. Peter: Me too. Death does not bother me. It’s the time leading up to it and the manner of doing it that can be worrying. With luck, a sudden heart attack like my father was blessed with. Boom and adiós.

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      1. Death is the greatest mystery of all. I usually enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Regardless of the outcome, we still have an opportunity to perform more good deeds until we make the final bow on this stage of existence.

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