Driving up a curvy incline, all that mattered was the beautiful sunshine which illuminated my rough, grey booster seat. Out the window I saw endless hues of forest green and muted browns that looked like my aged dinner table. Everything in the woods; the trees and faint noises of birds emanated a deep ingrained feeling of my own belonging. As the car crept up along side of a cliff I gazed out at gorgeous cracked rock. Half Dome laid right in the middle of the valley, just to the left was the thundering water drifting down off Yosemite Falls. Through the wonderland of heart-opening trees I rose higher and higher into the valley.

“You ok back there Daniel?,” asked my mom.

         “This is better than Disneyland!”

My doctors had warned my parents of altitude with my seven life-threatening heart conditions, but they wanted to try it. As we reached a peaking ecstasy of life in the inner valley, I began gasping.

The world began to deteriorate into a mere image, then suddenly my body fell cold under a redwood as tall as the sky. Cedar, pine, and the valley floor were the only things tangible. A hazy gray seemed to encapsulate my existence. Loud sirens blared as men in white rushed me down the mountain, disturbing the natural world.

         Opening my eyes seemed like a mission. What if I can’t open them? What if it’s only gray? The room was an exploding fluorescent white. The white bed, toxic cleaning products, the sting of the IV and of course the smell of rubbing alcohol. My eyes drooped forward and I slouched down. Turning over onto my side I peered out a cellar like window to see the bright sun, which only a few hours ago I had been under.

by Daniel Wallock

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