Knowing darkness better

“Every day the world grows darker, intolerance and bigotry keeps growing…”

Hammad and Johnny stood towards the back of the crowd , hand in hand just listening. Behind them a thin line of policemen protected them from hatred.

“… but remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel… “

Johnny smiled when a beer-bottle suddenly crashed in front of them and it started raining shards of green glass. Everything flared into brilliant colors before it all went dark.

Hammad woke to blackness with a silent headache, knowing that he’d lost Johnny and his sight.

Now, he knew what darkness was.

I couldn’t avoid thinking of the light at the end of the tunnel. Of always having hope… the only problem is that you never know if you can fall even further. As some of you have seen I have real problems to comment before Sunday… stay patient and I try to return to you.

Friday Fictioneers is a group of authors who try their best to write good stories in hundred words to the same picture. Rochelle keeps us all in line and always tells wonderful stories. This week she gives us a glimpse from the past and a lesson of how everything has changed.

December 5, 2018

84 responses to “Knowing darkness better

  1. As long as I read that first line of your story, I knew I was in for a grim, emotional ride, and you didn’t disappoint. You portrayed a very stark snippet of our reality, and I hope Hammad is able to find light in his new darkness.

    P.S. Hope you’re doing well, Björn!

  2. This could be so many things, a peace march, a gay pride march, a march in solidarity with Muslims. But the intolerance and hate on the other side of that thin line is just as dark. Johnny was not very loyal was he? Poor Hammad.

  3. I find this poem fascinating because, though it clearly presents tragedy, loss, and pain, it also is so very beautifully written and artistic:

    “it started raining shards of green glass. Everything flared into brilliant colors before it all went dark”

    That is gorgeous. To me, it shows that out of pain, comes brilliant artistic expression and revolution. I think maybe in losing our sight, we finally see.

    I like that you chose the name “Johnny” — it allows this to be a gay couple, or Johnny could be a girl’s name.

    I love the expression “silent headache.” I’m going way out of bounds here, imagining scenarios in which he has a mental disorder that makes his identity change, and/or also allows/forces him to time/space travel.

    I think knowing darkness better can be a very good thing, depending on how you choose to embrace it.

  4. I know exactly what you mean when you say as long as you have hope, “you never know if you can fall any further”. I understand it for the individual and from a society’s perspective. In these times, so many people at least in the US keep saying it can’t get any worse because we remain hopeful things will turn around. But if we were to accept we can’t just sit here and something or someone else turn them around, we would be motivated to take to the streets and help. This may be way beyond the scope of your poem, but it inspired a closer look at the concept. For that I thank you.

  5. Recently, someone told me they found my insistence that things could be worse extremely annoying. I just shrugged. I mean, as your story suggests, it is just the truth. There is always one more thing to lose.

  6. Oh! what a heart-rending tale.. your flash fiction speaks to a multitude of intolerant opinions, sadly so much a part of modern society even today, when everyone should know better than to judge another person’s choices in life.

  7. Very sad story, very realistic and so unfortunate that one person lost his vision. Mob violence leads to consequences that often go out of hand.

  8. This was powerfully written. While I think there is always a possibility for just outcomes to the world’s problems, it’d be mad of me to think that can be accomplished without some people paying heavy, heavy costs.

  9. Dear Björn,

    Hammad and Johnny had the right idea. Too bad the intolerance flares around them. Sadly, it seems, we’ve learned nothing. Well done.



  10. The lessons we learn the hard way, as children seem to be the ones that impact us the most. I’m unsure if it is our innocence or the gravity of the lessons…… Very thought provoking write.

  11. A beautifully crafted story, very strong sense of the couple and the mob violence exploding around them. Your matter of fact tone in describing the grim outcome heightens the sense of tragedy for me.

  12. You structured your story very well, giving us a happy introduction to the main characters, and then shattering the mood with an act of hatred. Very powerful and moving.

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