The Brilliant Colors of Darkness
Margot Comstock

Dirt streaked tears traced the deep crevices on Martha’s face. She tasted their salt, mixed with earth from her hands, on her lips. She left her gardening for the darkness of her living room. 

A year ago she had lost her sight—she, an artist—but she would give up painting in a heartbeat to have her sight back. To see was treasure, constant joy. Colors so brilliant, rainbows, the light playing with shadows. Beloved things she’d not see again. In her despair, she felt as though she were disappearing.

No. Not me. I’m not a quitter. Why not? What does it matter? You are alive and life is good.

Martha was perfectly aware she was hearing her own mind. She felt like screaming. She wanted to throw things. She was so mad.

Mallory, her guide-dog, nuzzled Martha’s hand. Martha caressed Mal’s head. 

The voice was right. She would hate not seeing, but there were other ways to see, weren’t there?

“Get your leash, Mal,” she said. “We’re going for a walk.”

Outside, Mal found a fragrant spring day under a brilliantly sunlit sky. Martha felt sunshine on her arms and face. Birds sang and chirped happily. Martha listened. She felt Mal’s gentle breathing on her wrist. A breeze catching her long hair gently caressed her cheek.

“It’s taken a year, Mal,” Martha said, “to see that beauty comes in other ways. I believe I’m ready at last to embrace those kinds of light.”

First published: May, 2014
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