Daily Prompt – The Light Beyond The Glass

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Daily Prompt – Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.  I took this line from Cold Fire, by Dean Koontz.

Even before the events in the supermarket, Jim Ironheart should have known trouble was coming.  The gloomy weather was an overwhelming indication that the confines of his small apartment would be his only safe haven, but he was never one to let the voice of reason be his guide.  He was a man, after all, and he would let no sinister feeling shape his mood or carve the path of his day.  He prepared himself for the barrage of wind and rain and locked the door behind him.

The Supermarket, oddly named since it stood on a small corner and was the only store for miles, seemed to cast an eerie glow through the mottled grey light of the morning and he  paused with his hand on the door.  Something was waiting for him inside that store.  He felt it as much as he felt his heart beginning to pick up the pace of its beat.  He surveyed as much of the store as he could see beyond the shelving units that were home to his precious fast food addiction.  After what seemed like an eternity, he couldn’t delay any longer without looking like he was casing the joint and as he pushed open the door the chimes signalled his entrance into the store.

The air was frigid.  Not just air-conditioned, but Arctic cold.  The exhalation of his breath hovered in front of his face and seemed to hang in the air long enough to form its own icicles.  The place was deserted.  Apart from the humming of the coolers, there was no sound.  With slight trepidation, Jim made his way deeper into the store.  It took several seconds before he realized his footsteps made no noise.  There was no squeak of wet rubber on the tile floor and no audible proof that he had even moved at all.  The incessant hum of the fridges seemed to increase in volume and pierced the silence like an arrow.  Jim was now drawn to the back of the store.  He needed to get to that fridge.

As he pulled open the door to the cooler, the world behind him went black.  The ethereal luminescence emitted from the refrigerated section of the store was the only thing that seemed to exist.   Jim turned slightly to look behind him and there was nothing.  The store seemed to have been pulled into a giant vacuum and the only thing that existed within those four walls were Jim and the door he still grasped in his hand.  The contents of the fridge no longer existed.  Jim seemed to be standing on the divide between the blackness behind him and the white light of the cooler.

Jim stared at the light.  He cautiously brought his free hand to the opening and found the courage to let his fingers be bathed in the warmth that the light was emitting.  His fingers tingled in the light and he felt a joy that he didn’t know he had within him.  He liked it.  He wanted more.  He stepped into the opening and the door closed behind him.  He was awash in such a blissful feeling.  He began to weep and as the saline from his tears saturated his cheeks he felt a sense of utter happiness.  All the pent-up anger and disappointment were sluiced away by his tears and for the first time in his life he felt blessed.

The alarm clock blared and Jim was startled awake.  The modest decor in his apartment swam into focus and Jim realized he had been dreaming.  He swung his feet out of bed and sat up, wiping the cobwebs of the dream from his head.  As he rubbed his eyes, he felt the dampness from his tears and noticed that his pillow was wet.  As he struggled to recall the fragments of his dream, he began to smile.  The smile became wider and, for the first time in a long time, he was happy to greet the morning.   Jim carried that feeling of joy with him for a long time after that experience and realized that the name “super market” was a gross understatement.

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