Day 72 – The Red Hat

Idea from Andy Cameron yet again.


Andy challenged me to write the following:


“It has to have discovery of a new band. A red hat and an understanding of the universe through a sudden realisation.” But I completely forgot about the red hat. Well it is sort of there. It’s described. Just not very well.

Completed within around twenty seconds to spare. I’m a little tired, hungry and it was written in a very distracted forty minutes.

Word count: 1045

Morning. Early hours. Snow was just beginning to fall from the tungsten sky like icing sugar. It was the inner city. Car trails snaked through the city streets and slithered down the quiet roads, homewards bound. Ice was just beginning to form on the slippery streets below. The streets would be crisp with the crackling and cracking of thin ice by morning as the world woke and set off for work.

Fog spread across the window pane. Damien’s forehead was pressed against the cold glass, wide eyes staring wildly at the cityscape before him, playing with a plectrum in his left hand. Something was bothering him. All night long he had been suffering from a deep headache. It was the sort of pain that seemed rooted from the very core of his cerebrum. Damien wiped away the fog he’d made on the window with his breath. It was slightly warm to touch. He could feel a bead of sweat trickling down his temple. His breath was short.

But the something that was bothering him was not this, for despite the hours that this headache persisted in staying, something else was now staring to pick away at his patience. For the last twenty minutes Damien had seen flickers of somethingths. They’d shot across his eyes – like glimpses of a rainbow. Sometimes they were bright, colourful shapes, sometimes they were monochrome shadows of a misshapen figures.

It was driving him mad. From the window he could distinguish at least forty different specks of light, dancing and flailing around. Damien pointed at them, leaving smudge marks on the window. His mind was being crushed under the weight of all this pressure and light. Was he imagining it, was any of this real?

Turning his back on the window, he threw himself down on his sofa. His bedroom was darkly lit. A solitary candle lit the room in a warm but isolated glow. The darkness consumed all else. Damien began gently massaging his temple. No number of painkillers was working. It was making him nauseous. He leant back on the sofa and pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes and letting the gentle yet temporary relief wash over him.

A shot of fuzzy red light flew across his partially blinded line of sight. Though his eyelids remained shut, he had seen this trail of blazing red fly directly on to the coffee table, just inches away from where he lay. Damien sat upright, lightningly quick. Like a magnet, his focus was immediately drawn towards the strange mess of red light on the table. It was like a small campfire of red. Several streaks of red seemed to be orbiting a central point. They were flying out around it – vertical, horizontal, all in strange orbital paths and adhering to weird gravitational wobbles.

The light was bright enough to ignite the room in colour. Despite its harsh luminosity. Damien found looking at it calming and soothing. He stretched out a hand to touch it. There was not a doubt in his mind that this might be a stupid idea.

It was over in an almost instant. Quick though it was, the suction did seem to go on indefinitely at the time. As soon as his hand met contact with the light, his entire body was being sucked into the light, fingertips first.

At first everything – despite the light – went black. Damien thought at first that he had managed to extinguish all the light from the world. But within a few seconds, the light returned. But it was not the normal world Damien saw when the lights came on. He was no longer sitting on his sofa and though he appeared to be in his room, he no longer felt as connected to it as he might have done. This might have been something vaguely to do with the fact that his feet were no longer touching the ground.

Damien gasped, throwing his arms around in a strange attempted at flying. But he was not going to fall. He was not going to fly either. Instead he remained exactly where he was – floating a few feet off the carpet. As he looked up and out the window, though, he realised something he had not yet seen. Light had returned to the world, but there was an additional light that was now present. This light was not the same dazzling and dashing lights that he had been witnessing for the past half hour. These were not odd potentially imaginary fireworks. These were solid. At least, sort of solid. A bright yellow frame-like structure made entirely of light seemed to box Damien in. The sides of the box were only just within reach. Damien strained his muscles in his right arm to stretch out towards the light frame. It stretched on for what seemed like miles – directly through buildings and whatever else that lay in its way. Damien was enclosed by it. But he could not touch it and – though he tried – he could not touch the other side. It was as if he were within a band of the universe that did not exist.

He looked around his little bedroom for answers. Where was he? Where was all this light be emanating from? Could he get back to the otherside? He swivelled around in his mid-air status, attempting to see what was behind him. Managing to at least vaguely see the world behind him, he saw the yellow frame extending towards him. Except it wasn’t him. It was something else. It was his back pocket.

And then something dawned on Damien. Something wild and implausibly elaborate. Something so impossible there was not a chance that it could be the cause. Damien smirked, but deep down he knew he was right, for contained within his back pocket was a delicate little plectrum that he had used to pluck a new arpeggio on his guitar not five minutes before the headaches began. Feeling a slight burning sensation in his left buttock, Damien smiled as he realised that he – through the power of music and his own creativity – had created a new band within the universe that was entirely separate from the rest. There was just one problem. How to get back?

~ by S.G. Mark on December 18, 2011.

One Response to “Day 72 – The Red Hat”

  1. Hahahaha that was good.

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