A year and a half ago I entered a competition called The Shattered Sky. It was run by an artist and it was to “write 1-2 pages of text that is based on the piece of artwork in progress”. This is the image we were all shown to write our text about:
The prizes were too good for me to pass up entering, so I wrote a short story titled A New Day, and I won! 🙂 The piece of art wasn’t updated or finished until sometime after the competition. Below is my winning entry, A New Day, and the finished artwork.
A New Day.
A cool breeze rolled over the mountain side, playing with strands of my hair and pulling them across my face. It had been a long night. Sitting up, I brushed the tendrils behind one ear and looked out through the darkness. Waiting.
My skin was goose bumped and I pulled my knees to my chest in a failed attempt to keep warm. The chill of the night air clung desperately to my skin, hungry for what little heat my body had left.
Taking a deep breath I could smell the frost in the air and absentmindedly rubbed my arms. Not long now, I told myself.
As a faint glow started to tease at the edge of the horizon I stopped, transfixed by what was about to happen. This was it. This was the moment I’d been waiting for. Leaning forwards, captivated by what was to come, I let myself be drawn in.
The first light broke free, like a crack through the sky. I fell to my hands and knees, never taking my eyes off the horizon, and carefully crawled towards the glow. I could feel the anticipation building and let out a slow, shaky breath.
Shadows elongated and distorted as light began to spread across the land. I realised that I was holding my breath and let it out in a rush, watching as the sun’s rays chased away the darkness that had ruled only moments before.
It was beautiful.
I smiled as the light touched my face and closed my eyes for a moment, the new day warming my skin with gentle caresses.
Leaning back on my hands I looked out over the mountain tops, seeing the sunlight take over the sky, shattering the darkness. It was miraculous, this moment. My moment. I watched as colours spread out from the horizon – gold, orange, lilac – turning airplane trails into strands of gold, stitching together the morning sky.
Pushing to my feet I took a step forwards and reached out. The sunlight danced over my skin, filling me with warmth that made me remember I was alive.
Alive. What a strange feeling it was.
Giddy with happiness I spun around. Laughter built up inside me and I let the sound bubble up and out, echoing around the mountains. They sounded as happy as I was.
As I stopped I saw the sun was almost whole. Out from the horizon, free from the darkness.
Standing on tip toes I stretched my arms up, reaching for the sky. I never wanted this moment to end.
The wind caught my hair again, playfully whipping and twirling it behind me, bringing with it the scent of a new day. Lowering my arms I closed my eyes once more and lifted my face to the sky, welcoming the morning light and the freedom it brought.
Because that’s what I was now. Free.