Saturday, July 16, 2011

Entry #31

Seeing the Light
by Wayne Scheer


While driving home from a Secular Humanist meeting, Charlie stopped at a red light in a deserted part of town. A car raced through the intersection and clipped the back of his vehicle, deploying the air bags.

Groggy, he crawled out of his auto, noting that the other car had left the scene.

"Damn it," he shouted.

With that, a sharp pain shot through his chest. He fell to his knees and vomited. Looking around for help, he called out into the night, trying desperately to remain conscious.

In the distance, he saw a faint light and held his hand up towards it. He recalled the stories at his meeting where people claimed to see the light of the Lord just before losing consciousness. Members explained the phenomenon using science and logic. He stared as the light grew larger and the pain more severe. Engulfed in the light, he collapsed.

Charlie opened his eyes, responding to another light.

A soothing male voice spoke. "Mr. Cummings? Charles Cummings?"

Charlie nodded. "What happened? Where am I?"

"All we know is these people over here were driving down the street and saw you passed out. Looks like someone smashed into your car. "

Charlie tried to talk, but the man stopped him. "Shh. You may have some broken ribs. "

His brain slowly unscrambled. What he had seen was a headlight, not God beaming him home. Charlie smiled, his lack of faith reconfirmed, and let the medical people do their job.

19 comments:

Aerin said...

HAhahahaha.

Sorry. As an uber-liberal Protestant theologian, I would have been sorely disappointed if this had been a faith conversion.

"his lack of faith reconfirmed" - best. line. ever.

SzélsőFa said...

'his lack of faith reconfirmed' - the same line captured my mind, too... with this ending, the story gets that necessary twist :)

j a zobair said...

Perfect ending!

Precie said...

Great take on the prompt!

Krunal said...

wonderful, nice take on the prompt indeed.

Mikki said...

Interesting. You have a way of pulling your readers into your world. From the first word, I became a silent spectator of Charlie's plight. The ending was packed with irony, and just a touch of humor. Nice work.

Thanks for sharing!

Aimee Laine said...

There are so many interpretations one could make on this one. I do have one question ... in the opening it said the car clipped the back of Charlie's car ... do air bags deploy when hit in the back? I'm genuinely curious! Always thought it was if hit in the front! :)

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm with Aerin on the best line ever! A nice twist on the usual tale.

Aniket said...

Wow, I love this company. I'd get a four hour sitting with my dad about faith, if he reads me saying how much I love the ending. Awesome.

Peter Dudley said...

I like that he's satisfied in the end, but rather than calling it a confirmation of his lack of faith, it seems like it would be a confirmation of his faith. Sorry, I personally don't like it that people who believe that there is no god are said to be lacking or missing something. Like they're deficient. It's a pet peeve of mine.

Wayne said...

Thanks for your comment, Peter. I agree with you in principle, but had I said "his faith in logic restored," it wouldn't have been funny. For me, science may triumph faith, but art triumphs science.

As for the comment about airbags opening when hit in the rear, I should have done my research because I don't know the answer. I'll get back to you. Any automotive engineers out there?

Wayne said...

I just googled the air bag problem and the closest I got is that front air bags "genrally" do no deploy on rear end or passenger rear collisions. So thanks, Aimee. I'll reword this story some day, but for now can we accept that this is the exception to the general rule? I really appreciate the question.

Old Kitty said...

What a positive and hopeful read!! Thank you! Take care
x

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

I like that his faithlessness for confirmed, lol. Best line.

Dottie :)

bluesugarpoet said...

So glad he didn't have the strength to go to that light! Great read. ~Jana A.

Jade L Blackwater said...

I like how much discussion is coming from your story. For me, the choice of wording for "his lack of faith reconfirmed" feels like a delay, a postponement for another day.

Richard Levangie said...

Wayne: I'm a little amused because Aimee is correct. Having just totaled my wife's car, I can tell you that the airbags only deploy when the front end is smashed. But you're right in suggesting that they hurt like hell... and you'll be bruised AND burned by their deployment.

I enjoyed the story and the resolution. Most entertaining!

JaneyV said...

Wayne - your ending made me laugh. I agree with you that it was worth using "lack of faith reaffirmed" for comedic effect. It worked!

Guilie said...

Wayne, I love your voice. So grounded, so real. This story is a chuckler, for sure, and I loved it! Thanks, as always, for a GREAT read.

P.S. - you're right - lack of faith works much better for effect, although I agree with Peter that those "without" faith in established religions do, indeed, lack for nothing.