0031 | embers

The red diode at the front of the television and the orange one on the satellite box next to it: the last two embers of the day. The last two lights. My eyes are tired. The red spot flares and doubles momentarily; the other light burns and softening rings of orange recede from the centre and out into the black. Across the room, on the bookshelf, the glowing green circles of the baby monitor unit arc and multiply as the machine conducts its static hum. On the undertow of that electric drone is the whistle of my daughter’s nose. Each whistle, four seconds apart, produces an extra green circle on the monitor’s display that disappears a second later. The last sounds of the day. I stoop to reach the socket and push the switch back towards the wall. Now, there is only quiet, experienced not as the absence of noise, but as the limit to which it can be reduced. Now, only two lights in the room, not three. I open the door and a shock of white-yellow brightness floods in from the bulb in the hall. I quickly reach for the switch and push that back to the wall, too. What was light becomes dark once more; what was quiet now seems yet more quiet still. The orange and red burr at the edges. My eyes ache: I need sleep. I close the door, with the after-image of their glare slowly fading as I climb the stairs, and extinguished completely once I reach the top.

Reader Comments

  1. The baby monitor swept me back to a time when my house smelled slightly of talc, had blocks and trucks in every room, and I slept to that hum.

    What lovely closure to your day, the embers dieing down…beautiful.

  2. Philip:
    Yes, I like writing about those universal things. Thanks for your comment.

    OpinionsToGo:
    I’m a very tidy closing-down kind of man! Thanks as always for commenting.

    Sharon:
    Those weary eyes are always quickly put out of their misery (albeit similarly too soon called upon to be opened again). Thanks for your comment.

    Zainab:
    Thanks so much for visiting again and commenting. I think the mundane always reveals beauty; so glad you liked this one.

    Shea:
    Thanks you; really nice to see you here amongst the commenters again.

    Chantel:
    Really glad you liked and could relate to this. That drone has been around for six years over the course of two daughters; I don’t know what we’ll do without it!

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