by Letty Neary Jones
2013 SILVER WINNER - 9 Years Old & Under
Watch Susanna Reid read 'White' during the 500 WORDS 2013 grand final.
Download a free MP3 of the story read by the BBC Radio Drama Company (right click and choose save as / save target as)
Blackness, nothing but blackness. Not a flicker, not even the tiniest spark. Just empty space, stretching further and further, obscuring my memories, taking my thoughts. I don't fight it. I haven't got the strength. My mind seems weak and inconsistent and unimportant now. A swimming, blurry image emerges from the disappearing jumble at the edge of my mind. It's hazy but I can make out a window, a car window, speckled with flakes of wet sleet and snow being whipped by the wind outside. Now an image comes and I'm speeding towards it, faster and faster.
I feel dreadful staring at the operation in progress sign. I know it wasn't really my fault. I can't help it, replaying it in my mind and suddenly I'm living it again. I was pulling out from my mum's house. Snow and sleet flew past like a thick fog. I was sure there was no-one behind me and suddenly the snow parted just like that, as if by an invisible hand and then it's too late to stop. Eyes wide, screaming, flashing lights. I can't take it. I cry.
I check the instruments making sure they haven't changed. The readings stay the same, for better or worse. She's in a coma, unless she wakes up soon she will probably stay the same forever. The man who hit her looks so guilty, as if it was his fault. A miracle's got to happen.
I've been waiting here for nearly two hours. About five minutes ago I went to the desk to ask about the person before me. They don't know much: just that her name was Edie Tucker, 13 and she suffered a possibly fatal head injury. Now I feel terrible for being impatient and want to feel sorry for her. But I won't. Sorry won't do her any good.
A flicker, a small spark grows into a flame. Emotions, memories, sensations all join until there's a blaze in my head, burning bright. Leaping, fuelled by my previously forgotten memories, it won't stop gushing through my mind. I can't keep any more inside my head, I can't. I open and see. It seems for the first time.