The Headlights

The Headlights

A Story by tonymad11392

A story concerning a sick woman and the realization about life that she has


The Headlights

By Anthony Maddaleni

She remembers seeing them as a child, sitting in the backseat while her mother and father drove her home. The headlights, the way they intertwined with the mist on a foggy night, the way they pushed the darkness back. She was mesmerized by them, she would stare out that car window and view the blackness of night in front of her and then the dark would change. A thin trickle of yellow grew in front of her, expanding along the edges of her vision. She would gaze down the street and the yellow warmth grew and pulsated like some wriggly amoeba with many tentacles. The dark had a glow to it. It was like an angel was watching her. The yellow then mutated into two cones of pasty light, careening down the street and igniting her universe, then the car which produced the heavenly glow would pass and darkness would once again envelope her completely.

Many of the people that surrounded her currently were crying, lines of pearl-shaped tears streaming down their faces and gleaming on pale cheeks. They didn’t speak, but a feeling of hope was certainly not present in the room. She could see it in their eyes (it was a look of letting go) she could see the submissiveness. We love you but we accept the fact that you will be leaving now, next stop is somewhere else. She was lying in a small bed, a thick red quilt wrapped around her emaciated frame, the hum of a life support system, and the steady doldrums of beeping machinery were the only sounds in the room aside from the occasional muffled sob. You may wonder, dear reader, what this unfortunate souls name is, in her case the name is not important, names are for people who have an identity. A name adds something to a character; it helps to establish a connection to the world of the living. She has no more connections, she is passing on.

She stared back at them and looked beyond the confines of our world, she saw the headlights, bright and majestic, and looming just above the room she was lying in and it was inviting her into its warmth and beauty. The headlights she wondered silently to herself. I need to be with them. It was snowing outside as well; she could see thin white crystals dancing to and fro in the increasing intensity of the wind. She could hear the soft humming of the heater in the nearby room; every detail was articulated so perfectly in her mind. It was as if her life had been a mirror, dirty and clustered with useless thoughts and desires, and now that mirror was wiped clean and she could see for the very first time in her life.

Eventually everyone left (as they always do) and she was left alone (as we always are) and she stared out the window. She turned her head to look out the window; she watched the snow, now falling delicately onto the ground, bathing the expanse outside in a white quilt of nothingness. Everything seemed pure, and open and believable. She saw them, at first it was only a single particle of the yellow she so dearly loved (she had yellow wallpaper, and her favorite slippers were yellow) but it grew and expanded like some divine sign that told her everything was going to be ok. The yellow became brighter, more lucid and it was spreading. It was (headlights) what she had been waiting for. It told her it was all right to let go. She understood now, she understood everything. The yellow light grew once again into two twin sabers that sliced through the evening dusk with a tremendous amount of force. She reached up one feeble hand and pointed towards the (head)lights and she started to cry. She would be with them, she would be at peace. She felt something else as that point, a feeling of complete and utter contentment; she was going to be with them after all. She would make sure of that.

            They found her the next day. A passing motorist, taking his family on a ski trip, an act which he had grown to detest, noticed a line of tracks in the snow leading away from a small cabin. Smoke was bellowing form the chimney and the brown door was flung open. The odd part was that the tracks seemed to vanish by the side of the road. There was a fresh coat of snow the night before so the tracks must have been recent but there was no one in sight. He slowed his car to a stop and pulled over onto the side of the road. “Daddy why are we stopping” his son said. He didn’t answer; he opened the door and stepped outside into the frigid late afternoon air. “Honey, what the hell are you doing” his wife said. He still did not answer; he was transfixed with what appeared to be a slight rise in the snow. It was similar to a miniature hill. He went over to the area and knelt down, hypnotized, and he began to brush the snow away.

            He recoiled in horror at what he saw; it was a young woman, perhaps in her mid-thirties, frozen underneath the snow. Her body was as stiff as a soldier at attention and her face was covered in a thin sheet of ice. Her eyes, that’s what struck him, they had a clarity to them, an otherness. They appeared to be looking at something far beyond him or any other feeble or easily defined concept that we attribute to our reality. She was looking for something that almost eluded her, he was looking for it too, and we all are. It is the feeling of fulfillment.


She was looking for the headlights.


© 2011 tonymad11392

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Added on January 10, 2011
Last Updated on January 10, 2011



Boston, MA

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