My heart froze

My heart froze when the darkness engulfed me.

One moment I was walking in the middle of the marketplace with all its bustling and mundaneness, the housewives haggling with the sellers and the off-school kids running about like they own the streets, and in the next, I was in complete darkness.

Paralyzed by fear, I couldn’t think at first. And then I remembered to breathe, and once I started exhaling, my breathing began its frenzied pace I could barely slow.

I blinked. And I blinked again, harder this time. Nothing. Before my eyes, darkness continued to stretch endlessly as it blanketed my entire world. At first, it occurred to me that I might have suffered from momentary blindness. Maybe I knocked my head against the headboard last night.  Maybe that caused some temporary damage to my brain. Blood clot against my nerves, perhaps. Yes, it had to be –

It was only then that I noticed the silence. Not only was I cut off from light, I was robbed of sound. My ears buzzed –  no, it was something else, something I had never experienced before, a kind of dull pain that gripped my eardrums from a complete lack of sounds. Similar to the way one felt when the deafening rock song in the ears got cut off suddenly because someone pulled the plug. I reached up to my ears and touched them, like I wanted to ascertain something. But no, of course there wasn’t anything to assure myself of.

I was completely cut off.

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