Blurred Eye Vision Blurred Eye Vision

Journey's End


Darkness closes around Our Lady of Hope Memorial hospital.

From his hospital bed on the 8th floor a young boy's eyes flicker open.

He looks around him, scanning the room, picking out soft floating shadows that scurry up and across the walls and ceiling; shadows that rise and fall as the cars rumble by many stories below, their harsh headlights breaking through the gloom of his hospital room.

The boy moans aloud, mumbling unintelligible words, his voice echoing around his head like a ghost.

His left arm aches, badly. A constant throbbing sensation where a syringe pierces his flesh, connecting him to a wheeled apparatus on the left-side of his bed, a bag of some thick clear liquid hanging from it and through which a small distorted moon winks back at him.

A single tear threatens to fall from the corner of his right eye. Quickly he wipes it away with a loose scratchy cotton sleeve, not wanting to show weakness despite being alone in the room.

As his vision accustoms to the dark he notices a small metal chair off to the right, situated next to the one and only door to the room. Upon it is a bouquet of flowers, long stemmed flora with unpronounceable Latin names, their blooms erupting up from the colored tissue paper that crackles lightly in the cool air.

The boy frowns.

Are the flowers for him?

He assumes they are.

If only he could remember what had led to him ending up in this bedin this room?

Reaching up with his right hand he touches his face and is relieved to find nothing out of place, though his right cheek stings a little.

He looks down at his prone body, tucked securely beneath rough cotton bed-sheets. Kicking his legs beneath the covers, he wiggles his toes to reassure himself that his body is intact.

Everything seems to be in order, and as he stretches out his arms and fingers his anxiety gradually dissipates.

He notices a slight pain in his left hip, but it feels no worse than if he's been hit with a softball in game practice.

Above his head a tiny blue light glows, and beneath it - in tiny red letters - it reads:

'Press for assistance.'

The boy is about to do just that when he notices the characterless white circular plastic clock hanging from the wall opposite him.


Strange, he feels like he needs to be somewhere.

The boy presumes it to be 11.03 at night judging by the enveloping dark.

He pulls back his hand.

He is tired, but despite the constant throb in his arm, and despite his desire for answers, sleep draws him back into its welcoming embrace just as faint shuffling noises start to gather outside his room.

Seconds pass before the boy succumbs to fitful dreams.

The faint click of an open door triggers his dreams still further.

He tosses his head from side to side at an ever increasing rate as uncomfortable memories insinuate themselves upon him, whilst something dark and intangible slides between a barely open door.

Moments pass before a soft click signals that the door has closed.

"Why?" cries the boy to the darkened room, waking himself.

He sits bolt upright and stares up at the ceiling, but the shadows from before have ceased their comforting cavort across his room.

The room is unnaturally quiet.

He senses that there is something new in the room.

Something out of place, something that doesn't belong!

He looks across at the door.

The flowers are gone.

The chair is gone too.


No, its moved is all. Now it is on the farthest side of the door, covered by darker shadows that envelop the corner of the room, swallowing up the light.

'Was there a person sitting in the chair?'


The boys voice rings small and faint in his own ears.

He squints, trying to re-accustom his eyes to the dark.

A black shape seems to emerge from out of the darkness, just above the chair.

An inky swell that quickly forms the shape of a seated person.

"Hello?" the boy repeats more forcefully, "Is someone there?"

The shape moves its darkly blurred head from side to side, as if regarding the boy.


Frantic images tumble through his mind but none serve to present a clear picture of his mother.

"Please, II don't know where I am, " he says, his voice cracking. "Are you my Mom?"

The head seems to move about upon an otherwise stationary body, and then it appears as if its hands reach up in slow-motion to cover its featureless face.

The boy feels his eyes start to roll back in his head as sleep threatens to lay claim to him once more.

"Please?" he begs, moving his free arm above the bed sheets and thumping his small clenched fist into the bed in frustration. "Please, can you tell me where I am?"

What light there was in the room dissolves away into the blackness, and as it does fear finally takes a hold of the boy.

Suddenly the chair moves! Pushed aside by some unseen force.

The boy listens intently as slow, hollow footsteps approach him.

He pulls the bed sheets up around his neck. Then, remembering the help button above his head he pushes blindly at it with a panicked hand.

A distant buzz seems to echo up and down the corridor outside his room.

He looks down and across to his right, at the crack beneath the door and the ethereal blue light that is doing its best to penetrate the room.

The light vanishes in an instant as the oncoming shape blocks it out.

The figure is at his bedside now, and through the all-enveloping darkness he can hear its labored breathing.

One shadowy hand reaches across to the boys left arm, removing the syringe with a quick tug, a soft hand gently patting the needles tiny bloodied mark.

A car screeches out of control far below, its lights flashing up through the enveloping darkness, casting a momentary light across the shape's face.

And the boy sees

A Day out

The wind blows wildly through Jennifer Wendon's long blonde hair, twisting it across her pretty features and wrapping it around her head like a gold silken scarf. She brushes it away, laughing as she is continually lashed by her golden locks.

"Ow!" she cries, pushing the button to close the driver's side window.

In the back seat her son laughs heartily.

"You look funny Mummy, " he giggles, leaning forward, trying to pull on his Mother's crazy flying hair.

Jennifer clicks on the cars AC as they speed on up the highway, the sun causing the occupants of the small car to blink rapidly beneath its ferocious glare.

"Sorry baby, I can't see anything with the window open, " she says. "Don't worry; the car will cool down soon."

"How long Mommy?"

"How long what?" replies his mother with a smile.

She reaches across to the glove compartment and pulls some heavy rimmed shades from their case and puts them on.

Patrick is getting impatient.

"Till we get there? Oh you know Mom!"

Jennifer laughs. She'd been promising him a trip to his favorite theme-park for weeks now, a reward for good behavior and for keeping up with his chores.

And her only child had surprised her, remaining true to his word. Taking out the trash, washing his dishes and making his bed like a child possessed.

"Oh what, the Theme Park?" she replies with light sarcasm.

The boy huffs loudly.

Jennifer holds up the back of her hand for the boy to see and spreads her fingers wide, opening and closing them slowly five times to indicate 25 minutes.

The boy frowns.

"What are you doing?"

Jennifer pulls her hand back down.

"Twenty five minutes, " she says with a shake of her head.

'Maybe I should concentrate more on his cognitive skills, ' she thinks to herself.

She shivers slightly as the AC starts to kick in.

"How come Daddy didn't come. Didn't he want to be with us?" asks the boy.

The sudden question compromises Jennifer's joyful mood somewhat and she feels her mouth downturn into a sour scowl, an expression she has perfected since discovering her husband's philandering ways courtesy of his apparently 'irresistible' secretary.

'How clichd, ' she thought to herself with a grim smile.

'Break out of it, ' she whispers beneath the deafening roar of the motorway, chastising herself for being so easily affected by mention of her ex-beloveds name.

"Oh hon, he was busy, you know how it is. It's his job. But he really did want to come."

The boy couldn't hear her as the car hit a rough patch of highway. Anyway his youthful mind had quickly wandered back to thoughts of rollercoaster's and spinning rides, candy-floss and french-fries, kitschy unrealistic plastic avenues with oddly shaped shiny houses where you could buy copious amounts of sweets, or shoot at improbably immobile two-legged bears, or ducks who quacked in delight even if you shot them dead.

The car hit a smoother stretch of road and Jennifer could finally hear herself think again.

"Do you want the radio on baby?"

"Stop calling me baby Mom. You know I hate it!"

"Sorry, " replied Jennifer, playfully smacking the side of her head with an open palm.

"Please, accept my deepest apologies."

The boy sticks out his tongue, making a loud raspberry noise.

He turns and looks through the car window, searching for the graceful metal loop of some dangerous dragon-shaped rollercoaster.

Five long seconds pass by before he asks his favorite question again.

"How long till we get there?"

"You just asked me"

"But I want to know. How long?"

It was Jennifer's turn to huff aloud.

She replied in the deepest, silliest voice she could manage, her playful mood having returned to her.

"TWENTY MINUTES, " she said, doing her best to sound like Darth Vader.

The boy clapped joyfully, his legs kicking out from under him almost involuntarily.

"Yay. We're almost there. MomMom!!! I want to ride the new rollercoaster. You know the one with the dragon's tail that they showed on TV. The one that dives down into that big black hole."

"Yes, I know you do."

The boy's active mouth was making him thirsty.

He allowed an almost unbearable twenty seconds to pass before asking his next question.


"Yes baby."

"Mom! I told you to"

"Oh-oh, Yes. Sorry! What do you want?" "What do you have?" replied the boy.

She knew that this meant he was hungry, or thirsty, and more than likely both.

"See!" she replied, "this is what happens when you don't eat your breakfast. Remember me telling you, you'd be hungry. Are you sure you want to loop-d-loop with just chocolate and peanuts in your tummy?"

Patrick pouts, and even though his Mother can't see him she can sense his petulant expression.

With a reluctant sigh she waves her left hand around behind the passenger seat, pointing towards the blue plastic cooler that sits on the floor behind it.

Patrick reaches out, but despite his best efforts the cooler's bright blue handle eludes him. But he has an idea and reaches across himself to unbuckle his seat-belt.

As he leans forward to grab one of the handles a sharp metal belt attachment pinches into his arm causing him to yelp aloud, forcing him to pull back.

He tries to release himself from the belt's painful grip."


Jennifer looks up into the rear-view mirror and sees her child's plight.

She quickly turns her head around.

"Are you o.k. Baby?"

This time he doesn't admonish her, and with a quick wiggle of his little body he manages to free himself from the belt, rubbing at his arm.

Jennifer places both her hands high on the steering wheel and looks back into her rear-view mirror, repeating her question.

"Are you o.k. baby?"

The boy smiles a sheepish smile.

"Yes, " he replies in a slightly trembling voice, followed by "Owww!" as he rubs again at his pinched arm.

"Baby, you should never take your seat-belt off! It's very dangerous. Only when the car's stopped o.k.?"

The boy sniffed and nodded.


"Here, I'll see if I can reach the bag for you."

Leaning back in her driver's seat Jennifer reaches her left arm out and across as far is it will reach, stretching down towards the handle.

"Am I close?" she asks playfully, trying to take her child's main off his arm.

"Yes!" enthuses the boy. "Just stretch your fingers out a little more. You're almost there."

Jennifer shuffles back in her seat to allow her better reach. Her long elegant fingers feel at open air until one of the soft plastic handles slips across the tips of her fingers.

"You've got it Mom!"

She grabs the handle, almost pulling her shoulder out of joint to do so, yanking it up and across until it is midway between the seats.

The other handle flops forward.

"Can you get it now?" she asks.

Patrick reaches forward and grabs for one of the other floppy handles.

He pulls it towards him, and as he does the world around him changes.

The Visitor

The boy catches just a glimpse of the woman's face as she stands by his bedside.

It is a familiar face, and he wonders.

His thoughts are soon interrupted by the sounds from a speeding car, followed by a blinding flash of light that illuminates the boy's room, making it impossible for him to make out the woman's features.

He throws up his right hand up to shield his face from the vicious glare, but an instant later and the light is gone. In its place an awful screeching sound that echoes around the room followed by a thunderous crash.

The woman moves to the window and looks down. She places her hands against the frosty glass and shudders. Sighing she pulls her hands away, her fingerprints leaving their misty mark.

She looks back at the boy before walking quickly from the room, and before the boy can turn his head she is gone, the merest click from the door leaving the only indication that anyone had ever been in the room at all.

The boys fear leaves him as quickly as the shadow, and with a sudden burst of adrenalin he leaps from his bed, landing with bare feet upon the cool tiled floor. He makes his way to the window and looks down at the empty sidewalk, placing his own hands where the womans had been, and immediately he feels a warmth radiate through his body.

'What's that noise?'

Behind him!

He turns to look at the door. There is a sudden flurry of activity coming from outside, and for the first time he can see a bright white light coming from under the door, and with it the unmistakable shadows of people moving past.

He takes a step forward and turns to look up at the sterile white clock that seems to tick away so ominously now.

12:11 it says.

He moves towards the door, hearing more activity, the sound of people running and a new sense of urgency.

As he opens the door he is greeted by an overwhelming barrage of sights and sounds. Quickly he jumps back as a gurney laden with medical equipment flies past him, the orderly pushing it staring down at the boy as he passes.

"Get back into your room, " the orderly says brusquely, but without the time to stop and ensure that the boy does as he is told.

The boy looks to the end of the corridor and watches as the gurney turns sharply into one of the rooms.

There is a shadow of a man standing just outside.

The shadow man looks back at the boy before slowly entering the room, and there follows a tumultuous noise, followed by angry shouts as the door slams behind him.

Patrick walks along the length of the corridor, keeping his body pressed to the wall until he is facing across from the room the man has just entered.

Behind him the corridor's lights start going out, one by one, whilst the busy sounds from before fade away to nothing.

Before he is plunged into complete darkness the boy rushes across the hallway and pushes hard at the door. The door opens, even before his hands have touched it and he stumbles forward to find himself inside a cold featureless room.

Stark white walls surround him. Across from him there are dirty metal-grated windows that diffuse the outside light. He watches dust particles dance in the air as a feeling of intense claustrophobia envelops him.

He feels trapped, even though he is not alone.

There are two other people in the room with him.

The man who he'd seen enter just moments before, and who was now sitting on a small metal chair, much like the one in his own room. It is placed on the right side of a large hospital bed and the man sits with his back to the boy.

There is a woman lying on the bed, her head heavily bandaged; a single blackened eye closed tight, serving to leave no clue as to her identity.

The flowers from the boy's room lie upon the bed, tucked under the woman's left arm.

The man's head is bowed. He is holding the woman's eft hand, gently stroking the back of it, whispering something to her.

"I'll never let you go."

At least that's what it sounds like to the boy as he slowly approaches, his eyes glued to the mans back. With each footstep the man's features are revealed to the boy as does his sense of familiarity.


The boy places one small hand on his father's left shoulder.

"Daddy, why are you here?"

His father slowly lifts his hand from the woman and turns to regard his son, his face full of hurt, rage and desperation.

Patrick watches as if in a dream as almost in slow-motion his father's hand raises up, higher and higher before coming down upon his son's cheek with a powerful slap, knocking the boy to the floor.

"Wake up!" his father shouts as his son falls to the ground, knocking the back of his head on the hard tiled floor, and slipping into unconsciousness.


Patrick awakens to a strange crackling noise, accompanied by noxious burnt rubber fumes that invade his nostrils.

For a reason he can't fathom he seems to be hanging almost upside down, his left arm and leg dangling out from his seat-belt, pointing down towards the roof of the car.

He can hear his mother groaning from the driver's seat.

"Mommy!" he cries.

Jennifer stirs at the sound of her son's voice, just as thick dark smoke starts to smolder up around the front of the upturned vehicle.

A creaking noise breaks the silence.

The car starts to shift.

Patrick's left arm whacks him in the face as the vehicle slowly flips over, landing with a crunching thud.

As the car settles at the bottom of the ditch Jennifer lets loose a gut-wrenching scream, just as a new noise fills the air, like the sound of a giant soda-can being crushed within a giant's hand.

The sights and sounds threaten to send Patrick into a catatonic state.

His Mothers scream echoes around the car, finally drifting away to nothing.

Patrick licks away a small trickle of blood that has dripped into his mouth. His face hurts from hitting the window and he feels the sharp edge of the seat belt as it digs into his flesh.

He is tempted to cry out but his Mother's words interrupt him.

"Patrickare you all right?"

He responds through steadily streaming tears.

"Yes Mommy. OhhhhhhMommy, what happened?"

"Oh, honey, I don't? I think the hand-brake got pulled by the bag handle, and we skidded off the road."

Patrick makes a move towards his Mother, but his seat-belt is compromised by the side-door that has buckled inwards, snagging the material within the car's framework.

Jennifer does her best to make light of the situation in hopes of calming her child.

"Not quite the ride we were thinking of was it?" she jokes between gulps, before spasms of pain wrack her body, silencing her.


Patrick can hear her as she strains to free something.

"Are you o.k. Mom?"

After a long silence his Mother replies.

She says that she is, but the pause is painful silence to Patrick's ears and he knows that she is lying.

She turns her head around, craning her neck to peer at her son through the gap between the front-seats.

"Honey! Honey, listen to me. You're going to have to get out of the car o.k. Do you think you can pull yourself out from your seat-belt?"

The boy makes an attempt to do so but it feels as if the car-itself is holding him back.

"I can't get out Mommy!" he cries, his voice on the verge of panic.


"Listen honey, I can't move my leg. It's trapped, so I'm going to need your help o.k?"

Patrick nods, wiping the tears from his cheeks.

"O.k. Mommy."

"Now very slowly pull your right arm down and out of from your seat-belt."

Patrick doesn't argue. The time for arguing has gone.

"Stay calm now, " Jenny urges.

The boy takes a deep breath and concentrates to the point that all he can think about is extricating his arm.

With a final twist of his wrist Patrick finally manages to free one arm. Quickly he untangles the rest of his limbs.

Immediately he crawls across into the passenger seat and stares helplessly at his Mother


He can't help himself. He can see that his Mother is badly hurt, and that her left leg is trapped beneath the dashboard at an unnatural angle. She is drenched in perspiration, her hair matted about her forehead, and it seems that she is crying blood as she silently holds out her left arm to tousle his hair.

"You're such a good boy, " she says; and to Patrick it sounds as if she doesn't think she will ever get the chance to say it again.

A commotion outside the vehicle!

Distant panicked voices.

Patrick tries to pull his mother towards him but her stifled screams of agony stop him in his tracks. She holds him back with an outstretched arm.

"Oh, I'm sorry baby. I don't think I'm going anywhere right now. Now, be a brave little boy and go and get Mommy some help o.k."

"But Mo"

"Please!" she yells. And then in a softer voice, "please."

Her head suddenly drops to her chest and in place of her voice comes the soft roar from a crackling fire.

The voices from before are getting closer now as Patrick looks around the car for something with which to free his Mother.

A crash behind him

Looking down at the dashboard that has his Mother trapped Patrick feels a surge of adrenalin and is just about to pull on it when strong hands wrap themselves around him, dragging his body backwards through a smashed side-window.

He can hear himself screaming in protest, his screams hardly seeming real to his own ears.

His arms and legs go limp as he is quickly dragged from the car and up a grassy embankment. He drifts into unconsciousness just as a soft 'whoomp' sound fills the air around him.

Thankfully he doesn't see the explosion, neither does he see the dirty red and yellow fireball that erupts through the hood of the car, accompanied by blistering glass that pops and shatters violently under the summer sun.


A distant voice calls his name.


It is a woman's voice.

The boy lies still.

He is in bed. His own bed. At home.

He looks around him and wonders if he is dreaming, or if perhaps his stay in the hospital room was a dream.

"Mmum. MumMUM!!!" he shouts, terrified that there might be no answer.

The comforting rays from a morning sun casts a shard of light across his bed and a cool breeze blows his curtains aside, Spiderman and Batman parting ways in the breeze.

Suddenly the door to his room is pushed open.

A figure rushes into the room and makes immediately for the windows, closing them quickly, pulling the curtains shut.

"You'll catch your death, " it says.

The voice is undeniably female.

The woman is cast in shadow and as she approaches the side of his bed she is as featureless as the thing back in the boy's hospital room. Back in that other world.

"Well, are you ready for our trip?" she says, pushing back something from her face.

"Whatwhat trip?" the boy replies.

The figure laughs. "The trip you've been on about for the past month silly. You know the one you've been working so hard for."

The figure reaches out a hand and pats his cheek affectionately.

"You know, I'm really proud of you. You've shown a lot of character these past few weeks."

The figure pulls away, and then pauses.

Shadowed arms reach out to him again, blackened fingers stroking at his temple.

"Oh no! I think you've got a temperature, " it says.

The boy grins, comforted beneath the woman's gentle touch.

"I do?" and as he says it the shape lightens, long blonde hair seeming to unravel before him.

He sees eyes now too. Gentle emerald-green eyes.

The figure crosses the room and flicks a switch, bathing the room in a soft golden glow.

Finally he can see her fully.

"Mummy?" the boy breathes, his heart skipping a beat.

"Yes Mummy! Or Jennifer; I go by many names!" his mother jokes, her hands on her hips.

"Well honey, I'm sorry to say, but it doesn't look much like we'll be going anywhere today."

Patrick leaps up from his bed, steadying himself as he nearly collapses by his bedside.

Before Jennifer can say anything he has rushed into her arms, wrapping his limbs tight around her waist as tears flow unchecked down his face.

She holds him close and kisses the top of his head.

"What's my name Mum?" the boy asks.

"Hmmm, is this one of those trick questions?" Jennifer replies.

The boy says nothing.

"O.K. You're name is Patrick. Happy now?"

'Patrick, of course it is!' smiles the boy to himself.

"What's the matter baby? Oh, I forgot, you don't like it when I call you that do you?"

Patrick smiles, and then he looks up at his mother.

"That's o.k. You can call me baby, " qualifying it with "just not in front of my friends."

"Deal, " Jennifer agrees.

She smiles as a thought crosses her mind.

"You know, I thought it might be a bad idea to let you stay up and watch that horror movie last night. I think it's given you nightmares."

Patrick loosens his grip and grabs his mother's hand, dragging her from the room.

"Come on, let's have breakfast, " he says as he practically catapults down the stairs to the kitchen.

"It's going to be chicken soup for you my lad, " shouts his Mother as he drags her down to the kitchen.

"Great!" Patrick replies enthusiastically, feeling a little lightheaded after his race down the stairs. "Can I stay up after that?"

"No. It's going to be chicken soup, maybe a hot drink of honey, lemon and ginger, and then you're off to bed. You hear me?"

"Ohhh, do I have to?"

"Hey kiddo!"

Patrick stops in his tracks at the sound of the man's voice.

The voice is accompanied by a large male hand that plays with the boy's hair affectionately.

"You should do as your Mother tells you."

Patrick turns to see a familiar friendly face that winks at him.

His father takes the seat opposite him.

"Dad! You're here?"

His father looks across at Jennifer and frowns playfully.

"Well, where else would I be?" he says just as the static from a small portable radio blares into life.

Patrick soon devours his chicken soup, warmth and relief flooding through his body.

The radio static hisses into life again from the kitchen table. A punchy tune plays out from the radio and Patrick senses a shift in the atmosphere and a strange white light that seems to shine through from the back-door, and which serves to put him on edge.

A silence seems to envelop the table as the news jingle subsides

He finds himself looking up at the clock on the wall.


Why is that time so familiar.

A female news-reporter's voice fills the air.

A news-report tells of a horrific accident that has occurred on the M1, involving a single mother and her eight year old son. The woman has died from complications, whilst her son has gone into a coma after a day-trip to one of Britain's biggest theme parks turns to tragedy. Another news-reporter speaks with what sounds like the estranged father who has arrived at the scene, and who is barely audible beneath the din from the busy motorway.

Patrick listens as the man's broken voice fades away.

The radio goes silent.

Patrick stares at it, then to his father and lastly his Mother; their joyful expressions from before having changed to blank looks of sorrow and regret.

He is terrified by their sudden change of mood.

The radio crackles back into life again, static filling the room.

The hands on the clock have jumped to 12:11.

"Unfortunate news from our traffic-team. We have been informed that the boy, eight year old Patrick Wendon died approximately one hour ago. To add to the tragedy of the situation the father Henry Wendon, who had been keeping vigil by his son's bedside took his own life soon thereafter after having to be physically removed from the boy's bedside after becoming violently unstable. One witness testified that he had repeatedly hit the boy in an effort to bring his son back into life."

Heavy crackled sound stole away the voices, leaving only Patrick's tormented sobs at the table.

He feels a touch on his forearm, strong fingers patting him reassuringly.

When he finally looks up he is staring into his father's face.

His father is smiling and reaches down to caress his son's face.

The white light is shining brighter, almost blinding now.

Something takes a hold of his left hand and he turns to see his Mother.

She smiles back at him and stands up. With a quick nod of her head she leads her husband and son back towards the stairs.

Patrick places one foot upon the first step and is immediately transported into another plane of existence, his spirit rushing up, together with his parents, up and away from the trappings of earthly life.

He looks around him and starts to laugh. The white light is a comfort now, full of hope and wonder. It seems to be bursting through his body, and up through into his parents. It spirits their souls to the heavens, sweeping them up in its beautiful glow. Patrick feels as if he is exploding with pure joy, an unending infinite ecstasy filling his being as his soul embraces the sky, exploding out across the ether, touching everything.

Then nothing

Just silence.


Journey's end.

By Mark Carter - Born in London, England, currently working and living in New York, U.S.A.  

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