Short story: ‘The Ball of Light’

After a while Natalie could see something glowing. At first she couldn’t make out what it was, but as she moved more coal out of the way she realised it was a small, powerful ball of light. No bigger than a tennis ball, it glowed a brilliant light with served only to make it’s darkened surroundings seem an even more ominous hue of inky black.

Without warning, as if reacting to some unseen cue, the ball of light shone brighter and brighter. It hurt Natalie’s eyes, a stinging blindness, but as much as she wanted to look away, she just couldn’t. Something was drawing her to it, strangely hypnotizing her.

Smoothly and slowly but surely the ball rose up, filling the room with it’s burning white light as coal cascaded and settled into the void the strange object had previously occupied. Natalie’s breath caught in her throat as the ball of light came to a halt hovering at shoulder hight, no more than two feet away from her.

She caught a movement in the corner of her eye. Unable to tear her eyes away from the brilliant object, Natalie quickly came to realise that it was her own arm slowly and very involuntarily raising. As her fingers crept millimetre by millimetre closer to the ball of light, she could feel an icy cold emanating from it. Closer…closer…closer…FLASH!

When the police finally investigated Natalie’s disappearance, all they found was a pile of dusty coal, a tennis ball sized hole burnt up through the flaking ceiling, and the silhouette of a terrified girl burn into the fusty, stained walls.

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