I wrote this story today off a writing prompt from a friend. I'm not sure I got it exactly right, but I hope y'all like it. Here is the prompt:
Third person, short story about someone who recently became blind; but you can't say how they became blind.
Chance awoke with a throbbing headache. The slightest movement caused excruciating pain. Even lifting his eyelids required more effort than he was able to muster.
He lay still and tried to remember what had happened, but no matter how hard he thought, he couldn’t figure it out. It didn’t help that he couldn’t hear very well, either. Without eyesight and hearing, it was hard to figure out where he was or what caused all the pain. One thing he did know was that he had to move. No matter how much it hurt, he couldn’t just lay there.
He forced his eyes open. Total darkness greeted him. He couldn’t see even a glimmer of light anywhere. Did somebody push me down a well, he wondered.
He quickly dismissed that idea. His enemies would have found a more creative way to rid the world of him. He thought maybe someone had buried him alive. He hadn’t been able to move enough to figure out how big the space he was occupying actually was.
He decided to worry about where he was after her regained the use of his body.
Tentatively, he moved the fingers of his right hand. All seemed well so he tried the left hand. The pain that shot through his hand and up his arm brought tears to his eyes.
It was a while before he worked up the courage to try and move any other limbs. The toes of his right foot worked, but the ankle was another matter. He didn’t think it was broken, but definitely sprained.
When he tried to move the left foot, scalding hot spikes of pain shot through his body. His screams filled the air.
Chance had no idea how long he screamed. He hadn’t felt pain like that in years. The last time, he had almost lost his hand. If his ankle was in as bad a shape as his wrist had been back then, Chance knew he didn’t have long to get it worked on. It had taken the doctor thirteen hours to reconnect all the tendons and repair the damage. Chance hadn’t believed he could do it. His hand was literally hanging by threads of muscle and tissue. He only hoped modern medicine could come to the rescue again. If he ever got out of whatever hole he was in.
If the extent of his injuries were as bad as Chance thought, he knew he would need help escaping from wherever he had been stashed. From the vibration of his screams earlier, he knew the space wasn’t small enough to be a coffin-like structure, but wasn’t a huge room either. If he could trust his hearing. With his ears still clogged up, and the total darkness, he couldn’t be sure of anything.
He kept trying to remember what he was doing before, but the hit to his head seemed to have scrambled his brain. He would get snatches of memories but that was all, and they didn’t make much sense.
He kept seeing himself with another man, one he couldn’t quite place. They were standing in front of a village. Just before the vision evaporated, Chance saw the man hand him a briefcase.
No matter how hard he concentrated, Chance couldn’t remember anything else. He could surmise, however. He had received briefcases in the past. Briefcases full of cash, diamonds, guns, and bombs.
He just had to figure out what was in the one he kept seeing in the vision, and where the briefcase was. The contents of any case he had received could never be allowed to be traced back to the owner.
First things first, he thought. I have to get out of here before I can find anything.
He tried to sit up. The world spun crazily, but Chance toughed it out. He used his good hand to brace himself and sat still until the room settled.
His stomach threatened to rebel. The taste of bile in the back of his throat urged Chance on. He reached into the darkness, trying to figure out where he was. He pushed what felt like a piece of concrete, which he was sure caused the damage to his ankle, off his left leg.
He tried to push himself with his right hand and leg, but the pain from his sprained ankle wouldn’t allow it. All he managed to do was wear himself out.
He collapsed back onto the floor and considered his options. Chance had been in some hairy situations before, but nothing compared to being broken and battered beyond movement in a dark hole. He had always had a plan before, but as far as he could see, there was no plan for his current predicament except getting help.
To that end, Chance screamed.
He screamed until his throat was raw. He screamed until his chest hurt. He screamed until he couldn’t scream any longer because the saliva in his mouth had dried up.
Once his own screams died down, Chance thought he heard others. He pushed back up and tried to find something to throw. Anything that would make enough noise for someone to find him. He threw rocks and a can of some sort, all the while trying to scream some more, but his voice wouldn’t cooperate.
He blindly searched the area he could reach, frantically trying to find something that would help. He was getting desperate. Chance knew he didn’t have long. His strength was draining as surly as the blood from his ankle.
His hand found a small, cylindrical object. He inspected it the best he could in the dark. The object was slender with a button on one end and wires coming out of the other. Chance was sure he knew what it was. It was on the tip of his tongue. He just couldn’t quite place it. He tried to trace the wires, but could only reach so far.
He was still holding the object when he heard someone approach. He called out, hoping they would find him wherever he was buried.
Chance was confused when he heard footsteps behind him. He tried to turn, but his broken body wouldn’t move. He listened to the steps as they walked toward him and heard someone say, “Poor bastard.”
“Hello,” Chance said. “Who’s there? Can someone turn the lights on?”
“I’m sorry, Sir,” the man replied.
Chance was still trying to figure out the pity in the man’s voice when another man interrupted.
“His hand!” the man yelled. “Get back!”
Chance figured out, right before the first bullet struck, what the object he held was.