The World Beyond The Lights

by Edward Le Prieur

...some atmosphere

…some atmosphere

The modern world has replaced the sound of a crackling fireplace, with that of whirring industrial fans and the clicking of electrical heating systems. The soft inviting light of candles and lamps with obnoxious brightly lit white corridors of stylish structures. Everything that has been replaced is bright, blinding, deafening and all consuming of our human senses. As if it was designed with that very idea in mind! As a child, during the winter we often had storms…

I remember wishing to myself that the electricity would go out, and it often did. We would be relieved of the constant onslaught of the modern world. Even at a very young age I desired this, because the world was so much more comfortable without it. When it did go, everything suddenly became imbued with mystery. We would gather at the table under candlelight and play games or tell stories to each other. It seemed that the modern world was there to distract us, and segregate ourselves from one another.

When I got a little older I was a rather introverted person. I remember when we got a computer given to us from a friend of my fathers, it was quite crude even at the time. It was the kind that you lay flat, with the monitor sitting atop the PC case. There were several boxes of those old floppy discs different software, and different kinds of games. Naturally I had a lot of time to myself aside from regular school work, so I escaped into a vast array of fantasy worlds. Dungeon Master, Ultima, Kings Quest all still linger in my mind. They reminded me of the mysterious atmosphere of telling stories around a candle light as a child. Of course I was instantly enthralled.

Unfortunately, or fortunately as it were the computer wasn’t the most reliable one. So not having any money to send it to a repair shop, and the desire to get back to my worlds of fantasy. I started to learn how to repair the things I could, and I out of a desire to escape the modern world I developed a knowledge of computers and electronics. It seems ridiculous that my escapism resulted in learning to repair the world I was desperately trying to get away from!

It seems fate had played a twisted game on me, but I relished in my worlds. I went on to excel in computer science throughout school, and I still retain a modest amount of knowledge on the subject. However even now when the winter wind blows, and the electric lights flicker. In my heart I wish the power would again fail; so we could tell the tales like we did when I was a child.