Healing Island

Nivedita Sanghavi

Nivedita Sanghavi

It’s 4:36 AM. You sleep in a constant state of anxiety. You sometimes fail to believe in yourself, and in what you are capable of. You feel jittery, even in the dead of the night when all is silent and still.

In a murky blur of events, you find yourself plummeting straight towards a floating island. Situated in a vintage aircraft, you feel sick dropping down. You arrive dangerously close, but you don't feel panicked. At once, some invisible force gracefully flings you off the airplane and you drop, feet first, onto the island. The airplane falls, but no crash is heard down below. Filled with an unknown, yet beckoning sense of purpose, you take in the island. You have no idea what brought you here, or why, but you have an intuition telling you that there’s something here that will heal you.

Beneath the floating island is an ocean of cool grey mist. Redwood trees, partially drowned out in the low hanging mist, stand with a breathtaking sense of pride.

Your arrival clears out the island’s mist, revealing the full expanse of it. The curved redwoods that you had partly caught sight of before gently lift themselves up, to reach into the sky. Each redwood has a palm-sized circular symbol, with intricate lines and patterns carved out in the center. In the center of the patch of redwoods is a clearing, illuminated with a natural spotlight effect. Beneath your bare feet is soft and dewy grass. Each bristle points itself towards the clearing, the way plants do towards the sun. Faint musical sounds created by the nature around you echo through the trees. Rustling leaves, gentle wind, a flowing stream close by.

You take a step forward, naturally gravitated towards the heart of the island. You feel a surge of energy hit you from all sides. Your dark circles recede, and you view the island with a new air of clarity. Cautiously advancing, you feel ripples of different spirits with each step. By the time you make it to the clearing, you feel better than you have ever felt before.

Standing in the center, you await a response from the nature around you. You look at the trees surrounding you, which are not redwoods this time, but are much shorter trees with wide, thick green leaves. You are immediately captivated by them. But it is not the leaves that captivate you. It is the tens of hundreds of golden balls of – you blink to make sure you are looking correctly – golden balls of light. Each ball of light pulses slightly, emulating mini heartbeats. It is miraculous.
Within moments, you feel a gust of leaves swirling about you, slowly at first but then rapidly intensifying. A glowing gold dot materializes, growing simultaneously with the tornado. Suddenly, the tornado dies away, and the gold glow transforms into a young teenage girl. The girl exudes a soft gold glimmer around her. Wearing a modest cream-colored dress, she emulates an angel. Her dress billows in the gentle wind. She bows her head slightly, and motions for you to sit on a large, pink stone close by. You realize that this is a large chunk of another healing mineral. You look at the girl again, more closely this time.

A sudden thought occurs to you.
She bears a strong resemblance to you in her appearance.
You push away the thought quickly.

The girl walks toward one of the short trees, and looks around, as if trying to find the perfect ball of light to pick. She finally settles on one and picks it out of the tree like an apple. A flare of light sparks out momentarily from the tree, but then dies away.

The girl then sits on another chunk of stone in front of you. She raises her hands, palms up, the way one would if they were holding a bowl of water. Instead, she cradles the ball of light.

Her voice is soft when she speaks.

“I see you have found Healing Island. Welcome,” she says. You struggle to speak. You try to convince yourself that everything is normal.

“Do not fear. Being filled with wonder is an unparalleled feeling that you cannot escape on this island. And this is your first visit here, if I am not mistaken.” She clearly knows it is, but she gives you another chance to speak. It almost feels like she can read your thoughts. Finally, you find your voice.

“Yes. Although, I am confused. Why am I here? What is this place? And, who exactly are you?” A deluge of questions pours out your head at once.

“I knew you would be arriving, dear. You were meant to come here once you fell ill.” Resolute, she waits for you to process this statement. But you understand it in a moment.

“I know what you are talking about. So, I have come here...to heal myself? I did not even know this place existed.” You are tempted to ask about the striking similarity in both of your faces, but you hold back.

“Of course, you did not know about it. But your subconscious mind knew about it, and it brought you here on its own. This island is a variation of yourself. In fact, everyone possesses a different variation of Healing Island,” she explains. She waits for your reaction. But you are too overwhelmed by it all.

Then, she motions towards the beautiful trees that you saw before. “I know you are thinking about what those trees are, too. Healing Plants carry the orbs of pure light that everyone has inside of them. The other orbs belong to individuals just like you.”

She pauses for a moment, closing her eyes. She looks like she’s trying to focus herself on something important. Then, she opens them again.

“As for our incredible resemblance to one another, and you will have to believe me on this...” She waits for a response.

“Um. Okay, I believe whatever you are going to say,” you respond.

“Well, it relates to the fact that I am your spiritual messenger – meaning only you will see me as your messenger,” she says. You nod anyways, not expecting more.

But she speaks up again.

“I am your future daughter, Ellia. I am a variation of your future self and future life,” she responds after a few moments. You recoil back just a bit. You are surprised that your mind could conjure up such things.

You thrash around in your bed, not realizing that you are just visualizing a high-definition dream in your sleep. But to you, it feels as real as anything.

You harbor more questions than you had before. Future daughter? You take a few minutes to collect yourself. All the while, Ellia rotates the ball of light in her hand, focused. Oblivious to your confusion.

Then, she stands up and walks towards you, each step of hers leaving a faint footprint filled with a golden, glow-stick like material.
“Take this ball of light. It will fill in the gaps in your life.” You wonder about what “gaps” this orb would fill in your life. Ellia holds out the ball of light and you hesitantly take it, unsure of what to do with it. She motions for you to hug the ball of light, and in doing so, it disappears inside of you.

For a moment, nothing happens.
Then, Ellia takes your hands, and speaks even softer than before.

“Listen to me closely. That orb of light is powerful. You will find all the answers that you need within. It was always inside of you, but it’s my duty to present it to you tangibly, so that you know it is there. You have always had it inside of you, but you never truly discovered it. Always remember that ball of light within.”

She gently pats your hand, and walks away without looking back. Soon, she disappears into the trees, her golden footprints fading away behind her. As a messenger, her duty is complete.

The mist once again returns, and the leaves start to swirl. The tornado returns. But this time, it is you who spins in a golden ball, so fast that you are jolted out of your dream.

Your eyes fly open.
You feel strangely calm.

You look at the curtains. They are filled with a soft golden glow from the street light outside. The golden glow reminds you of something.

You blink rapidly, trying to remember the profound dream you just envisioned. But all you can remember is that ball of light inside of you.

That golden ball of light.

Third Place Winner in the Teen (13-18) Age Category - Winter Short Story Contest 2021 - San Jose Public Library

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