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Days of Darkness

The unmoving sun illuminated my exposed body as it stung the top layer of my skin.  The intensity of the light prevented my eyes from opening, and I had to squeeze them shut to elude the burning sensation.  When I went to roll onto my stomach, my body remained motionless.  The grass that lay beneath me began to prick my bare skin as I tried desperately to itch, but couldn’t move.  It felt like hours that I allowed the blistering sun to control my wasted body.  Every inch of my being was tingling, allowing my body to project the light that filled me.

Overcome with the desire to stretch out my arms, my body began to tremble.  I needed to feel something real, something or someone to share this moment of light with.  My chest felt heavy, and my breath shortened.  I so badly wanted to enjoy that moment of the sun, pouring its everlasting bit of heat and light upon my defenseless body, but something was pulling me away.  Suddenly the heat escaped me and I was no longer surrounded by light.  The darkness had somehow crept in and enthralled my soul with its emptiness.

***

I awoke to the absolute darkness that had consumed our earth over three years ago.  I pulled my journal and a pencil from my nightstand drawer.  I hadn’t opened it since the blackout, and I didn’t know where to begin.  All I knew was, I had to let the darkness out somewhere before it could completely consume me.

***

When the blackout first hit, the world didn’t think it would last.  There was no mass chaos, people went on with their daily lives, but without light.  The media assured us that it was only temporary, and the problem would be solved shortly.  When days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, people began to unhinge from reality and frantically search for answers.

Scientists discovered an unknown planet had quickly moved over the sun.  It became known as, Erebus, and was many miles larger than the sun.  It had crept in so rapidly that they could not detect it.  Erebus was just sitting, lurking over our light, and they did not know how long it would be before it moved.  Even after the discovery, people were not at ease.  Some roamed the streets aimlessly, searching for some path to the sun that could fill their days with light again.  When their journey was hopeless, the people went back to their homes to try and deal with the black that now plagued us.

The light was gone, with no promise of return.  When people began to grasp that concept, some began to move on as if the sun were never there to begin with.  For a while,  they went back to their jobs and families, filled their homes with lamps, and pretended to have always lived in a world of complete darkness.

The farmers did not have the same luxury to move on.  Without the sun, the crops could not grow.  They lost their farms and homes.  The lack of food quickly became and issue.  When people realized that world could not be feed without the sun, panic hit once again.  The trees began to crumble and the world questioned their survival.

Fortunately, scientist were able to genetically modify food, plants, and crops.  The world had hope once again, and they were able to move forward.  Still, many people were out of jobs.  The streets were filled with drifters.  Children were left homeless and many starved to death.  The darkness somehow allowed people to look past these tragedies.  It was as if the darkness had placed an opaque fog over the devastations of the world.

Many people were able to look past the darkness and create happiness through the darkness.  Though for people like me, the darkness entrapped my soul.  I couldn’t see past the black skies, I couldn’t forget the sun, I couldn’t forget the warmth it brought with it as it moved across the sky on a hot July day.  I couldn’t forget the way it would rise up behind the trees and spread the sky with its pastels of pinks and reds.

The blackout came just months before my wedding.  The most blissful time of my life was desolated by an illogical abundance of darkness.  The promise of my day-time wedding in the Florida Keys was no longer.  When my fiance could not lure me away from the darkness, he left to try and fulfill the days of darkness with something more luminous than I could offer.  Who could blame him, though? I had fallen into the black hole with no guarantee of return.  I could feel the dark creeping in, like black ink spilling over my body and into my soul.  I could not come to terms with the days of darkness, and to sit and watch others as they went on with their lives filled me with an uncontrollable sense of fury. Without his love, I drifted farther and farther away from the light.  The heat of his body was no longer there to warm me.  His soft kisses were no longer there to make me smile.  I could not escape the darkness.

I could see the demons coming, not just for me but for everyone.  The darkness wouldn’t come alone, of course; it needed an accomplice.  The darkness wouldn’t be pleased that people had moved on with their live and had found satisfaction even in the absence of the sun.  The demons would have to step in and create a truly hopeless world, where happiness could not be found, no matter how far they searched.  They would bring fear along with the blackness and dig themselves so far into our souls that the light could no longer be within reach.

I could feel them getting closer than ever.  There were many of them, enough to wipe out   human existence.  A demon for each individual would exist purely to terrorize his or her soul.   They would come at a moment when humanity was at ease with the darkness and strip them of brightness that still lingered within them.  Even though I was nearly consumed by the darkness, I still feared the demons.  I knew they would not let me slip through the cracks, even though I had nothing left to take.  They would finish us all off.

I stepped outside into the darkness and everything was silent.  There was no movement from the trees, no sounds of dogs barking, and not even the crackling of a bonfire.  For a moment, a sense of calmness came over me.  A feeling that I hadn’t felt in years, but the moment was only brief.  That was when the screaming began.  I could hear it from all directions and I knew that they had finally come.  I ran inside to my bed and pulled the covers over my head, so that I did not have to watch.  I could feel the breath of my demon inching closer and closer to my face, and I let out a petrified scream.

 

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