Life in the Night

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


My first attempt at Lovecraftian writing.

Submitted: January 18, 2018

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Submitted: January 18, 2018

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Life in the Night

Science has told us and enforced the idea that nothing is faster than light. What those scientists and photons do not understand is that darkness was and always will be there first, and when light gets there, the darkness swims to where the light is no longer, passing through the cracks in the beams. Darkness was in existence before the first photon and stream of light was ever conceived. All things that are and will be are formed from the primordial darkness, like inky sludge that encompasses everything and will eventually re-devour everything that has been born from it. There are some things, some beings and concepts, that cling to the darkness to live, like the mother’s breast to a young hungry child. Are these things any different from us in existence? The only contrast between us and them are our preferred niche environments. Except children try to get rid of the darkness and the things within it by putting a nightlight by their bed, hoping the halo of light produced from the minute bulb will repel any dangers from them, like holy water to the flesh of a demon. I was never like these children, in fact I eventually began to refuse to install one of those alternative crucifixes so that I could embrace the warm coldness of the darkness and meet any of the inhabitants that call it home. Those children would then grow up into adults who thought that fearing the dark was nonsense and only for kids. Once again, I am not like these adults. Ever since maturity, I have no fruit to bear for my labors for this concept, yet I feel so very close to being able to break through. Am I using the wrong ingredients? Or maybe the candles have too much wax. Everything must be perfect for the perfect pilgrimage into the perfect realm, however my finances are starting to disagree with me as a housewife does a husband who spends his money on a life supply of brandy. But soon, finances will not be a problem.

It all started at a really young age in my own room one fateful and fortunate night. I was growing restless and woke up in a stir. All around me was the beautiful and blessed shadows that surrounded me and my bed. Very quickly, my eyes began to adjust, and I could make out shapes and some colors, but there were certain parts of my room, certain pockets of darkness that served as gates between the world of light and the world of shadow, where I could see the things from darkness. The beings that I saw in them were just that. Beings. Biology textbooks make attempts at using the commonplace system for defining what living organism is what, but like most students on those tests, it would fail with these things, they were simply beings of existence from the darkness. I scrambled for my lamp so that I may see these things better, but when I switched it on, the shadows and its children sucked back into the corners as if they were tornados for just whatever the darkness were made of. I have never been so intrigued by such a sight in my entire prepubescent life. Every night from then on, I would hope for them to return so that I may inspect them and hopefully talk to them, even going a few nights without sleep, being lost to their wonder until the harsh rays of the sun would snap me back to its own world. This was a habit I still exhibit proudly today. Sadly, the night I long awaited would be stolen from me for years to come.

Later, in my teenage years, I had my second encounter with the wonderful shade. Christmas Eve, a night where children would stay up in hopes of catching old Saint Nicholas coming down their chimney. Along with those naïve young ones, I stayed awake, but not for some fat intruder to bring me gifts of some variety, I was waiting once more for the darkness to come to me, and wrap me in its blanket. I had no sources of light for my room, no lamps, no bulbs, and closed every window and door so no outside light may disturb this unorthodox rite of passage into an odd realm most are not meant to make, or at least not meant to return from. I was waiting, late into the witching hour, when suddenly it and they came to be. The shadows in the corners of my room grew dark as my heart grew light, anticipating what I may see this time around. Like vines across a rustic gate, the boundary of this Eden engulfed more of my room, pushing the light back to whence it came, a lion chasing its antelope. Eventually all except my bed and an area around it was surrounded in the sludge, and I saw the hands come out and the branches of what they were attached to soon followed. I could hear some form of noise come between them in what I can only assume was a conversation, like a mix of the howls heard by wolfdogs in the wild and the day to day talk you would hear in the town. Eventually the random clicks and snaps between them became fragments in my memory that slowly become increasingly visible to me, reminding me of my schooling days as a child, repeating the same sentence on a piece of paper, except instead of graphite and paper, this was cryptic noises on the sides of my brain.

“Are you aware that I am here?” I called out to a receiver I was not sure would pick up.

I received more clicks in return, in acknowledgment of my existence in their plane.

“Why have you just returned? Why did you arrive when I was just a kid?” I tried saying louder than the thumping of either my heart from nerves or my mind from thoughts and clicks.

They seemed to have ignored my questions as the noises they echoed back to me were stern and stoic.

“Will I ever see you again?” I rushed out from my lungs.

All I had received from them was a single growl before the darkness retreated into the corners of my room, satisfied with filling its belly with the light antelope that could not get away. After my mind had translated what they said, I could calmly and happily return to sleep. There were no gifts in this entire world that would make me happier than what they had told me that night. “When you are ready” is what I kept repeating to myself over and over like the snowflakes falling from the heavens in heaps of white mounds, mounds as high as the pile that phrase was making inside my skull.

Every night since then, I would say, like a prayer before bed, “I am ready”. Sadly, they never returned since the night we first communicated. I grew irritated. I was ready for them and the darkness they called home. I was ready to call it my home as well. I was ready for any gift they would have for me on what they call Christmas, assuming they celebrated it. Each night I would grow surer that they either did not believe I was ready or they were not ready for me. I grew tired and restless from the nights of no sleep as I would stay awake throughout the night, hoping they would return. My eagerness become aggravation. One day, I grew too impatient and went to the library in hopes of finding anything on these beings and their darkness, someone must know more than I do, and maybe even how to make my way into their world. After much digging through books of all sorts, both contemporary and pagan, I found the Holy Grail of what I have been looking for. The binding and spine were worn from continuous and prolong sessions of hand hugging, and the pages were bent in complete disorder from frantic finger flicking on the edges and corners. A notebook documenting research on the darkness and its dwellers, and through skimming I found an experimental ritual to become one with them.

I eventually found a way to sneak the notebook out with me so that I may never have to return it, if they kept it buried and blanketed with dust, they must not know it even exists. After a seemingly infinite and harsh trip home, I finally was able to excitingly relax before getting my materials ready for the longest trip of my existence. Attempt after attempt resulted in more ruined candles and fruit shells. There must be something I have been doing wrong. But now I firmly believe this next attempt will be the last and first successful trial. I have everything ready, the bowl, the candles, the summoning circle, the fruits, and the notebook I had claimed. I lit the candles while inside the circle. While they are burning I squeeze the juice from the bitter fruits into the bowl, flowing like a waterfall into the reservoir I created for it. I read incantations in the same unknown clicks I had learned that same night before Christmas that are reflected in the notebook. After the chants, I dip the candles into the fruit juice to extinguish them and surround myself in darkness. This time the curtains of shadows drew quickly on this horrid play, waiting for the next act. After what seems like hours of nothingness, I reach for the candle but found nothing. Thinking I missed the candles entirely, I slide my hand across the floor for the bowl, only to find it managed to disappear as well. I drop the notebook so that I may use both hands to find my only hope for light. I soon discover the notebook had disappeared and my eyes were not adjusting to the darkness. It was in that revelation I see the first darkness being in its entirety. The only attribute able to define this form was darkness and imaginative. It was neither too beastly or human-like, and certainly had no plant-like elements to its existence. It just was and lived. It made no noises and made no moves, but I can tell its emotions, it was angry.

This is what the light was protecting us from what it was trying to keep at bay with nightlights and nightstand lamps. Tried to keep people from discovering and seeking for stopped people like me from looking into. Darkness was not waiting for me to be ready the light was keeping me safe and away from these things. Now that this terror is right in front of me I no longer taunt the kids in the past for their clinging to light and no longer curse the light for its heroism and bravery. True nothingness embodied. Bumps, howls, creaks, thumps, all calls of these monstrosities of unnature trying to lure victims into these these traps. They are both prison and captor. Life was nothingness…exactly what filled them.

This being was then joined by many others that had a myriad of variations from the one that greeted me. They all reached out with some sort of appendage they used for hands as they encircled me, creating a cage people would carry pets into the vet with. In seconds I was surrounded by foreign walls and then feel and hear nothingness. Only then, when my fate became a prisoner to this world, were the secrets of darkness revealed to me. One secret in particular will always stick to my tongue. Eventually, they will devour everything that was born from the darkness.


© Copyright 2018 Erick Cook. All rights reserved.

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