Prologue: Darkness Falls
The plan was set.
Rem knew the danger Misa was in. Therefore Rem would be obedient.
The task force would never go against him.
By tomorrow afternoon, both Watari and L would be dead. And Light's New World Order could finally begin its progression with no serious obstacles.
Granted, he would have to deal with that fool Misa, but in return for Rem's cooperation, that annoying thorn in his side was worth dealing with in return for the death of his Adversary; his Loki; his Eurynomous; his Satan; his O' Yamma.
Light smirked as he went over the final details of his flawless plan.
The 'Great L', the 'three top detectives in the world', would fall at his feet. How Light would savour that moment! How he craved the destruction of the blasphemous, gluttonous, ugly demon.
Wrapping the duvet around his body, Light snuggled down in his bed for a good night's sleep.
At some point, the room became very cold.
Light, deep in slumber, began to inadvertently shiver. His breath could be seen in small, white puffs. His arms wrapped around his chest and his knees drew upwards. His teeth began to chatter, and his skin eventually began to discolour; a purple-blue tinge appeared on his lips as if he had been gently kissed by Death.
It was then that Light woke.
He frowned, understanding immediately that something was wrong: he was awake at night and it was unnaturally cold, despite the time of year. Whereas a normal person would still be groggy and confused, Light was instantly aware and focused. He slowly sat up and looked about him. A thin layer of ice had begun to creep across the floor and walls. His eyes, seeking out its origin, followed to where it was most concentrated. Sure enough, his gaze steadied on his bedroom door, which glistened in the darkness due to the thick frost covering it.
His frown deepened as he glanced to the window. Outside, the skies were heavy with clouds, hinting at an impending heavy downpour tonight or tomorrow. However, there was no ice outside or entering his room through what would have been the more logical source.
'I must be dreaming,' he thought, calming instantly. Stepping out of bed, he suppressed a shudder as his feet touched the floor, making the boards creak lightly. As he made one small step towards his door, arm raised to touch the handle, a voice echoed out.
It was a soft, feminine voice, which would have been pleasant had it not been disconnected to an invisible body and drawling his name in such a sinister manner. A shiver crawled up his spine, making him stand even straighter. Momentarily, his breath halted before he let out a shuddering exhale.
"I must keep calm," he ordered himself. "I do not get afraid." His throat called out for water, suddenly feeling dry and constricted, but he refused to swallow. Light would not allow even a disconnected voice to see him in any visible distress. Steeling himself, he continued to walk to the door.
A breeze whipped around his person, flickering out his satin, auburn locks. It would have looked romantic, if not at such an inappropriate time and place. What disturbed Light more than the indoor breeze, which was bizarre enough, was that he could hear whispers and mutters that sounded like a mixture of children and hushed adult voices. The voices threaded their way through the air, which billowed through his night clothes. It ruffled his hair and caressed his skin. He reluctantly gulped, hating this nightmare, for what else could this all be, for daring to make God Himself feel vulnerable and unnerved!
Arriving at the door, he studied it for a moment.
The atmosphere was... ominous.
Every fibre of Light's being screamed at him that something dark, something quintessentially wrong, was on the other side. Light never acted on his emotions, on what the common folk called 'gut-feeling'. He had learned as a child that knowledge and the endless pursuit of knowledge equalled power. Power belonged to the strong. Power meant he had never cried that the bogey man was in his closet or under his bed. Power meant he knew that monsters only existed in films and storybooks. Power meant he could control the opinions of those around him, twisting reality to suit his needs, wants and desires. Light could not remember when his 'animal instincts' ceased to have any effect on him or his actions; it was a memory that never needed remembering. But now, in this nightmare, his feelings came down upon him with the force of a crashing wave on a black, storm-cursed ocean.
"No, knowledge is power," he intoned to himself. "I will not be defeated by a silly, cliché-ridden dream. It is but a door. My door. My door, in my dream, in my mind. I will find out what is on the other side. I will find it and kill it for its insolence against me."
Determined, he gripped the door handle and let out a humiliating bark of a scream as it burned his hand. Seething, he looked at his wounded appendage but was surprised to see that it seemed in good health.
Well, it was all a dream.
He glared at the door as if it were his greatest enemy.
He pulled his sleeve over his hand and slowly opened it. Steam hissed around his covered hand, as if he were the Devil touching holy water. "I am no Demon," he muttered bitterly whilst swinging the door open with the same reckless abandon with which he wrote in his beloved Death Note. Apart from a pale green mist drifting lazily across the floor, the hallway seemed ordinary and empty.
He followed the familiar path down the hall until he reached the stairs. Light could not understand how the recognisable hallway of his family home could suddenly seem so foreboding. He glanced up at the various family photos on the wall; his family, and himself, in another time all grinned down upon him. His family's smiles seemed so vacuous, yet it was his own that disturbed – no – frightened him. His photograph doppelganger grinned down at him as if they shared a dark, ugly secret. A secret that Photo-Light knew Real-Light enjoyed as much as he. It was a perverted, deranged grin.
Again, Light looked away and tried to get a hold of himself. 'I do not look like that,' he thought whilst consciously trying to control his quickening breath. 'I am handsome. I am charming. My smile wins people's hearts and trust.'
He tried to smirk to himself, but his facial muscles seemed frozen; if his brain was not in shock, then his body certainly seemed to be.
He reached the top of the stairs; he could not see the last step below as it was shrouded in a shadow so thick it could have been physical. Like black, inky darkness that could reach out and grab him! He shook his head to remove the stupid thoughts. 'I must continue. It's only a dream after all.'
But even as he thought these rationalising words, he began to doubt this was a dream. Despite the obvious, dare he admit, supernatural strangeness, everything seemed real. His body was solid. He truly felt everything he came in contact with. Was that sadistic fool L messing with his mind again? Or trying to? Setting up another elaborate scheme to terrify him into submission? For if so, L should know by now that Light would never be tamed. As one can never catch the rays of light in one's hands, Light was born to shine out and touch everything, illuminating the world, making it more beautiful, safer, and revealing it in all its glory to the ones who could not see.
However, if this was L's doing, what could he possibly gain by giving Light hypothermia and a bit of a scare?
No, perhaps this was not his enemy's doing.
Perhaps this was indeed a dream and he was sleepwalking in reality, hence the feeling that this was actually happening to his physical self. 'Hm.' He would need to check that when he woke tomorrow. He could not behave differently than normal if he hoped to stay safe from the Task Force's suspicions.
As he slowly inched his way down this seemingly never-ending hallway, his body felt chilled to the bone and every hair stood on end. Little did Light know that all of what he was feeling was the same as what thousands of children around the world were also experiencing at that same moment. Woken from their nightmares, they snuck into their parents' room, looking for solace in the warm parental bed which would remind them of the Real World, where, as long as you were loved, your guardians would protect you from any nightmare. Unfortunately for Light, being an adult and, supposedly in a dream, he was not going towards solace, but to the Tormentor.
Gripping the banister more tightly than he cared to accept or acknowledge, Light began his descent down the stairs. He panicked slightly as the soft green light emitted by the hallway mist dissipated and he was shrouded in the suffocating darkness. His descent paused momentarily as he balanced out his breathing in order to prevent any whimpers being released. However, as he began to steady himself, a vermillion glow began to shine from the left, where the sitting room was. It was as if the monster of this dream was waiting for Light whilst residing by a well-lit fireplace.
Only the Yagami family did not have a fireplace.
Turning his head round the corner, Light peeked into the sitting room like a child peeking early on Christmas morning. The only difference was it was with more suspicion and fear than hope and longing.