Uncovering The Dark
It was after the first harvest of her tomatoes that Elissa decided to take a chance on making another change. The Darkness had never blinked, never moved when she spent endless hours on rainy days picking up the garbage or cleaning the home they were living in. It never moved a hand to help her in her cleaning, nor did it lift a hand to stop her. The Darkness simply sat, rocked, and seemed completely indifferent to everything around it until the sun set and it indulged itself with her body.
It was several days after her first harvest, when the day grew dark and cloudy and a steady rain began to fall. Washing herself as clean as she could, Elissa marveled at how long her hair had grown. Originally down below her buttocks, her hair was now almost to her calves. Wistfully, she thought of trying to cut it, but then disregard the idea as it was the only thing she had left to try and take pride in. Her clothes were gone, her family, her friends, her home; they had all been taken from her. The only thing she had left from before was her hair and she just couldn’t bring herself to cut it. Hair grows from the base of the skull out, and she’d be cutting off the ends of it – ends which she’d grown and nurtured amongst her friends and family. She simply couldn’t bear the thought of that.
But the Darkness? It was fair game.
Working up her courage one rainy morning, Elissa carefully braved her way back down into the dusty web-filled basement and rummaged through the crates that had held the stuff she’d packed and brought with her. The Darkness denied her the right to wear anything more than the ragged loin cloth that did almost nothing to cover her, and which she honestly hadn’t even bothered to try to keep clean and wrapped around herself for quite some time now, so her clothes and armor she simply ignored and pushed away. For the next decade or so, Elissa had a feeling that she was simply going to be streaking all the time, so she had no use for them.
Instead, she looked for things which might be of use to her even now. A sharp dagger, a sturdy leather cloak, a large purse, a backpack, and various other little small things which she could load and pack into them, were all gathered up and collected. Finally, satisfied that she had all that she needed for now from her own things, Elissa slowly and carefully worked her way back up the steps and back into the kitchens, with a self-promise that sometime soon she was going to go back and see what the other crates and containers held down there. But for now, Elissa had what she’d wanted.
Carrying everything into the room where The Darkness sat and rocked, Elissa walked over and sat everything down in the corner. Even after all her hard work picking up and trying to clean the place, it still wasn’t what she’d truly consider livable. The large piles of garbage were now gone, carried out and tossed onto the pile at the end of the street, but the floorboards were stained and contained a putrid odor that just wouldn’t go away no matter how many times she scrubbed over them with water alone. Truthfully, Elissa knew, even soaps or dyes probably wouldn’t take the stench or stain out now; they had become part of the wood itself.
Shrugging slightly to herself; one of the things that she was learning from her time here was to accept that not everything was in her control and the she could only do what she could actually do to make life around her better; Elissa laid the cloak down across the floor as bedding and then carried her backpack over to where the darkness was rocking. Working her way behind its chair, she sat the pack down and rummaged through it until she found her scissors. Pulling them out, she placed a foot on top of the back of the rocker’s leg and forced the chair to tilt backwards.
“This place has been cleaned somewhat,” she muttered, with a half grin to hide her trepidation. “Now, it’s your turn.” Swallowing back a lump of uncertainty in her throat, she leaned forward and snipped a large chunk of tangled hair from The Darkness. As the hair slowly fell to land upon its shoulders, The Darkness slowly tilted its head back to stare at her with those cold, unblinking voids which were its eyes.
Elissa trembled for a moment, half afraid that she’d done something wrong or that she’d somehow offended The Darkness, but it never spoke nor moved after that. It simply sat leaned back in the chair, head tilted back to watch her, and stared silently with its cold, never changing gaze.
Seeing that no reprimand was forthcoming at the moment, Elissa worked up her courage and snipped another long strand of hair, and then another and another. Trying to ignore the unblinking stare which never moved from her, Elissa cut, snipped, and chopped at The Darkness’s hair for so long that her foot and leg got tired forcing the chair back as she was. Finally moving her foot, the chair rocked forward while her knee and leg trembled slightly as it recovered from the resistance suddenly being gone. Elissa took a few moments to rub her leg and massage the knee, while The Darkness simply rocked and loose hair scattered all around him.
“Up. Get up,” Elissa ordered, as she finally walked around the chair to stand beside it.
“Why?” As always, The Darkness’s voice was cold, harsh, and unemotional as it slowly turned its head to stare at her.
“Why not?” Elissa answered, still rubbing her leg slightly.
For a moment The Darkness slowly titled its head left and right as if pondering her question. Finally, it shrugged its boney shoulders and stood up. “Why not, indeed,” it mused.
Emboldened by her success, Elissa reached forward and took The Darkness by the hand and tugged lightly. Tilting its head again curiously, it hesitated for a moment, and then shrugged once more and followed along docilely behind her.
Leading The Darkness outside and into the rain, Elissa walked behind it and brushed what loose hair that remained off from it. Grinning lightly at seeing it just standing there now, seemingly oblivious to everything once more, Elissa resumed her assault on the tangled mess that remained of its hair. From the way it sat before, she could cut the hair in front and top, and now she could finally get to the mess in the rear.
Working her hands through its hair, Elissa finally felt and then got to see The Darkness’s ears for the first time. Roughly the same size as a human’s, they nevertheless highly resembled the elves’, with a narrow build and the top rising up to a tight triangular peak. Neither human nor elvish, The Darkness’s ears resembled both but was neither. Strangely, Elissa somehow found them cute and rubbed them several times with her hands while The Darkness simply sat there unmoving and unnoticing.
By the time she’d finished cutting the hair on the top of its head, The Darkness was almost bald, with only a short jagged stubble left. Working her way back around to stand in front of The Darkness, Elissa turned her attention to doing the same for the ragged beard and mustache which grew haphazardly entangled in all directions. Through it all, The Darkness simply stood unmoving, unblinking, and seemingly unnoticing or uncaring.
The rain had picked up from the gentle drizzle which was falling earlier and was now beating down hard enough to bounce droplets back up from the puddled and muddy earth. Loose hair floated listlessly in puddles and mixed haphazardly into the mud as it squished between their toes. Not wanting to let the chance pass, Elissa ran into the house, not caring about the muddy footprints she left behind, and grabbed her purse, before running outside with it.
“Strip,” she commanded, while tugging at the dingy gray pants The Darkness always wore. For a moment, The Darkness tilted its head back and forth, but it didn’t resist as she pulled the pants down and lifted its legs to tug them off. Standing there naked and almost shaved, Elissa got her first good look at The Darkness, and much to her surprise she could no longer think of him as an it.
The Darkness was obviously not human, but it was also obviously a man, in all parts of the word. Thin and gaunt, with a frame that looked like it had been malnourished for all his life, The Darkness still had the sort of face that made Elissa think he’d be could easily be considered an attractive man if he’d just put on some weight. Narrow, pointed ears jutted slightly to the side of a perfectly sculpted and framed face. The nose was in perfect proportions to the face and forehead, the mouth not too large and not too small.
Placing her hand up to cover the dark holes that was its eyes, Elissa had to admit to herself that The Darkness had a cute face, and with a little fleshing out, it’d be what most women would call strikingly handsome – if they could just ignore those endlessly cold black holes where the eyes normally were. Those eyes were one thing which were simply hard to get past, no matter how hard one tried!
Moving her hand away from his eyes, Elissa glanced down and giggled lightly. “Happy to see me?” She asked, staring down at the erect man part which pointed so prominently towards her.
“No.” The Darkness answered in that same harsh, coldly unemotional voice. Then, tilting his head slightly, the corners of his mouth twitched for a moment before he revised that to, “Perhaps. Why do you ask?”
“Just because of that,” Elissa said, pointing down and trying not to giggle. Somehow standing out in the pouring rain, shaving and stripping The Darkness, simply felt completely surreal to her. For so long now that she couldn’t remember the exact number of days, The Darkness had simply ignored her all day long, until it ravished her all night long. They didn’t talk; they didn’t really interact; and yet, her it was now talking to her and even following along with what she asked of it.
Tilting his head to glance downwards, The Darkness slowly shrugged his shoulders. “I stay like that,” he replied coldly as he looked back up to stare unblinking at the rain.
“Always?” Elissa asked, a little surprised. From what little she knew about anatomy, men were only erect when aroused and staying that way too long was bad for their health.
“I am what I am,” The Darkness replied, seemingly unconcerned.
“I suppose that’s all that can be said about any of us,” Elissa laughed lightly as she dug in her purse and pulled out several bottles of soaps and shampoos. Taking time to first wash and lather herself thoroughly, she then took the time to repeat the process on The Darkness, scrubbing hard to flake and scrub them both as clean as possible.
Once finished, she gently took the ivory pale hand that belonged to The Darkness and tugged it gently back towards the shack they had been staying in. “Come Dark,” she whispered, lost in her own thoughts, “let’s get inside and out of the rain.”
Without speaking, and without resisting, The Darkness allowed himself to be gently led back inside by the hand.