Lights in the Dark
The humans have been sitting around the stump for quite some time now, doing... nothing. The little girl trembles while the boy pulls up grass and twirls it in his fingertips, examining it with a forlorn expression. The mother comforts the two children, her eyebrows permanently knit in a worried manner. The father is unconscious, thank goodness.
The only reason we could come out tonight was because of that wretched man’s failure to ward us off as he always does. Every night he comes out and casts the same enchantments, warding us back into oblivion. But tonight, when the spells were not cast, we thought it was too good to be true, some kind of trick.
We washed over the valley with more force than we could ever remember using, exerting every ounce of darkness in us to ensure we could not be repelled back to where we came.
And we devoured. We consumed the light, drowning it in the inevitable shadow of the dark. But soon, us shadows cease to exist, for there cannot be shadows without light. So we let the humans live, the light of their souls shining upon us in brilliant rays. It blinds us, burning our chaos away, and forcing us to constantly retaliate with our gloom. But regrettably, it is essential to our existence in the night.
But as hard as it is for us, life struggles even more. The humans fear us, oh delicious fear! It provides nourishment and power to us and we drain it out of all that live, for ALL fear us!
Wait. The father’s light is fading... oh joy! No one can hold us back now... NO! Not good!
Without light there can be no shadow. Without shadow, light will never be consumed. It is an excruciating irony of existence.
We pull back and mute, allowing the father’s light to grow back to what it was, but it is still very weak, even now it wavers... existence is so pathetically fragile. This sudden lack of chaos seems to grab the woman’s attention, but she soon goes back to the strange, sentimental human nature of stroking her little girl.
Existence is a foreign power to us. Being... is tormenting. It is having choices and thoughts and things and feelings and everything that no one should have to endure. We love chaos more. Being simply... unleashed, with no conscience or rules to follow for approval.
The Known is evil for this reason, and it must be consumed for the sake of all that have the curse of life.
We are excited now, the humans have dropped their guards. The boy is chattering away to his mother whilst the girl and father still rest. We pull forward, desperate to seize this chance of destruction. Wait... we can’t, it will cease our existence until morning when the bright light rises, the Sun.
Ah! Do not speak of that cursed name. NO we do not care for the consequences of snuffing out their lights! We must attack while we can, no thinking about it, just surge!
Right as we close perimeters, the man stirs. Our closer presence must have awakened his consciousness.
Get back! GET BACK!
I am floating. Weightlessness is spread throughout my body. I feel upright... yet I don’t have to use any muscle to maintain this vertical position.
Ow my... everything hurts.
I let out a groan, wincing from the pain of being hugged by an oversized tree root for too long.
My heart practically jumps out of my throat.
"Dason is that you?"
My Tula is here! She’s safe.
I try to call out to her to tell her I’m here, but my chest throbs and all I can make out is another groan. Where is she? Judging from where her voice was, I speculate she’s behind me, somewhere lower than I am. I turn my head and open my eyes.
It’s pitch black. But not just any pitch black. This is darkness I’ve only ever seen a few times in my life. The shadows have already come, but why are we not dead? Did I scare them off, even in my sleep?
And then a couple things happened at once.
Still looking towards the sound of Tula's voice, I open my mouth to call for her. But right at the moment that my lips part, my tongue feels something warm press down upon it, freezing me into shock for a moment.
And then as quickly as the object entered my mouth, it leaves, and I hear a loud thud on the ground next to me, accompanied by a grunt of pain.
“Ow! That hurt!”
Kuruk! Oh, thank the Brothers, my boy is okay!
"Kuruk!" I rasped, putting all my effort into being audible. "Where are your mother and sister?"
I hear a small sob. Gasping at the realization that it is Tula, I cry out to her, "Tula! What is wrong? Are you hurt?"
For a sickening moment, I hear nothing. Just dead silence thickening the already dense darkness. My heart skips a beat. "Tula...?"
I hear slow steps coming my way, followed by a gentle poke on the cheek. I smile. "Tula."
My wife pulls my head into her chest, kissing my hair and squeezing me so tightly to the point of suffocation. She's sobbing now, stuttering complete nonsense like, "The tree ate you, and Kuruk talked to a ninja, and then your head fell off..."
That was as much as I could understand from her gibberish. I was extremely confused and I had numerous questions popping up in my head. But I had higher priorities right now.
"You're ok Tula, you're safe with me. I love you so much."
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