Flicker an Excerpt from Hel

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“Flicker” is about the human condition of Blackness. This is an excerpt from my novel in progress: The Many Misadventures of Hel

Scifi / Mystery
Damian Peters
Age Rating:


Like a moth to the flame they come after me. The virus rages across Hel in the unknown, quietly and quickly devouring the souls of any it encounters. I am its vessel. The host of the grand ball. I sought to control it, and now, it has almost consumed me.

I fear. Fear that if I am not stopped that this small bastion of sentience and hope within our universe will perish. How could I have been so thoughtless? Oh, father I miss you so. As existence crumpled me and the purest of memories was captured by this… beast of a sickness. You were there. My father, a man of no fear. How I adored our time together. It feels just like… yesterday.

Yesterday. You were ecstatic that you’d gotten the position with the royals. Emperor Rex had taken a liking to your candor and grace and requested, no, begged for your services.

I was on the floor playing with a sweet water hulupe while laying on my plush lavender colored blankets. The petals were large, soft, but sturdy enough to be plucked and tousled without harming its integrity. I caressed it’s smooth edges on my face, the fragrance wafting underneath my nose, a peaceful embrace. Like two opposing yet complementary forces the milky white petals danced between my dark brown fingers. I was waiting in a blank room for you to come back so we could get started.

We’d designed and built my room together. It was so much fun! We’d decided that the color of Earth’s sunset, a faded grey pink that lulled above hues of orange, red, and yellow would be perfect. We set about transforming the color of the walls while we linked our minds. It was beautiful. Then you chose to design the bed and I got the furniture. You wouldn’t let me in before you finished it, I remember. You were so drained I was worried at first but, with much elation, you exclaimed: “Darling, Sirissa! It is finished. Finally it is finished. I am sorry to have kept you waiting, but I wanted this to be special. Come, please open the door.”

I moved the massive rustic wooden door with a groan as the blackness enveloped me. As the lights slowly came on the workmanship of the colored walls came to life. The sunset blossomed and in the middle of the room was my new bed. It was draped in the finest metals. Those of the softest quality blended to perfection. Though, I was a bit worried. It was the plainest thing I had ever seen. Completely devoid of any color it was pitch black.

“Daddy, I don’t like it. It’s… just black.” I said, almost tearing up.

You smiled, a shallow but understanding grin crept across your face. “Black is the most beautiful substance in all the universe. Go ahead, touch it.”

As I ran my hands over the bed sheets the entire bed changed the color of a dull bronze. Then, as I thought about how beautiful gold would be it changed to gold. I felt that the color choice in my head was rather limited and thought of a rainbow and there it was, a rainbow! I was so excited I jumped in, pouncing on the sheets. All my favorite colors and at a whim! The soft embrace and soliloquy of having one’s thoughts painted in front of them was beyond comprehension.

You stood there, your cloudy brown skin that never stopped moving was swirling about. The various strands of brown and grey mixed in a vortex. You had tears in your deep set eyes. They streamed down your colorful cheeks and pit pattered on the floor. I stopped, suddenly alarmed.

“Daddy! Is everything okay?”

And what you told me I will remember forever. My biggest fear is that the sickness may take even this, it is all I have left.

You said through glossy eyes “The history of blackness is fear, resentment, violence, death. The Wise Ones were taught to hate blackness in all its forms. They sought to bend it to their will. They sought to control it. They sought to profit from its splendor. They embellished themselves in its labor. They wanted to destroy its history and feared its strength. They silenced it. They renounced its status. They wrenched blackness from the Earth, they demanded it bend to their will, they shackled, they tortured, they oppressed, they colonized blackness. In the end, it became a symbol of love, happiness, and prosperity. Untethered, blackness grew. It found its way into every facet of society. It crept into cultures far and wide. Blackness has always been beautiful. Why else would those who do not have it covet and fear it’s presence?”

With shaky hands you motioned to the bed “Sirissa, I am proud to say, that the very bed you are sitting on, is from a place none other than Earth. Where the blackness could never be defeated, no matter the opposition.”

I was incredulous, it shouldn’t have been possible that you found the materials on Earth. Though I looked at the shaking of your hands. I saw the blackened bits of matter stuck to your leg. I ran off the bed and grabbed your hands to stop them from moving. Your knees wobbled and dark matter pulsed behind your eyes.

“Father… you went into the Void? Why would you do that! Why!”

I beat on your chest until the tears drip dropped in a puddle, mixing with your own on the floor. Then you leaned down and held me tight.

“There is no space dangerous enough, no person alive, nothing in the known universe that would stop me from giving you everything life has to offer. My body may be shredded, but blackness is resilient… ”

You trailed off for a second, coughing and swallowing spit. Through my sobbing you bent low to speak directly into my ear. “The body is but a vessel, but our spirit is infinite.”

We’d embrace there for a moment then I briskly went back to finishing the rest of the room. You’d helped me and suppressed your pain. I knew it, yet I knew. I knew there was a reason.

How I loved our talks, Father, our projects. I miss you. Please… please come back to me.

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