I think it was several weeks ago when it started. The electronics in my house started flickering on and off. At first, it was just a minor annoyance. I’d be on the internet, and my computer would shut down. Or I’d be cooking something in the oven, and it’d turn off halfway through. I called an electrician, who said that the wiring in my house was in tip-top shape. Not believing him, I called several more electricians, all of whom said the same thing. I tried using less electricity in the house, thinking I was overloading it. Eventually, I learned to live with it.
What sparked my attention was when my coworkers began to complain of the same thing. The woman in the cubicle over from mine confided in me that her iPod had died, with a full battery, then resumed working minutes later. Soon, we were hearing bits and pieces about it on the news. They told us that the problem would be fixed soon, and nothing more. I soon found out that it wasn’t just our area afflicted. Many areas across the country- and, later on I’d find out, across the world- were being affected.
Things began to get worse. By now, many were used to just one or two of their electronic devices not working at once. But when they began to all shut off at once, and then not work for hours on end, the panic grew. There was no explanation. The media couldn’t tell us why, the electricians couldn’t tell us why. Then the generators started failing. Most schools and office buildings, and even some private homes, have generators for when the electricity goes out. The generators were working just fine, and then, like their electronic brethren, they began to not work. Children had to go to school in complete darkness on some days. I even remember having to navigate my way through my office building with a flashlight; before the flashlight stopped working, of course.
When the lights stopped turning back on, people began to panic. No matter what was done, some homes were completely left in the dark. Panic set in. With ought any media access, people were quite literally in the dark about things. Then the “delusions” began. People screaming that they were hearing or seeing things. The woman in the cubicle over from mine had a delusion. I assume that it was fairly bad, because she stapled her own eyes. Or so I heard, since by then our building had completely lost power.
Society began to break. Electronics keep our species in the know, in the light, and entertained. With ought these things, well, we were seeing what was happening. I stopped going to work. No one was really going anywhere, anyway; people were staying at home, stockpiling food and survival necessities, and taking care of their loved ones who were suffering from delusions. During the day- the only time where there was light, now- I saw a man collapse on my lawn. I rushed out to help him, but as soon as I got near him, he started screaming and clawing at the air.
“Oh god, the lights! We need the lights! Turn them back on, please!”
I was afraid to approach him. I took a few steps closer, until what he said froze me in my place.
“They’ll come if we don’t have the lights! Come for us all! Man, woman, child, every one of us!”
I felt my hair stand up on end. I’m a rational person, but the way this man was screaming, the way his eyes looked…I felt that he may not be just suffering from a delusion.
I would have asked the man more, but unfortunately, he expired. I didn’t want to leave him on my lawn, but I couldn’t call the police, and I’d never seen his face in this neighborhood. I ended up dragging him to the police station across town, even though I knew the cops wouldn’t be there. By the time I made my way back, the sun was setting. I felt my hair stand on end again as I rushed to my house, slamming the door shut behind me.
An hour later, I was almost drifting off to sleep- I didn’t do much else, these days- when I heard it. A bloodcurdling scream, coming from a few houses over. I shot up in bed, and ran as fast as I could to the house. A few others joined me as we waited to see what was wrong. However, no one came to the door, no one cried for help. One of the men who had come to help decided to check it out. He busted down the door, and disappeared into the darkness inside. A few moments later, we heard his scream, too. But, as we were closer this time, we also heard brand new noises.
The sound of flesh being torn from bone, of inhuman laughter, of blood hitting the walls.
All I can remember is arriving back home. If I think hard on it, I remember seeing one of “them” through one of the house’s windows. Just it’s bright white eyeballs, of course. The being itself is black, matching the darkness it lives in. Of course, it does have those teeth. Oh god, those teeth. When it smiled at me through that window, I saw them. Shiny and white and sharp, gore dripping from them.
And now, here I am. I’ve locked myself in my room, only the moonlight from a small window to guide my pen as I write this. I hear the panic outside; they’re trying to fight whatever they are, but failing. More screaming, more crunching of bones, more blood staining the streets. It’s all I’ve had to listen to for the past few hours. I’m surprised I haven’t gone completely insane, yet.
I’ve had time to think, too. This is why we’re afraid of the dark. These beings ARE the dark, the worst of it. They’re the reason that children have to sleep with a nightlight on. Light kills them. That’s why they don’t attack during the daylight. Or whenever there’s even the smallest amount of light, even coming from a computer screen. They’re careful about appearing to humans- When it’s not mealtime, of course- but now I know why everyone’s afraid of the dark when they’re a kid. I remember, now, seeing one of them out of the corner of my eye when I was five years old. My mother told me I was just seeing things, that it didn’t exist.
If I can hold out for a few more hours, daylight will come. Maybe help will come. But they won’t be able to attack me. I’ll be safe. But that probably won’t happen, since I can hear them downstairs, now. They’re coming for me, and that locked door isn’t going to hold them off. I’m going to suffer the same fate as those people inside the house.
They’re clawing at the door, now. I can hear them giggling, like it’s some sort of game. I’ve got a knife in my hand, but what good will it do? Why did the lights go out? Maybe it was just our time, as humans. The darkness is here to cleanse the earth.
I can see one at the end of my bed, now. Flashing those teeth at me. I drop the knife. Why bother?
You can’t kill what doesn’t exi
(This story is credited to a person called Brandon Flowers)