Chris, comfortably lying in bed, surrounded by pillows, with the special comforter pulled up to his chin, stared at the ceiling. He listened to the light ticking sound coming at regular intervals from the water heater two rooms away, even through the hum of the overly expensive noise machine he had been instructed to buy by his doctor. He wasn’t sure exactly how long it had been since the last time he had slept, but he knew that his mind was wearing thin.

Weeks of research, doctors appointments, and pseudoscience solutions had yielded no results for him. He had even begun taking prescriptions to help him sleep, but they had little to no effect on him, other than occasionally granting him the reprieve from reality that only hallucinations could bring.

Tonight, however, there were no prescriptions, or anything else. It was only Chris, lying in bed as comfortable as he could be, starting at the ceiling. His mind wandered occasionally, but his body refused to allow exhaustion to gain a foothold. Hours passed and he hadn’t moved. He assumed that if he did it would reset some imaginary clock that required some arbitrary amount of time before he could sleep.

The clock tower across town chimed three times, informing him that his practically useless alarm would go off in three hours. Suddenly a thought went through his mind. Water. He hadn’t had a glass of water before lying down.

“Son of a b***h.” He muttered as he moved the covers of him.

He swung his feet over the side of the bed and slipped them into the slippers waiting for him. He walked out of the room, down the hall, and flipped on the bathroom light as he shut the door behind him. He turned to the sink, filling his glass, only half paying attention before he raised the glass to his lips.

In the mirror, where he had expected to see his old, tired reflection holding the glass, was only black. It was beyond black. It seemed as though it were quite literally nothing sitting in the cracked silver frame. He moved his free hand up to touch the nothing before him, but his body wouldn’t move.

Panic surged through him. He had hallucinations frequently in recent history, but none like this. Then he heard the whispers. They came through the void before him. There were so many voices that he couldn’t follow what any of them were saying. The volume of the whispers would rise and fall as though orchestrated by some great unseen conductor.

Chris stood there, unable to move, gripped by fear as the whispers increased in volume and he began picking words from the babble.

“Why?” One said, “Why me?”

“Please let me go, I have kids.” A feminine one said as though pleading with him.

“Run!” Another said, barely louder than the rest. “You have to run!”

The voices continued to rise in volume until Chris was sure that his ears were bleeding. Everything in the bathroom was shaking from the noise. Yet, he remained perfectly paralyzed in his pajamas staying into the void. He tried to form words but not even his mouth would obey his mind.

The blackness seemed to begin changing in Chris’ vision. He wasn’t sure if it was because he couldn’t blink, but it seemed to be moving. Drawing closer to him as the surface stretched toward his face. When it touched his skin he found his voice, but it wasn’t words he had found, it was the scream of agony escaping him from the burning cold washing over him.

Dark Fog – Part Two

Continued from Dark Fog

I walked slowly past the gates of the prison, enjoying the sounds of screams emanating from inside. What once barred entry to the interior of the prison had been disabled by the darkness on its mission to free the others. All that remained of both the gate and the guards that once manned the post was ash. Even their weapons had been subject to it.

I reached out with my mind to perceive through the darkness’ sentience. It was swirling from cell to cell, liking everyone it came across as it searched the cell block for the first of my compatriots, Jensen. He was a true ally and a formidable foe to anyone that fared to stand against him. As though the darkness could read my thoughts it suddenly jolted down the cell block and into a cell where I saw Jensen sitting calmly with his legs crossed in stark contrast to the majority of the prison, which was still screaming as other tendrils stretched from cell to cell.

Jensen, in his prison issued clothes, smiled at the darkness that floated before him. He moved slowly but confidently as he placed his feet on the floor. He stood, raising to his intimidating six-foot-five-inch tall height, before stretching. The tattoos on his skin crawled in response as if they too understood what was happening. He turned, grabbed a small makeshift bag from under the bed, then turned back to the darkness that watched him, glaring at it from under his thick eyebrows.

“It’s about time, Emordius.” He said throwing the bag over his shoulder. The light from the ceiling made the scars that covered most of his face and arms seem more severe than normal. The darkness even pulled back slightly when he spoke as if it understood how dangerous the man before it was. “I’ll see you in a few minutes. The others are still in solitary.”

With a confident smile plastered to his face, he walked straight into the dark fog before him and made his way toward me. One down, three remaining allies to collect from this prison. I pulled my mind back to my body as Jensen came through the missing front door walking at a leisurely pace. If it were anyone else I would’ve thought they were over confident, but he knew my attachment and respect for him.

“Hello, old friend.” He said coming to a stop just beside me. “The darkness finally obeys you.”

It was a statement, not a question. I was still smiling, and it spread wider in response.  There was nothing to say at the moment. It would only be a few more minutes before the others were free and I could address them all when they came.

Write One Page Per Day – 17/365 – January 17, 2018

Continued from January 16, 2018

“It was a small group of people, hearing us cry wedged under the overpass, comprised of two married couples and five children between them. They were nice and took us with them to keep us safe. Two days later the lights left and the world was empty. There just weren’t people around, occasionally we would run into another small group, but it seemed as though the light had taken everyone.

“We traveled for almost a year, looking for a place to call home, until we got to Weeksville. Everyone in the town was there. No one had gone missing, and everything worked here. It was as if the lights had ignored this tiny town entirely. Life just went on for these people.

“I grew up not far from this lodge at the coordinates I left for you. My sister fell in live and got married to a local when she was 22. I never have up hope that I would find you. So I set out to look for you on my own. I told Anna I’d be back as soon as possible, but when I was back in Atlanta, looking at the old house the lights returned.

“This time I had nowhere to hide from them. They brought me up into the light, and-”

He stopped talking. I sat for a moment listening to his words, taking everything in, trying my best to imagine what had happened to my children. I was totally convinced now that this was my son. I reached out to pull him close to me as he teared up. His and wrapped around me and held me tight. Whatever had happened to him when the light took him was too much for him to share.

“It’s alright, son.” I said quietly working the back of his head on my shoulder, “I’m here now, everything will be alright. You don’t have to tell me anything else.”

“No,” he said, pulling away from me and composing himself again, “I need to say it. There were six of us that were picked up. Six. They tested us against each other in odd ways. Eventually, one by one, I was the only one left. 

“They moved me to a room with silver walls. Not steel, but actually silver, it was cold and foreign. I don’t know how long they kept me in there, but eventually the door to the room opened. No one came through, it just stayed open. I left the room and wandered around. There was no one and nothing anywhere I went. All the doors were open, but I couldn’t find the other five anywhere.

“Eventually, after a lot of searching, I found a round room in the middle of whatever it was, and at the center of that was a floating orb that looked like mercury. I stared at it for awhile, unable to figure out what it was supposed to be. I decided after a time to touch it. It was the only thing really for me to interact with in that place. 

“As soon as my finger made contact with the surface, it washed over me and I felt as though I was suffocating for an instant. Then everything was black. I was sure I had died, but I could feel my lungs pulling air and my heart racing in my chest.

Read more tomorrow…