Friday, September 18, 2009
The Darkness - #FridayFlash
It was difficult to remember how it was before The Darkness. They had always been there, or so she was told. There in their midst, working, playing. There was little to distinguish them from the rest. She hadn’t known any, of that she was sure. She would have known, somehow she would have sensed it. She heard the stories. As a child they were told around the campfire, stories of blood-thirsty predators living among them. Creatures with razor teeth made for tearing meat from bones. Monsters in all but appearance. They were only stories she thought, tales to frighten foolish children. And then it started.
For hundreds of years they lived among them and hid well the darkness inside them. Perhaps it started with one; one lone creature tired of pretending. Soon there were whispers. She would hear her brothers talking at night while she lay in bed. They heard the rumblings of discontent and they worried. She caught pieces of conversations, frightening words. It was going to happen. They couldn’t stay.
Plans were made. Her father, a carpenter, had gone to find work over the Eastern Mountains. He found work in Logan, a small town on the other side. The family would pack their belongings, only what they could carry, and take the carriage over the mountains to father. The journey would take two days.
It all happened so quickly. She and mother had been wrapping the tiny white and blue porcelain vases in paper. They had been wedding gifts and mother treasured them. They chatted as they worked, deciding what to bring and what to leave. There was no warning, no change in the air or sound to alert them. It came through the window, a young man no more than fifteen, but faster than any human, and stronger. She remembered nothing else, but the noise and the broken pieces of mother’s favourite vases, white against the crimson blood.
This is an excerpt from a much longer story that I worked on, put away, and have recently dusted off again.