Darkness

She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.

The door was colored white, but she could see through the exposed scars the original grain of the wood. Through the door was black. Calling it “dark” would be an understatement. It seemed she had found the negative side of a positive world. Miniscule pulses beat in her ear, waiting for the apparent danger to jump out. But it didn’t, for her world was not fantasy. In reality the monster in the closet always ended up being the coat and scarf. And the darkness was lifted with the flick of a switch.

Flick.

The blackness remained though.

Flick. Flick.

It was a simple mechanical problem. Electricity had stopped somewhere on current, a silent heart attack ending with the death of the light bulb. She shook her head. Metaphors like that didn’t belong in the regular world. Heart attacks were only things to be feared and resented. Like the black that surrounded her. It scared her more than any creature could. She was done being inside of its grip. But now the door was shut. It was the reason the black came into being. She needed it dead, buried somewhere far way in her memory. But the handle couldn’t be found. She groped the wall trying to find it.

Scratch

The blackness remained though.

Scratch. Scratch.

The problem was easy enough. A simple turn of knob, the metallic hand she was desperate to grab hold of. Her breath quickened, trying to keep pace with her racing heart. But her mind roped the two like mad cattle and settled them down with a long sigh. She wiped the sweat from her head. This time she would stick with the metaphor. It gave her confidence. That extra boost needed for the highnoon showdown. She was feeling even better. Brow glaring in some unknown direction she lunged forward until she struck something.

It was soft.

The confidence was gone.

There was something else there. It was soft.

The problem was no longer easy. She had thought before that the stifling air was caused by the closed door, but now it was apparent it came from another source. It had too. She was not crazy in believing the stories of the thing in the woods. Finding the book in the library proved that. If it was in a book, clearly sectioned under N-O-N, there was no way it could be fiction. She had brought the book home, read it cover to cover. It said they liked the blackness of deep caves.

Check.

It said they smelled like dust and old clothes

Check. Check.

The problem was hard now. Stuck inside the black with the very thing she was looking for, but didn’t expect to find. She was trapped. She could feel the teeth and claws soon approaching.

Knock.

“Hey sweetie, it’s time for bed.”

Knock. Knock.

Her father opened the door and flicked on the light, pushed back the coats and leaned down low. “Silly bean, aren’t you frightened to play in the dark like that?” She shook her head as he picked her up. It wasn’t dark inside, just black.


This story was prompted by the directions to write a story following the first line, “She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.”

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