An unfortunate soul stumbles across a long forgot terror.
Even now my hand shakes as I scratch out these words that I do not doubt to be among my last. The sun will soon be setting but I have to say something. People have to know, don’t they?
I recall my days of certainty. The time when I, like so many others, was sure of my place in the word. Ours is the unbridled arrogance of maggots crawling in the steaming refuse of a dog, and declaring ourselves kings.
From every corner of the globe, from every point in time our ancestors put it down in stories, wrote about it in books, drew pictures on cave walls. With all our scientific progress we deluded ourselves into thinking we had finally come into the light, that we understood the world as our ignorant forebears never could have. Like thinking oneself an epicureans as you drag your tongues up the glass pane of a window.
Forgive my rabbling. I must calm my nerves and steel my mind if I am too finish in time. Already I can see the light is fading around the edges of the nicotine stained motole curtains.
When did it start? How long have I been here? Oh God, I can still see it, like there is a part of it in my mind, as if the simple act of seeing the evil thing infected my poor brain causing the weak meat to begin its premature but inevitable rott. I was in an alleyway. I was taking the trash out to dumpster behind my apartment. It was an alleyway off an alleyway with only the dull reflections an aging street light. I was walking back to my apartment when I heard a sound. It was a sound that created in my mind the picture of some poor animal having it life extinguished as its neck is crushed in the jaws of great beast, the cervical vertebrae popping and crunching as they separate and collapse, but the sound was nothing like the cry of an animal. It was the most infinitely terrible sound that I have ever heard and, in some long dormant part of my mind, what it had evoked this most lucid image of death.
Instinctively I turned and at first I saw nothing. Just the dumpster, the alley, and the old wooden fence with my shadow stretches out into long jagged features over its old warped slats. Something was wrong and, dear God I wish I had not looked, I suddenly realized there was no light behind me to cast the shadow. I glanced over my shoulder to confirm it and when I looked back it knew I had seen it. The damned, hateful, noxious patch of darkness I had taken to be my own shadow stared into me without the use of any eyes at all. The part of it that corresponded to my right arm stretched out into the air, slowly grasping toward me with long sickle talons, and I could not move. My heart throbbed fit to burst when, without warning, the whole space was flooded with beautiful blinding light. It was a car that had come around the corner with its high beams on. My head swam in a wave of relief so intense I thought it would drown me but I manage to pull myself together. As I staggered back to my apartment it was all I could do to not break into a full sprint back to the safety of the light.
The next morning I was so sure what I had seen was not real. It was nothing more than my imagination. My modern sensibilities would not allow me to even consider the idea that it might have been real. The idea of anything of a thing so completely beyond the realms of scientific understanding was so antithetical to my rational mind, I could not overcome my bias to save my own life. But, luckily some primal instinct had been awoken in my unconscious mind and before the sun went down the next day I was well inside. My security door was locked and I had every light I owned from the light outside my door to the one in my bathroom was glowing brightly. There was no doubt in my mind how silly I was being but I did it all the same. All I can recall about that terrible night was the fantastic chaos I heard just outside my door. There was the most titanic thrashing and scratching and scraping. I did not sleep at all and yet, the next morning my logical, sophisticated mind decided it was nothing more than a very bad dream. Someone would have heard it. Someone would have hear the cacophonous racket and they would have come to see what it was.
That day as I struggled blearily through work, I refused the consider any action that might acknowledge it as more than a dream but that night when I came home and found the light outside my apartment door was completely out, I was struck with the most intense tremors in my hands and legs. A sudden and abject horror awoke in me and I must have caught the attention of my neighbors as I lost all control, I smashed a dozen light bulbs in frustration as I tried to get the damned thing to light but nothing would do. I could find nothing wrong with the fixture and not a one of the bulbs emit even a hint of light. As the sun was setting, someone pounded on my door, yelling for me to clean up the glass but even if it had been the cries of my own mother begging for safety, I do not think I could have made myself open that door.
Thoughts of the light outside my apartment drove me into my bedroom where I shut and locked the door. Again, I was beset by that most horrifying tumult but now it was inside my apartment. Just as before the extreme noise seemed to go completely unnoticed by anyone but myself.
I have heard it said that a world of darkness can not snuff out a single candle, but I am forced to wonder what they based this statement on. Do not all lights go out at some point. How can any one know it is not the darkness swallowing them up. This was the thought consumed me as I watched my door through the night listening to the insufferable clamer. I did not sleep at all until the sun came up and shown against my window.
When at last I did awake, I found the lights in my living room to be dark and nothing I could try would make them shine again. My phone rang a number of times that day as I tried in vain to make the lights work again. Maybe it was my work, maybe it was the landlord; I do not know. That night I did not know what to do and I was paralyzed with fear. It was only when I heard the scratching outside my bedroom door that I was shake back to myself and I do not know if I cried out or not but what I saw seeping around the edges of that door was worthy of it. There is nothing I can do to make you understand what I saw. There are no words I have ever heard the can express it and I dare to say that it maybe a thing simply beyond the feeble mind of humankind. I fled to the bathroom and when I came to, I was laying in my bathtub curled into a ball and my eyes were red with wetness.
After awakening, I did not test the lights in my bedroom. I did not waste a second past the moment I was sure the sun would be up. I left there in a dead sprint, and once in my car I drove as fast and as far as I could, as far as I dared to drive and still be sure to find a place to stay before dark. I know the motel room I stayed in that night is not the one I am in tonight. How many nights have passed in between then and now, I do not know. I have acquired a pistol, never mind how, it is on the table as I write this. I am not so much fool as I was, my arrogance is all gone. I know I have no power to fight this thing. There is only one thing to be done. I will not let it have me. I will not be it’s fotter. I will sleep at last.