The Darkness

dark city

My alarm woke me up. I am getting ready for work just like every other day.  Everything is as usual.  This is just another Friday in my life. The weatherman is saying that it is going to be cold.  I better not forget my jacket. On my way to work, I get a message from my friend. I know it is illegal and not the best option to drive and text but I really wanted to know what he wanted. I will just read it. It will be fast. “This is super strange. Right now it’s 8:03 am and the sun hasn’t risen yet.” I hadn’t even noticed.  It was true.  Usually, the sunrise is at 7:00 am. What is this?  How is possible? I haven’t heard anything about this on the weather. There are no eclipses or anything like that. I turn the radio on.  I need to know what is going on. Every single radio station says the same thing. No one has any idea of what is happening. At this point, the best option is to go back home. “Trisha, do you know what is going on?” I ask this as soon as she picks up. “Scientifically there is no reason. There is drama on TV. People are saying this is the end of the world. You know the apocalypses everyone said it was supposed to happen.” She was crying by the time she said the last word. “Sister, stay at home with the kids. Call your husband and tell him to come back home. We will be in touch. One more thing; stay calm.” I try to sound secure of myself.

The car in front of me is being stupid. He is driving with no control at all. He got off the road and crashed into a stop sign. I am debating whether to help him or not when another car crashes against him. It seems everyone is going crazy. Driving back home is like watching a movie. Everyone is out of their mind. There is a guy leaving his two girls in the middle of the road.  There are people running in the streets. There is a guy thinking of committing suicide. I pass by the grocery store and I have only two options. Either people are rich or they are stealing things now. Apparently, this whole mess has made people forget how to drive. Red lights have no meaning at all now. I wonder what is going on in their heads. I know that what is happening is beyond any comprehension but why take things this way.  Is there something I don’t know?

I finally made it home. I have to be honest I feel a huge relieve. The road is way too dangerous right now. There was a 75 % chance of dying on the way home. My mind is looking for reasons to explain this. I got lost in my thought. I am still sitting in my car. Would this be the last time I will look at this house?  I better get inside and find information about this. I decide to stay as calm as possible. I turn my TV and computer on, and I close all the windows.  With all the madness I saw on the streets I better be careful. I make sure to text all my family and make sure they are fine.  I check my social media but there is a mess in there too. I am trying to check my bank account when I lose my electricity.

I have prepared myself with a kitchen knife and hide it inside my jacket. I try to find out why I don’t have light. Apparently, the whole neighborhood has the same issue. There is a bunch of people looking for the same answer as me. “Hey, my friend how are you doing?” This guy I have only seen one time in my life before is talking to me. “I didn’t know we were friends. What do you need?”  I said with a loud voice and that made other people look at me. “I only need food. So what about if you share?” he was now running towards me. He was next to me in just one blink. He was chocking me. Everyone just ran to their houses. There was no one around us in a matter of seconds.  I stab him. I could feel the blood on my hand. The warmth of his body was going to fade soon. I just took my knife and walked home. It was in self-defense I told myself again and again.

I killed someone. That was all I could text to my friend. He never responded back to me. I waited for a few hours and there was still no answer. Time passed but I could still feel his blood on my hand. I have washed my hands 7 times now. My computer has some battery left so I focus on finding information. The last update was at 9:00 am. Since then there is no news. I guess nobody wants to work. “All businesses are close now. There a lot of dead people in the streets. Are you okay?” My sister’s text makes me snap back to this world. “All good. I don’t have power so I will try to text u just for the necessary stuff.” I cannot tell her what I did. I am afraid of her reaction. I need to forget it and move on. It was his life or mine.

It’s now 6:00 pm and the temperature is getting way colder than I would expect. Since the sun never got out the cold is eating my bones.  I need to find something to eat. With all these feelings it is impossible to eat. There is also one more thing now. I know I am being watched. I can’t figure out from where or what this sensation is but it is really making my nerves go nuts. The worst part is that I know there is nobody inside or outside the house. I check and I find nothing. I try to calm myself and breath. I am sitting on my couch with my coffee in my hand when there is a noise outside. It sounds like someone wants to steal my car. I run outside to check and there was nobody. I check every place and there isn’t a sign of anyone out here. I must tell you that seeing the city this dark makes me shiver. It’s creepy, scary, and makes me feel vulnerable and even with everything shut down I can feel eyes burning on my back. Paranoia is the perfect word to describe the state I am in at this point.

I need to be wide awake and alert for anything. That is the message my body is giving me. I feel a lot of energy. I choose to check all the supplies I have. My family plan is to wait for today to pass by and see what is next. Right now the challenge is to keep yourself out of danger. I have water, some canned foods, and a bunch of food getting bad in the fridge. I have packed all the weapons I can use in my backpack. Also, I pack some medicine just in case. My computer is out of battery and my phone has 30% of battery left. Looking at it I realize my sister hasn’t text me and I haven’t texted her either.

I hear the loudest scream I have ever heard. My skin got little bumps everywhere. After the scream came the crying. I know I should not go out but I haven’t even processed the thought when I am outside. I found a wife crying next to her husband’s body. He is hanging on a tree. She was yelling “no, no, no.” I just ran back home. How could he kill himself? I mean I killed someone but I don’t think I can do it to myself.  I immediately start to think about how the horrible feeling of knowing you may die makes you do it to yourself.   At least he chose his own way to leave this crisis. On the other hand, he is he a loser for doing it? Are we supposed to pass some kind of test here? Is there a right and wrong answer?  I am way more confused now. I mean why are we fighting? Is there something good waiting for us in the future? We don’t know anything and we are all here making assumptions. I am here laying down on my bed just making more knots in my mind.

I decide there is one thing I want to do. I am calling her. It does ring but she doesn’t pick up. Three calls later I decide to text her. “I am sorry I waited to say this until now. I love you! If this is not the end of the world I promise I will do something romantic. I will ask you to be my girlfriend. I will try to make us happen.”  I send the message and I don’t know why I did it. I don’t know if I really love her or I just wanted to have something waiting for me. I also did this not knowing she w already dead and she would never see this text.

Time keeps running. My phone is dead now. This changes my situation.   I need to move to my sister’s house. In a couple of minutes, I have almost all my things in the car. I need to get more water just in case I run out. I want to move as fast as I can. I have 5 dead neighbors and those are just the ones I know of. The sensation of being watched comes back.  I am getting my backpack into the car when I hear some voices in the back of the house. I close my car and try to hide in the trees.  I think I am about to see who is there when everything goes black.

I wake up lying on the floor, in front of my house door and with and with a bloody nose. Everything is still in my car. I am alive and that is strange. I know there was someone here. Was I really being robbed?   I look at my door and it is open. My watch says it is 9:37 pm and the temperature is dropping more every hour. I check the house and everything is fine. I am starting to wonder if I am not having hallucinations. There it was, the difference that I was looking for. There is a woman sitting on my table. “What are you doing in my house? Who are you?” I ask with heavy breathing. I am suddenly unable to speak. This feeling is like I don’t have air in my lungs. She stands up and walks closer and closer to me. “Your nose is bleeding and you look really tired.” She says just 3 centimeters away from me. I feel a heat running down my spine. I must say I am really afraid of her. I think about killing her when she kisses me. I get a headache in a matter of seconds. I try to move my body but there is no response from any part of my body. “I am here as a replacement. I was assigned to be here with you. I have to tell you I don’t like when people don’t know how to follow orders. You do as I say and we will be in better terms, I highly recommend you obey all my commands.” She touches my head and all the pressure that was there is gone.

Shooting wakes me up. I can’t get used to having her next to me. “You want to go and see?” she asks. I can’t even look at her so I just nod. You remember the guy who hanged himself on a tree? I am looking at his wife with another guy. Something in him tells me that he is like the girl walking next to me. “You and your girlfriend should go back home. This is getting way more out of control.  A kid has just been killed in a robbery. I saw the guys running with some food.” he says to me. He grabs her hand and she follows him. In her eyes, I can see emptiness. I was so confused by him. I was trying to understand the connection between him and this girl. Then, it hits me what he said. To other people, this woman is my girlfriend but I never said that.  And then I remember that she calls herself a replacement.

It’s 3:00 in the morning now and all I want is to know if I will see the sun again. I can feel how the hours have passed but also I can feel my memories getting blurrier. For some reason I cannot remember who was the person I loved, I forgot my brother’s face, and I cannot remember who my boss at work was. I fell to sleep for approximately an hour. In that hour I lost those memories. I am pretty sure of that. I am afraid to sleep now. I know she is the one taking them. I turn to look at her and she is just there looking at the ceiling. I don’t know what I was expecting. “You want to keep them?”  she asks. “Yes, I do,” I respond. “You will remember everything. The persons you love family, friends and every single person you knew. Also, you will know who is missing, who is not in your family anymore. Everyone will forget expect you.  The person you kill, that memory will be there too.  You will have a vivid memory of this day when everyone else will have a less horrible memory of it. If you think keeping them will help you to understand and know who and why I am here you are wrong.  There is nothing you will be able to do. All you will have to do is to follow what I say. Otherwise, you could die. I am supposed to wipe your memories, but if you promise to keep up with me and be no trouble I will let you keep them. If in the future you don’t I will destroy those memories.” She says with the most unreadable face. There were no emotions on it. “I will keep them and I will follow your lead. “I say it with a little doubt but I say it.

I wake up with her by my side. She is wide awake. “Is this the end of the world?” I finally ask. “No.  This is just a change. Come on! I think you want to see this.” She said to me with a little smile on her face. She is pointing to the horizon and you can see the sun begin to rise. I look at my watch is 7:10 am. Saturday, November 1st.  I feel a happiness of seen those colors again.

After a week I am able to see how everyone forgot part of their past. I can fully see the change. My own family is on it. Members of it are gone and others are just not themselves and others are replaced. The only thing people know is that there was death, missing people, and a lot of damage in the city but no one questions it. Everyone just keeps living. I guess I must do the same.

Sometime later…….

“Why did you choose to keep your memories?” she asks me during the breakfast on an October, 30th. “Because that is the only thing I can truly say belongs to me. I may not have the same people with me but at least I can remember who we used to be.  I know they matter to me. I can lose them but never forget them.” I grab the hand of this creature who I know nothing about but somehow she is now the only thing I know is real. “Is it going to happen again? There will be no morning just like the past Halloween you had,” she says this looking into my eyes and she has the same cold face she had a year ago.

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