The Darkness

Submitted into Contest #27 in response to: Write a short story that ends with a twist.... view prompt



The darkness was coming. How I knew it, I couldn’t explain. But it was coming for us and one thing was clear in my mind. I needed to flee. My dad had already begun running and he was screaming my name over and over again, his voice gaining more and more strength. His legs hit the asphalt with the speed of drumsticks, played by a skilled drummer. His voice roaring my name started to get overpowered by the rain which gushed from the grey cloud-covered heaven. One side of the sky had changed to an intense black colour and it spread fast, like when you accidently knock down a glass of water, and it starts to ooze along the dining table. Even if my legs were glued to the ground, I realized that my only chance of survival was to move. I picked up my bag and ran towards dad who was already a few yards ahead of me. 

“Eliza! You have to run faster! The darkness is approaching!” he shrieked. The tone of his powerful cry would’ve, in an ordinary case, made me half-deaf. But over the sound of the booming thunder, it was barely audible. Dad rushed down an unlit alley and I followed him, in lack of own instincts. I tried to remember all of the turns. Left, right, right, straight forward, right, but the turns soon became too many and my already spinning head couldn’t keep up with the information. I turned my head and saw the terrifying reality of what we were escaping from. Everything placed under the dark side of the sky had turned into ash. The darkness was literally pulverizing everything in its way. 

People were running all over the place. A couple of old people who weren’t able to keep up with the inhabitants with fresher muscles, fell down to the ground and were turned instantly into ash the moment the darkness shadowed their weak bodies. My head would not turn back, it was physically impossible. The vision of all the dying people and my hometown steadily turning into nothingness was excruciating to watch. My clothes, soaking wet with sweat and rain, were itched to my body and my legs started to go stiff. 

I imitated my dad’s tiniest move, every sharp turn, every rattling breath. He increased the tempo as the darkness was closing in on us with rapid speed, and I fought to hang on. I had never been significantly athletic and my aching legs and my pounding heart were solid proof. I released the bag hanging across my gangly body and it fell to the rain-covered street. Even if the bag hadn’t weighed much, it was still a small relief when it left my shoulders. Then a thought suddenly hit me and I stopped dead in my tracks. 

“DAD, OUR HOUSE!” I cried, my throat vibrating, in the rain that kept flooding down. Our simplistic red cottage would be shadowed by the darkness within a few seconds, and then disappear with it. 

“We can hardly carry it with us. Come on Eliza, we have to keep moving!” And the both of us spurted on. I wondered if the darkness would stop spreading when it reached a certain limit or something. I strongly doubted it would. Only a few minutes ago, the sun had been shining and its beams were casting light over the city. But now the feeling of my bronze-coloured skin cracking of cold was overwhelming. 

I pinched my arm while continuing to speed forward. Two red marks appeared in my frozen skin, but I didn’t feel any pain. But I didn’t wake up either. Sweat was  sippering between my shoulderblades, along my spine and I shuddered. 

This can’t be real.

The thought repeated itself in my head. The ground, buildings and people getting pulverized, it wasn’t something that possibly could happen. No, it couldn’t. No. Right? 

My chocolate coloured waves for hair were whirling behind me in the wind, I could almost feel the straws of hair tangling together and forming snarls and knots. My whole body was shivering, and the thin fabric of my t-shirt was not improving the situation. 

“Make it stop!” I yelled to no one in particular, however the voice of mine was too soft to cut through the roaring thunder. The once white sandals on my feet were not ideal to run in, and as a result of that, deep red blood was leaking from two large abrasions.

This isn’t real. This isn’t real. This isn’t real. 

I pinched myself again and to my disappointment nothing happened, aside from creating two new nail-formed marks. 

Maybe this was an extremely powerful dream, I thought, maybe a dream in which I need to do something more severe than pinching for it to cease?

We ran on a street lined with stalls. A market had been taking place just before the darkness arrived, I swiftly remembered. Now, almost every stall had collapsed due to the strong wind. On my left, I could glimpse a box filled with shining objects. When we came closer, I realized what they were. 

They were guns. 

Without thinking I stopped and grabbed one of the many metal handles. I kept on moving my legs while looking down at the object clutched in my hand. I held it in a steady grip, like my life depended on it. Which, for the record, it did. Suddenly four squiggly words appeared carved in the cold steel. 

I am the solution. 

Unknowing of what the hell I was doing - as if someone else controlled my limbs - I pointed the barrel to my foot and simply pressed the trigger. A loud bang seared through the storm and a wave of pure pain consumed me. And then I fell. Fell into nothingness. 

But it didn’t take long before my eyelids opened wide again. I sat up with a jerk. A plain unlit room with light green walls and way too many bookshelves appeared in my field of view. Outside of the windows a cobbled street lightened by yellow streetlights and red cottages on the sides could be seen. 

I was home. It had been a dream. 

I took a deep breath of relief, but when I did so an agonizing pain welled up inside of me. It hurt so much, I couldn’t think and I couldn’t locate where the torturous agony was coming from. My own howl filled the room. I lifted the quilt I had been sleeping beneath with a shivering hand and saw a big, gory hole in my left foot. Pictures from the dream flashed before my eyes. Panic filled every cell of my body, until it almost overpowered the inflaming anguish pounding in my foot. I raised my left hand from under the quilt, afraid of what I would discover. My suspicion was confirmed when I looked, because in my hand rested a cold silver gun with three letters carved into the shiny metal. And when I with difficulty opened it, one of the shining bullets were missing. 

February 05, 2020 11:43

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Margie Ricca
13:13 Feb 14, 2020

Very well written. I was holding my breath, hoping it was a dream. The tension was building throughout the story and the sentences conveyed the sense of motion very well. Good job.


Lilly Isabelle
20:39 Feb 15, 2020

Thank you so much! This comment really means A LOT to me. I’m from Sweden and this is one of my first short stories I’ve written and actually submitted in English. Your words gave me some hope, thank you :D


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.