Hello friends/readers – this is a scifi story I wrote for my creative writing coursework and it quickly became my baby. I worked really really hard to create the right voice for Oliver (to be introduced) and honestly nearly all the words are there for a reason. I would really really seriously (yes I mean business) love some feedback/CONSTRUCTIVE criticism because I want the story to be the best it can be and I know my eyes alone won’t help it get there. Anyway so I used the song I Can Barely Breathe by Manchester Orchestra for all my inspiration and I would recommend it as good listening music to set the vibe. I was originally thinking because the story is set out in “entries” that I could post each one separately in hopes to boost Oliver’s story but I think I would prefer less people to read it but for the impact to hit harder…so I’m rambling and writing a long introduction because I’m really scared to post this story because it really did take a lot of work. I hope you enjoy and thank you so much for reading!
TLDR (too long didn’t read): this is a sci fi story and it took a long time to write please don’t be mean.
Before we came, they were selfish. Creatures who cared only for beauty and money. It was a laughable, miniscule existence – yet they seemed to think of themselves as gods. They tried to explore the stars as if there was nothing waiting just beyond their reach. But there was something there – we were there. Watching. Waiting. Laughing.
They called themselves a ‘civilization’. We thought of them as a joke. They spent their lives exchanging one thing for the next, trying to find the item that would make their lives happy, consuming until they faded. The worker bees sometimes donated their wealth or possessions to charity, and we watched as the queens – the high-profile, the elite, the world-recognised and the famous – only donated their time. We saw business conglomerates controlling people, and people controlling countries. We continued to observe as corruption spilled into their world, its presence just as strong as our own, and destroy everything it touched. And we raised our eyebrows when they all accepted it and ignorantly continued their futile lives, like ants all dedicating their lives to a queen without even realising it. We gazed and stared and gaped until we could no longer bear this absurd planet – its head had grown too big. We came down as one, and we brought devastation as one.
They called us ‘The Darkness’. We hadn’t been called that before. We were too advanced, too awe-inspiring and awful, too great, too absolute for them. We were incomprehensible to their puny brains.
When we came, they were eradicated. When we were done, we returned to our waiting place, out in deep space far beyond the nighttime of the sky. At some point, the entire galaxy will be aware of our might. We choose today to not be this day. For now, we are content to linger in our never-ending Darkness; watching, waiting, destroying.
I would never have been able to believe it until I saw it. I don’t think anyone was able to believe it; the claims were absurd, and many who saw it on the news thought it was a conspiracy and carried on with their lives – until they were killed. A mass of energy that seemed to come out of nowhere? It (they? I’m still unsure how to refer to them; ‘The Darkness’ had become a popular term. I thought it was too hopeful) came from deep space and managed to enter our orbit without anyone noticing.
Brian tried to warn me the day It came. He said something crazy had shown up on his screen – something he didn’t understand. Brian understood everything. I had a look at it and called Susan from the IT department. She said there was nothing wrong with the computer. I told Brian to keep an eye on it, that it was probably an anomaly and nothing to worry about. Brian came back twenty minutes later. The anomaly had grown bigger. I was having a bad day that day; I’d been arguing with Bella all morning and just wanted to sit at my desk, drink coffee and play solitaire on my computer – I was trying to beat my high score. I yelled at him. I told him to come back when the anomaly looked like it was going to destroy the world and then laughed cruelly as he stuttered and blushed. He left my office – I still remember this whole day so clearly (I remember every day too clearly). That’s when it happened.
There was a shudder, a slight tremor that ran through the world. My coffee fell off my table and I swore loudly. Brian knocked on my door. I swore loudly at Brian. He pointed at something. I looked out my window.
I shuddered, a slight tremor ran through my body. I was standing in the pool of coffee on the floor but I didn’t care. Nothing mattered at this point. It was too late. I remember laughing.
Brian died that day. Thousands of people did – but it’s Brian’s death that stuck with me. They say that only the guilty sleep in prison. I’m definitely in a prison; there’s no way to hide from The Darkness, they’ll take me when they want me. So all I can do is sleep at night and survive the days in a destroyed world.
Does that make me guilty?
My name is Oliver Truman. I’m 34. I have a wife. I have a home full of memories. I have a dog called Percy. I have a job and I make good money. But none of that means anything anymore. It doesn’t matter what my name is, how old I am. My personal life doesn’t matter. I’m sure my house has been looted and/or destroyed. Percy was lost within the first day – part of me likes to imagine him running free and wild and living the greatest life of a dog that ever lived. But I know it’s not true.
None of this matters. What I’m writing doesn’t matter. Who I am doesn’t matter. What I stand for doesn’t matter. My survival doesn’t even matter. If there’s one thing The Darkness taught us before it killed everyone, it’s humility. Not that humility matters at this point, either.
I don’t really know what use me writing this will have. None, really. No one will ever get the chance to read the ramblings of a man waiting for death, for Darkness. But it’s oddly soothing; unsettling, for sure. But soothing nonetheless. Maybe it’s just to make sure I don’t forget who I am? I guess until I die it’s important to remember who I was before the world went Dark.
Bella’s been ill for the last couple of days. I’ve been doing as much for her as I can, but other than sitting by her side and making sure her flannel stays cold there’s not much else for it. I hate feeling this useless. I asked Blackwall if I could go out with the ‘hunters’ (he seems to think we’re in some fantasy role-playing game) to try and find something to help Bella. He laughed in my face. Whoever let him be leader deserves what’s coming to them.
I don’t like or trust this group. I keep getting the feeling that everyone’s just waiting for something to snap. I might take Bella and leave. There’s an old woman I like here, too. She’s called Pop (I don’t know what’s with the names, apparently the end of the world is a good time to embrace who we really are). We call her that because she has these funny episodes and walks around in circles saying “pop!” over and over. It’s the only time she speaks. Maybe that’s why I like her?
We stumbled on this group after maybe three days of The Darkness. Quite literally, stumbled. We entered their camp without meaning to and they pretty much said join us and we’ll give you food or leave us and you get nothing. Suffice to say, we were hungry.
I still look up at the sky every few minutes or so. For some obscene reason, I keep hoping there’s something there to look at. But no, The Darkness remain. There’s probably no sky left whatsoever.
Okay, it’s time to leave. I overheard Blackwall saying the group needed to leave behind anyone holding us back – meaning Bella and Pop. Seriously, who is this guy?!
“You can’t just leave people behind!” I said. Maybe it’d be better to actually say it to him than just walk around murmuring it to myself. I know what he’d do, though. He’d laugh at me – like he always does.
Sky still non-existent.
Blackwall is missing. Him as well as two other ‘scouts’ (starting to kind of enjoy this RPG language).
They went to look for a new camp – the resources around us are starting to run low; we’ve pretty much picked the place clean. They left yesterday morning, and no one is allowed to stay out ‘overnight’ (not that night is any different to day anymore – for some reason time is the only human construct that still remains). According to Blackwall, nighttime is when The Darkness has most of its power.
How the fuck would he know?
Anyway, so he’s missing and everyone is all freaked out. I figure I should hang around for another day or two to make sure these people don’t start killing each other in their confusion. That’s how bad it is.
The earth is starting to die. Without any sunlight, the plants can’t photosynthesize. What happens when there’s no vegetation left? All the animals will starve to death. What happens then?
We starve to death.
Still no sky, just Darkness.
Okay, so three very strange things have happened. Whilst these three things are odd enough on their own, they all link together to form a triad of weirdness.
Blackwall’s body was found, along with the two others. The weird part? None of them had any eyes. There was no blood or gore as one would expect. Their eyes were simply not in their sockets anymore.
I threw up a lot.
The second strange thing was that I had a dream. This would not be strange if it weren’t for the third strange happening. After having this dream, I discussed it with the rest of the group. All at once, we realised since The Darkness came that none of us had had any dreams. Not a single person. Until now.
They’re starting to turn to me for answers I don’t have; they want to know why they’re taking our dreams along with our world. Why I’m able to dream. What to do, where to go. All I can give them is more questions.
Returning to my second strange point – the dream. It was not that exciting or scary. It didn’t leave me shaking and sweating in my tent. It did, however, lead me to our three dead members’ bodies. I was lying in my tent, just like in the real world, and I heard a rustle at the entrance. I unzipped it, and Bella (who’s doing much better now, thank you for remembering) asked me where I was going.
“Nowhere,” I told her.
Outside the tent were three pairs of eyes. Two brown pairs, and the dark grey eyes I recognised to be Blackwall’s. I followed these three sets of floating eyes. They led me to their owners, and then, their job done, levitated into The Darkness.
The whole thing was very matter-of-fact.
It got me thinking; people are scared, obviously. I’m scared, obviously. But no one seems as terrified as they should be. There’s chaos, I won’t pretend there’s not. But in the grand scheme of things, considering the shit storm that’s been going on, I would expect a lot more terror in people’s eyes.
Eyes eyes eyes eyes eyes. Eyes everywhere.
Something weird is going on.
Still no sign of change in the sky. But ever since my dream, I’m sure every now and then I’ve seen two tiny, circular balls floating up and up and up.
I saw sunlight today. The others say I didn’t but I know it – there’s no other feeling. I was lying outside on a rug with my eyes shut and all of a sudden I felt that warm sliver on my cheek – you know the one – and it flushed half of my face into the purest joy one can ever find. I opened my eyes and there it was – between the swirling Darkness of doom and destruction; a single, tiny, miniscule, microscopic but oh-so-delicious ray of sunshine. Just one single ray.
Just one. But it was life.
I haven’t had anything to drink in two days.