Is the World Ending?
A short story about darkness
“I’m freezing, Sid.” Daisy shivered. “It’s dark and cold. I fear the sun is never coming back.”
“I’m cold, too.” He tried to suppress shivering, but that made him tremble more.
“Should we try to find the sun?”
Where could the sun be? He knew every nook and cranny of their world, which until yesterday provided all they needed—food, hollows for hiding, clean water, warmth, and especially light.
It would be dangerous to search for the sun in pitch blackness. Even though they had never encountered predators, Sid’s instincts told him monsters lurked in the darkness. Some with rows of sharp teeth that could slice Sid and Daisy in half instantly, others with long, powerful tentacles that would drag them into ravenous mouths, swallowing them whole.
Sid’s father once told him, “What you can’t see will eat you.” Death and darkness were synonymous.
“Let’s go to the castle,” Sid suggested.
“Why? There’s no light there, either.”
“We’ll be safe from the monsters because they can’t fit through the door.” I hope.
“Yes.” Daisy understood about the monsters. Before they met, she lived in an infinite expanse, where she had watched a behemoth with luminescent, blue eyes, boney exoskeleton, and long needle-shaped teeth consume her mother in a single bite. “Safer.” She forced a half-smile. “We’ll keep each other warm until the sun comes back.”
“If the sun comes back.” Pessimism wasn’t Sid's nature, but denying their bleak future would make them more miserable. The world was ending, and they were biding time until their lives ended, too.
“I love you, Daisy.”
“I love you, Sid.”
They fell asleep pressed tightly together.
Thunderous vibrations woke them. “Do you feel that?” Daisy asked.
“An earthquake? Monsters? Have they found us?” Sid was too terrified to look out the castle window.
“Honey, the fish tank lamp is out.” The man plodded into the living room and dropped his keys on the coffee table.
“Can you change it? I’m unpacking,” came the reply from the bedroom. “There’s a spare bulb in the front hall closet, top shelf.”
“Do you think they’re okay? It must have been pitch black in there the whole weekend.”
“They’re fish. I’m sure they’re fine.”
If you enjoyed this story, I think you’ll also like John Martin’s Universe.
Fiction by Bill Adler is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.