A Tribute to Darkness

A Tribute to Darkness

A Story by Eddie Gao

My head sunk into the softness of the pillow, toy cars hidden under the mattress clinking under my weight. Here, here in the light I was safe. Safe from the unknown, the demons that lurked in shadows and feasted off the fear of small children like me. Even so, my little hands pulled the duvet up over my head. Maybe if they couldn’t see me they would ignore me. The floorboards started to creak, closer; I bit my lip until my teeth cut into flesh. I clasped my hands so tight together that they turned white in the process. In my head, among images of colourful crayons and scribbled ABC’s, lurked the image of the monsters that haunted me. That came to me every night. A pair of large hands pulled the duvet off my face, and my mother’s kind features descended down towards me, kissing me good night on my rough, wind-burnt cheeks.

 

I knew that the fight between her and me I would never win. She would never lose. She had the power to simply flick that deadly switch that hung in the corner of my room, almost just out of reach. My screams did not help, in fact, they made it all worse. The yelling, the tantrums, mother said that good, nice children were well behaved and went to sleep without fuss and when their mother and father told them to. Of course back then her word was law, and yet my fear pushed me to breach those laws. To penetrate the black fence the switch mother turned on and off had made around me. “Good night luv. Sleep tight!” The light goes off and the door slams shut. Shadows appear out of nowhere and the monsters come out to torment me. I open my mouth, and let a scream tear through me.

*** ***

Grandpa took me out for a walk the next night. Playfully scooping me up in his tanned, wrinkled arms, the darkness, the monsters surrounding us became nothing to me. Placing me softly on the dank and dirty ground after endless circles of spinning I had insisted on, my legs buckled beneath me, and giggling, I collapsed dizzily into the grass. At first, grandpa’s concerned face loomed over mine, searching for any injuries. Then, realizing there were none, he bent down and lied right next to me. His strong, heavy smell of petrol and oil and the scent of damp grass wafted towards me and strangely, somehow, it was comforting.

 

It was at that moment, in fact, that I looked up. The night sky, black as black, I could not name. In this sweet moment of realization, the hundreds upon thousands of glittering stars descended towards us, grandpa and grandson, from all the far corners of the huge expanse of darkness that was the night.

“Look grandpapa, look! See all the stars? Imagine if we were up there with them.” My high-pitched voice exclaimed, unafraid of anything.

“Boy, close your eyes. We are up there with them. We can do anything we want to do. Be anything we want to be. It’s called freedom, my boy.”

Up there, in the darkness the monsters and creatures from my nightmares used to crawl in, was freedom. I could do anything I wanted to do. Be anything I wanted to be. The idea of it was incomprehensible to me, but my small, childish mind grasped it tightly, clinging on to this newfound wisdom. After that, all I can recall is the feeling of my delicate eyelids closing, of being slowly lifted up, up into the stars and the honeyed darkness engulfing me.

*** ***

I lay in my bed. Teddy bear shoved discreetly under my pyjama top, I lay there, impatiently waiting for the words: “Goodnight luv. Sleep tight.”

I shoved my duvets off of me, tiptoeing across the noisy floorboards like a silent thief towards the closed curtains. Walking around in the darkness, nothing was actually there. No monsters. No demons. No scary creatures leeching off of my blood. Just pure silence, and nothing more. My hands pulled back a curtain, and dark light flooded my vision. And pressing my face to the cold, frosty glass peering at the beautiful, glimmering night sky, I gasped.

 

© 2012 Eddie Gao


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Featured Review

:O This is amazing! While reading it I felt the purity of the child's mind creep in and before I knew it I was feeling every thought the crossed the child's mind. Ever sentence had such fine detail that everything I needed was given to me at the correct moment. A wonderful piece of work! Well worth the read! Keep it up!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Eddie Gao

8 Years Ago

Thanks! I was quite proud of this piece at the time of it's completion. Great to have some encourage.. read more



Reviews

this is a cool story about darkness

Posted 8 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

:O This is amazing! While reading it I felt the purity of the child's mind creep in and before I knew it I was feeling every thought the crossed the child's mind. Ever sentence had such fine detail that everything I needed was given to me at the correct moment. A wonderful piece of work! Well worth the read! Keep it up!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Eddie Gao

8 Years Ago

Thanks! I was quite proud of this piece at the time of it's completion. Great to have some encourage.. read more

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Added on September 3, 2012
Last Updated on September 3, 2012

Author

Eddie Gao
Eddie Gao

Cambridge, AZ, United Kingdom



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