“It’s black!” Dominic shouted as he jumped from his sweat riddled sleep. He squinted and wiped his eyes as his sweat spilled into them. He sat there, catching his breath as the dark images seemed to leave just as quickly as they came. He stood up off his bed and looked out the window to see his sweat covered pajamas reflection. He was glad that he wore a black shirt and blue pajama pants since you could barely see the sweat that stained them from each nightmarish night. He didn’t want his family to know of his terror filled dreams; his father would think him mad and wouldn’t give an asylum a second thought. Dominic would be locked up the second he described them.
He looked to the sky to see a moonless night. He thought to himself that it must be the clouds covering his only companion. He once believed that the moon was his dead mother, wiping away his nightmares with her bright glow. He loved the moon then but after he passed his middle school years, he realized it was just a big ball of rock like every other planet. Even after this realization, he still believed it to be there for him. While his friends forsake him, the moon always lit his nights, but not tonight.
Even on a cloudy night, he could still see some small ray of light, a small glimmer of its surface. But tonight, all he could see was darkness, no shadows to be seen, not even a candle from a nearby house. “The power must be out throughout the whole neighborhood,” he thought as he tripped over the mess on his floor. As he stumbled through the dark, he became paranoid. The rustling outside the window, the floor creaking, something scurrying under the bed, all these noises sounded ten times louder in the dark. With each sound came a new paranoia, and a new un-soothing logical explanation.
Even though every step felt more threatening, he moved on until he stepped on something red with his bare feet. It felt like the sharp end of a knife, the pain was almost unbearable. As he fell to the ground in pain, he could only fear the worst. He squealed in pain as he thought of how much of girl he sounded like right then and what the heck did he step on. He landed on the floor and quickly grabbed his foot to check for injury only to find a Lego piece stuck to his foot. He sat there and cursed his little brother under his breath in ways that would make a nun cry.
He stood up and grabbed his green flashlight while trying to navigate the minefield that was his room. Once he was out his room, he walked to his little brother’s room to silently scold him while drawing many undesirable things on his brother’s face. He slowly pushed the door which creaked louder as it opened more. He quietly walked toward his brother’s bed and found that his brother was not in it. He thought this strange since his brother hadn’t slept in his parents’ bedroom in 3 years. Even when the power went out, the boy insisted on being “A MAN” yet he’d eventually rush into Dominic’s room crying, “Please let me sleep in here, I don’t want dad to yell at me.” To which Dominic would laugh and make him sleep on the floor. He wasn’t trying to be mean; he just liked punishing his annoying little brother.
Dominic walked out of his brother’s room and went to his father’s room to see if they were both there. The corridor was long and with each step, the floor creaked louder and louder. Growing nearer the creak became boisterous noise that nauseated Dominic. As he neared the door, a foul scent overcame him and he almost fell over. Paranoid, he quickly opened the door and dropped his flashlight. He fell to his knees in horror, he was speechless. He started to remember his nightmares, as he sat there in silence. He tried to cry but he couldn’t, he had no fluids in his body. He slowly went pale and his vision started to go black.
Dominic awakened but did not open his eyes. He knew what was right in front of him. He did not want to see them again. He reasoned with himself that he needed to open his eyes; he needed to see if he was to escape this nightmare. He slowly opened his eyes and just as he remembered, they were still right in front of him. The flashlight shined on their guts that were strewn about as if they removed by some feral animal. Their bodies sliced open from their stomachs to their necks, clawed open by some vicious monster that only resides in the dark. Their faces, frozen in horror and pale as the moonlight, made Dominic cry in agony. They were placed back to back as if they were tied together but there were no ropes nearby.
As Dominic looked, He realized that what scared him the most was their blood. It was that the blood was black. Even in the darkness, he could see color but as he looked at the mangled bodies, only black was the color he could see. Even worse, this black muck looked as if after the murder, the killer sat down and drank it. As he stared, his nightmares became reality.
“What have I done?” Dominic cried as the images came slowly back.
He remembered the anger, the fire in his belly as his father yelled at him for the umpteenth time about his meaningless grades. He remembered his brother crying, “Please stop,” but it wasn’t to his father, it was to Dominic as he stabbed his father over and over again with his bare fist. He threw his father’s dying carcass against the wall then went for his brother. He remembered throwing his brother to where their father lay. He remembered that the moonlight was gone.
Then something happened, as he stood there staring at his dying father and crying brother. Some form of darkness consumed him, it grabbed at him, it soothed him. The darkness became him. And as he felt this fiery anger and power consume him, he saw the shadows lift his father and brother into the air back to back. In the air, the shadows went through both of their chests and as it split them open, his little brother screamed. The scream became imprinted to Dominic’s mind as he remembered that after their deaths; he got down and began to lap at the dark blood as if he was some kind of animal. As this happened, his memories grew dark and vanished after that.
Dominic stood up and walked out the bedroom and into the kitchen. He was eerily calm, but still pale. As he walked into the kitchen, he brushed white hair out of his face and then realized his hair was white. He chuckled for second but it died quickly, he grabbed a glass and poured some cold water into it. He looked into the water and saw the reflection of the kitchen clock. Right when he looked, the clock struck midnight and his iPhone rung. He took it out his pocket and noticed an alarm that said: “Happy birthday, blow out the candles.” He stared the phone for what seemed like an eternity but then dropped it. He ran outside and knocked on the next door neighbor’s door, no answer. He looked through the window but all he could was the piled up shadows spilling out the same black goo. He ran to the next house and the next but was only greeted with the same images. He ran to the sign at the end of the street that labeled their little neighborhood. “Friendswood, Texas” he read in quickly in his head as he turned around and around looking for life. Dominic fell onto the street crying, holding his head in his hands.
“I’ve been gone for 2 weeks” he cried into his hands, searching his memories for the last two weeks of his life.
He sat in the street crying, He felt like couldn’t move. He felt broken, destroyed. He held his hands to his face until he felt a growing warmth from far away. He opened his hands and looked around until he noticed a light off in the distance. He quickly stood up and ran towards it, breathing hard. He hoped for warmth from this dark dimension. As he drew closer, he slowed down. It was a waste high trophy stand with a note attached to it and a lit birthday candle on top. The trophy stand was old, chipped and scratched but had been recently been painted dark shade of brown. The candle atop it was new and had just been lit. Its colors felt as if they were mocking Dominic as they were mainly red. The note was made of old newspaper with all the news ripped off and only the headline remaining. While it was old paper, it was a local newspaper that was printed that very day.
The headline read “Happy birthday Dominic, from your only companion.”