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The premise of Light No More is inspired by the short Creepypasta Electronics. Credit for the original basis and inspiration of Light No More goes to Brandon Flowers.
My name is Gunnar Black. There isn't much time left for me, and forcing myself to collect my thoughts in this notepad is the only thing keeping me from falling apart. Frankly, there isn't much time for anybody, but if you're reading this, then perhaps this isn't the apocalypse it seems. I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm new to this whole "final days" logbook sort of thing. Let me explain how this all started.
Thinking back, I suppose that it was several weeks ago when all this trouble with technology began. It was just a minor inconvenience at first. I’d be watching some TV, or playing some Team Fortress 2, when suddenly my computer would shut down. Other times I’d be cooking something in the oven, and it’d turn off halfway through, leaving me with uncooked meatloaf. Pissed me off too because I used to love meatloaf. I eventually called an electrician who said that the wiring in my dorm was in all in working order.
Oh.... that's right. If you couldn't put two and two together based on where you found this thing, then you should know that I'm in the US Air Force. (That's why I live in a shitty old dormitory. Budget cuts and all that. I bitch about it a lot.) So for anybody out there thinking that this is some huge government conspiracy... It's not. We're all screwed just the same.
Either way, not really believing him, I called the base technicians. Everybody said the same thing. I tried to use less electricity to give the wiring a break. Still the problems continued. Occasionally I would just leave everything off for hours at a time in some hope that the problem would go away. It didn't. Eventually, I learned to live with it, and just assumed that it was the old building finally giving its death croak.
Something that struck me as odd though, some of the people in my unit began to have the same experiences. One of my coworkers told me how her phone would simply die randomly, regardless of the battery, and come back to life minutes later. I learned that this wasn't just affecting me, it was affecting everybody. Several days later, similar stories were appearing on the news. They told us that the problem would be fixed. They told us that everything would be back to normal. They told us that everything would be okay. Even back then I didn't believe them. Many areas across the country, in fact, the world, were suffering from these issues.
Soon, things took a turn for the worse. At this point, everybody was just getting used to the whole ordeal. One or two things not working at a time, it became commonplace. It would just be a blender here.... or a radio there.... we learned to adapt. Suddenly nothing would work, and everything would be off. This would go on for hours at a time. Civil unrest began to develop and the paranoia grew. There was no explanation. The media couldn’t tell us why (like they ever explained anything anyways) nor could any electrician. Hell, even the tech experts on base came up empty.
People were complaining that their children had to go to school in complete darkness on some days, until it was canceled. What wasn't canceled was my fucking job. Couldn't do a damn thing without reliable power but our commander still wanted us reporting to work. He probably just wanted us there to make sure nobody randomly died, but it was still a waste of time.
What little power we had at work just gave out entirely one day. This was really bad, since most gates and doors on base are electronically locked every time they closed. From what I heard, some people were sealed in rooms for days on end.
Next, entire power plants started failing. Power-lines were dead and most everybody was without power. Most schools and office buildings had back up generators, there were even a few private homes with some. They were working just fine, and became a haven of sorts for those of us without light. But just like everything else, they began to stop. There wasn't some massive explosion or a flurry of sparks. In fact, nothing technically broke. By all accounts, there was no reason for them to stop.
Finally, absolutely everything shut down, even things that should have still worked. Cars, watches, two way radios.... even solar powered flashlights. Some people thought that it could have been a large scale EMP attack, but EMPs have their effects hit all at once. They don't roll out over the course of a week or two. Not like this. There's nothing like this.
When the lights stopped turning back on, people began to lose it. No amount of token solutions or false promises would help anybody anymore. The media blackout is what really started to set civilization over the edge. Nobody knew anything, and not even the government had the ability to try to soothe our fears anymore. Our commanders tried everything to get the base populace under control with no real results. Really, how could they expect to gather us all in one place? All communication was gone. I still went to work though. I couldn't do a thing without power except walk in the front door, but it was the only kind of stability I really had left at that point. Some of my friends felt the same, so the 9 to 5 became a time to pretend things were almost normal for the few of us who still clocked in.
Eventually, the mental breakdowns began. People screaming that they were hearing or seeing things. My coworker who had the desk across from mine must have had it bad. She completely lost it and began to attack people at random with a knife. We managed to stop her before anybody died, except for when she killed herself the second we looked the other way.
Society began to collapse. Electronics were a necessity in this day and age. It kept the human race connected and in communication. Based off of my late coworker, it also kept our sanity good and healthy. A lot more people seemed to have lost that as well. Without power, we were just fucked. I stopped going to work. No one was really going anywhere either since, again, no vehicles were functioning. People stayed at home hoarding food and water, while taking care of those who were losing their minds. The local governments shut down, water stopped running, garbage was everywhere, sewers bubbled to the surface, the sick got sicker, corpses piled up, wild animals started taking over the streets.... it was as if mankind was thrust five hundred years back.
During the day, the only time where there was light now, I saw an Airman collapse on my lawn. I rushed out to help him, but as soon as I got near him, he started screaming and thrashing about.
“THE LIGHTS! WE NEED THE LIGHTS!” he yelled.
I was afraid to approach him. For good reason as well, since his screams only got more frantic and less sane.
“THEY'LL COME! THEY'LL COME AGAIN! AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN! THE SKY IS WRONG, THE DARK IS WRONG, THE LIGHT IS WRONG. ALL WRONG, ALL WRONG, ALL WRONG!" That.... that really stood out to me. What did it mean? I hoped that it was just the outcry of a broken mind. I learned the truth soon enough.
His ramblings only got more and more delirious to the point where he simply began screaming for several minutes. For one reason or another, the screaming stopped, and he was dead. I got closer and noticed some kind of cut on his chest. It was deep.... very deep. What was odd was the coloring. The wound and the surrounding area was dark. Nearly black, and there wasn't much blood. It almost looked like it could have been a burn, but it also looked like a clean cut as well. I've never seen anything like it.
I didn’t want to leave him on my lawn, but I couldn’t call security forces, and I’d never seen him on base before. I ended up dragging him to the security squadron a few blocks down, even though I knew nobody would be there. Most abandoned their post and went to their families. Those with a greater sense of duty, or those with no family, were attempting to quell riots with varying success. I put the body on a worryingly large pile of corpses stacked in their parking lot. I suppose giving the dead to our police for them to sort out wasn't a wholly unique idea. By the time I made my way back home, the sun was setting. I felt my hair stand on end as I rushed to my room, slamming the door shut behind me.
The fall of mankind was interesting to watch. After two weeks without power, huge changes had occurred. The federal government was all but gone. Some in power still tried to maintain the laws, but with no way to enforce them, it was a wasted effort. The police force had disbanded after only a few days. We in the military didn't fare much better. Nobody tried to do their job anymore. The only reason that we were all still on base was because, for many, it was our home.
Off base, it was utter anarchy. The few times I ventured off, I feared for my life. There were houses with boarded up windows and dogs chained to their front doors. There were thugs armed with knives and bats, looting and raping as they pleased. Corpses were fairly commonplace in the streets; some with heads bashed in, some with stab wounds, some with deep black gashes like the man on my lawn had, and a few mangled beyond all recognition. Those are the ones that made me worry. I wondered how a human being could do such a thing, to destroy a person so thoroughly, that no inch was left untouched.
It just became too much for me. The sight of those bodies shattered my view of humanity. After one final supply run, I stopped leaving my room. It was a bleak time for me. Depression, suicidal thoughts, the works. There were still people trying to live their lives around me. Some people were insane, some were ruthless, and others were in denial, believing that somehow, things would turn around. I ignored them all. After seeing what I thought to be the worst of mankind, I wanted nothing to do with anybody else anymore.
One afternoon, I found another body in front of my room. Headless this time. I dragged it just far enough away so that flies wouldn't be attracted near my room. Couldn't care less otherwise. I wondered what sins he committed in this time without light. Murder? Arson? Indulged in something else? Without power, we were reduced to savages in less than a month. Most of us no better than the flies that fester around the corpses that we created.
An hour later, I was drifting off to sleep. I couldn’t do much else those days, but then I heard it. It was a bloodcurdling scream, coming from a few rooms down. While screams were a common thing, that one was different. The screams I was used to were those of the insane. Fear was either abandoned or embraced some time ago for the majority of people. It would take something utterly shocking to stir up true fear again, and I couldn't imagine what could cause it.
I shot up in bed, and ran as fast as I could to where I thought the scream came from. A few others joined me to see what was wrong. We all ended up in front of a neighboring dorm, but now there wasn't any sound coming from it. One of the guys who had come to help decided to check it out. He tried bashing down the locked door with little success, and went through the window instead. The darkness of the room seemed to swallow him, and in an instant he disappeared into the black. A few seconds later, we heard his scream. We also heard something new...
We heard the noises of flesh being torn from bone, of inhuman laughter, of blood hitting the walls, and then of sickening silence....
The moments following that were a panic induced blur. I sprinted as fast as I could back to my room. I took one second to glance out my window, and that was all I needed to forever burn the image of a nightmarish creature into my skull. I remember its bright white eyeballs, I remember its gore covered teeth, and I remember its seemingly formless black body, matching the night in which it dwells.
Now you're all caught up. I'm still in my room now. I've spent the last few hours writing the downfall of mankind for sanity's sake, while listening to the sounds of screaming, yelling, ripping, tearing, crunching, and horrifying silence. I locked my door, but knowing how well this shithole dorm was built, I might as well have left it wide open.
The smart ones are in hiding too, waiting in their rooms, praying for the day. The ones in the streets are getting slaughtered. Some idiots are even trying to fight them off.
About an hour ago though, I noticed something interesting, even if it is all for naught at this point. From the safety of my room I watched the combat outside. Physical contact doesn't seem to effect the creatures in the slightest. Physical blows just seemed to go right through them. A desperate man outside had grabbed a dry branch, and lit it with a match. Immediately, all the creatures backed away from him.
Realizing that he was on to something, he sprinted as fast as he could towards one of the beings. Unable to flee fast enough, it bellowed an otherworldly scream and vanished into nothingness, leaving nothing but a smoking scorch mark on the ground.
Of course, luck was not on the man's side this night. A storm had been brewing all day, and it finally unleashed its payload with unrelenting fury. His flame dimmed and died within seconds, leaving him to his grisly fate. I turned away, I've seen enough death this night.
I’ve had time to think, too. This is why we’re afraid of the dark, isn't it? These beings are the dark... the night, the pitch, the blackness. Have they always been here? There's no way to know now, but it makes sense. Light kills them. That’s why they didn’t attack during the day. Synthetic light must kill them as well, or else we would have seen them before. The ravaged bodies that I saw off base, those black gashes on some, could they have been the result of these monsters? I'll just pretend that's the answer regardless of the truth. No point spending my last few minutes still despising my own species.
On the other hand, if light kills them so easily, then why don't the moon or stars have any affect on them? Is it because the moon and stars are creatures of the night as well? Why didn't they attack in the weeks leading up to tonight? Well, I suppose they must have, but not in such force. Were they simply biding their time, or is the unexpected failing of technology as surprising to them as it was to us? In fact... where were they all this time? All these questions... I wish that we had time to learn of them; if we did, we may have stood a chance.
If I can hold out for a few more hours, daylight will come. Maybe even help will come. They won’t be able to attack me for a dozen hours, or even more. I’ll be safe. But that probably won’t happen, since I can hear them right outside now. They’re coming for me, and that locked door isn’t going to hold them off. I’m going to suffer the same fate as those people outside.
What help could anybody give at this point? We have nothing, no light at all. Perhaps the other survivors and I.... who am I kidding.... If these creatures can make it onto a military base, then there's little else that they can't reach.
They’re clawing at the door now. I can hear them over the raging storm outside.... are they laughing? Is this a game to them? I’ve got a knife to my left, but what good will it do? Forcing myself to write all this down is all that's keeping me from going into a full blown panic.
I can see one breaking through now, rain pouring through the fresh hole in my door. It's flashing those teeth at me. Forget the knife. Why bother?
I knew I wouldn't be free of this bullshit that easily. I thought it was the end. It would have been too, if it hadn't been for that flash of lightning and the ensuing thunderstorm. One bolt of energy was all it took, and those creatures were destroyed in a second.
It's dawn now, and the rest of those abominations have crawled off to whatever void they dwell in to hide from the light. I stepped outside to view the aftermath. Limbs and mangled bodies were everywhere. Blood decorated the walls and windows of most rooms. Doors were ripped off their hinges, and windows were shattered. The carnage only ended when the storm picked up, and they left their damned scorch marks on the ground. I managed to count seventeen scorch marks... seventeen of those freaks died because of one single lightning strike.
Some would call this a victory. Me? Not so much. For all I know, there could be millions of them, and they'll be back tonight. That, I was sure of.
I need time to figure out what to do. It won't storm forever, and I need a plan. Writing is not a priority this day. Doesn't help that I'm on the last page of this notebook....
Stay safe. Stay in the light. Stay together.