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I felt so alive. It was a special kind of night. The kind of night where you can step outside and be met with a cool but refreshing burst of fresh air, and the seemingly endless universe of the shadows unfolds. I liked it. I always have. It’s on this kind of night that I can set out to the darkness. I feel… I don’t know, alive.
During the night I feel strong, powerful. Sometimes more than others I see on the street, darting through the shadows, or popping up behind you, and sometimes less. Sometimes they are out up to the darkest deeds you could imagine. Sometimes worse. Not all are like this. Some just look like the daylight people we see when it isn’t quite dark enough to cast deep shadows. But some look odd, maybe a mix of distress and great sadness. Their faces looked gray, as if no blood had flowed through them in years, but still perfectly intact. Anybody passing them would be overcome with the same solemn, grim look as the rest. They eventually leave and wonder at their hiding place about what came over them.
Some of the figures that wander these streets, to them everything looks normal and neutral from their point of view. He couldn’t imagine the darkness around him was crawling around. It’s as if he walked in place, and I can see the others moving around him, there was no escape. These people attract us. Like you can tell a stop sign bouncing the beams of car headlights, illuminating the dark of the street, we can sense their light.
When the light hits me, I feel uneasy. It is for that moment I start to remember. I remember being in a room… not very big but not very small. The walls were Christmas tree green. There was a bright mass in front of me, I could only look at it through a squint. There is just darkness other places. It doesn’t last long, maybe only a few seconds at a time, this delusion. Any longer, and I felt lucid enough to walk into this darkness… that is the only way I remember more.
And it goes right back. Right back to dark, but this thing is in front of you that you are frightened, intrigued, and enraged at, all the same time. We destroy them.
The smart ones will go home after deciding a midnight walk in the crisp fresh air was more unnerving than settling. Night by night they set out, feeling as though they fit in with this ghoulish dimension we live in constantly. Sometimes we see it. We see your memories of loved ones and the happiest, to most devastating experiences you have ever endured. We follow you, we surround you, and we start stealing their intangible sunrise-gold glow, into our dark bodies, quickly turning into another shadow to dart past their view.
I was not always like this. I used to be bright. I remember a school, halves of faces, some unsettling experiences. All of it in the presence of this inoculating light. Sometimes I don’t like to remember. I get closer to them, and the visions get longer. I am almost deprived of normal vision because of the memories, all showed like a movie in the back of my eyelids. I don’t like them, but I don’t understand them. I just know that I don’t want them around. Sometimes they are out in the wee hours of the night walking home from a party or movie theater. Sometimes a lot of them
I take their light, their memories, their very happiness. Some take longer. Days, months, years… some never. Some broke in one night, surrendered their beam of light that cut through the dark like a dagger, to the many recluses of the shadows. They would fall in a cry of despair, so full of grief that the darkness would cry out in sick cheers as this person gets up. But he’s not a person anymore. He’s one of us.
Sometimes the shadows will claim the life of their victim, only to be found the next day with no identity, no life, no family. There is no cause of death in the autopsy. You become another no name statistic who died without anyone shedding a tear.
It's getting light out. They will be out soon. The brightness, not the daylight, is the only thing illuminating the sidewalks and storefronts during their day. We stay away from them, lurking in every shadow, watching. Their souls saunter down the boulevards of the town, they have little ones, who shine the brightest with innocence and not a care in the world. They have buildings. Tall buildings, where they gather, and make the whole building explode into a blinding light or a thousand suns. They eventually leave, and disappear to us, inside homes among gated suburbs. As their numbers get fewer we get stronger. We can feel the power of the night fill us. I feel so alive…