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He looked through the hole in the wall. He didn't really expect to see anything. That's why he was surprised to see a darkness streaming through. Hmmmm that can't be right, he thought. Darkness doesn't stream through. But there was no other way to describe it. Previously, all his encounters with darkness had been of a more passive nature: darkness was merely the absence of light. Hitherto. This time it was different.

It was like vapour. No, that can't be right either, he thought. He was confused. Which was good because the next moment he was touched by it. The most over-populated state was the state of confusion, he had just this small fragment of a hazy thought before he changed.

The boy awoke. He was lying in bed. He wasn't even sure if he had been dreaming. Am I dreaming still? Or am I awake now, he wondered sliently. He pinched himself to check. Why do people do that? Will pinching yourself wake you up?

The boy went to school. Found everything changed. How, he didn't know. And that made it worse. Change is easier to accept when it is tangible, not when it is subtle. Most would disagree. A subtle change has the advantage of easier acclimatization or being unnoticed. Yet, a subtle change is frustrating if it cannot be detected. He knew everything was different. 

Maybe I'm different, he thought.Maybe something changed. Maybe this is all a dream and I'll wake up soon, he thought. His thoughts went around in helical spirals of translucent greyish-blue smoke. Inside the spirlaling staircase of his mind, bannistered by the walls of rationality; the steel ball of realization thudded down. One step at a time. The dissonance of resistance tore away at the single thread of equilibrium left to his tortured mind.

He snapped.

Darkness began to spew out. Out of everything. His mouth. His eyes. His ears. His nose. The walls dissolved in the ink-like and yet not-ink-like mess.

He awoke shivering this time. Covered in beaded sweat. But now, he knew what he had to do. He walked over to the window. Saw the darkness waiting. Calmly and deliberately, he drank a glass of water. He dressed. Packed his bag with essentials: some money, some food, notebooks. His pen. He went to the door and unlocked it softly. Not wanting to wake the others. Slowly and carefully he closed it again. From the outside. 

Then he walked away. Throwing his bag into the ditch to confuse them who would come looking for him. Throwing his shoes into a nearby lot. He starts to run. He's exhilarated. He knows where he is going. Into the heart of the darkness. 

He wakes up. Shaking but calm. Walks to the mirror. There is no darkness, just his face: pale but peaceful. He knows. He has always known but now he knows it better than ever. He smiles.

They have come.


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