The Darkness

What did you think of the dark when you were little? Did it frighten you? Excite you? Were you scared of the dark? Or was it your friend, a welcome place to find solace, to hide in?

Maybe you didn’t think of it at all. It was just a part of life — like school, and streets, and ice cream.

Or was it so real that you could touch it?

Out here, in the countryside, where the streetlights are few and the stars many, the darkness is everywhere. It surrounds each house and closes in on the windows. It sneaks through doors and crawls up the bedclothes. 

The darkness makes the distance between bed and the bathroom insurmountable until you start to be afraid you won’t make it to morning.

The darkness is like a fog. It covers your skin, finds its way into your mouth, forces itself all the way down, down, down and fills your lungs until you cannot breathe.

It’s such a long, long time until sunrise. Then, you can finally sleep, when a chunk of light breaks in through the blinds, a hint of orange on the horizon, over the hill, above the church. It dispels the spell, and you can sleep.

What did you think of the darkness when you were little? And what do you think of it now?

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Nat Newman - portrait

Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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