The Pursuit of Night

One by one, the distant stars of the universe shrugged and fizzled out until the sky was black as death itself.

“You can’t see them in the dark,” my mother had explained to me years ago. “The shadow creatures don’t reflect any light, so one could be staring right at you and you’d never know it. That’s why we illuminate the city, and why their homes are the bleak desert pits…the only places they can hide.”

We ran, panicked, fluid, slow-motion, half turned to locate the missing starscape. Tripping over one another in the dark as we hurried toward the shelter. Stricken and confused, screaming blindly—silently.

As I ran I traced the glinting eyes of someone next to me, the only things I could discern at all. I kept running as I saw those eyes lifted up, up, into the blackness. On my other side, the lower twin sparkles of the neighbors’ little girl, also pulled into the void without a sound. The darkness was here. Inches away. The horrible eclipse. And I could feel the tugs of invisible wisps reaching for me.

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