The Dark

a writing by Dwayne Leon Rankin


The man turned and twisted in his sleep, moaning softly... when suddenly he woke up with a start. Breathing hard as if he had been running, he labored to catch his breath. In looking around he saw the full moon outside his window. Slowly his breathing eased as he saw the light. Then without realizing what was happening, whatever it was that he had been dreaming, quickly slipped away; gone with a totality so complete that the very memory of it was fading away and he finally was able to breathe a slight sigh of relief.

Water; that’s what he needed, he thought to himself as he came awake. He needed a drink of water; then turning and leaning over his bed within the light of the moon, he reached for the lamp on his night stand... but instead of clicking the switch, he felt himself falling; falling down onto a cold hard floor. He laid there for a moment not realizing what had happened; then realized he had fallen out of bed. His first thought was to wonder what had happened to his night stand; then with a sudden realization he thought of his carpet. He had a warm soft carpet on his bedroom floor that he had just had installed the night before and now? Now it was gone! No, that can’t be it, he thought as he reached out across the cold surface. It felt like some sort of cold smooth rock or stone. He froze in place trying to figure out what was going on; a dream; it was all a dream. He was in some bizarre dream and any moment now he would wake up and find himself in his bed with the moon shining through his window; a full moon, the Hunter’s Noon which was scheduled for tonight, the 24th of October. That was now; today and so should be shining out, lighting up the night sky. He looked around; but there was no window filled with light; no window and no light at all; there was only this thick black darkness all around him. He sat up on the floor and tried waving his hand before his face but couldn’t see anything; no movement; no half shadowed image in front of his eyes. Quickly he reached for where his night stand should be thinking that if he could only find it, then he could turn his lamp on and everything would be made clear. There was nothing there; nothing came into his reach; not even his bed that he had just fallen off of. His breath was starting to grow labored once again. He thought back to when he had first woken up; yes, he could remember that when he had opened his eyes, he had seen the moon peeking through his curtains. That was when he reached over to turn on his lamp but had fallen. Then he remembered; that was when the moon had disappeared; and that was when he let loose as the full impact hit him and panic filled his heart. In terror stricken anguish he got up onto his feet and started yelling out “Is anyone there?” He was too afraid to move from that spot so he stood there screaming those same words over and over again until his voice grew hoarse from the effort. He stopped and shook his head but the panic wouldn’t leave him so that he couldn’t think. Then glancing out through that thick darkness, he started to run... and run... and run, frantic to find someone or something; anything would do, but mostly some light. His mind screamed out for light.

The light, oh how he missed that soft illuminous light of the moon. He ran until he couldn’t run anymore and then he collapsed into a heap on that floor.

A moment later he started to turn and twist his sleep, moaning softly; when suddenly he woke up with a start. Breathing hard as if he had been running, he labored to catch his breath. In looking around he saw the full moon outside his window. Slowly his breathing eased as he saw the light. Then without realizing what was happening, whatever it was that he had been dreaming, quickly slipped away; gone with a totality so complete that the very memory of it was fading away and he finally was able to breathe a slight sigh of relief.

Water; that’s what he needed, he thought to himself as he came awake. He needed a drink of water; then turning and leaning over his bed within the light of the moon, he reached for the lamp on his night stand... but instead of clicking the switch, he felt himself falling... onto a cold hard floor.

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