At first it’s like any other day. You wake up, shower, start to brew your morning cup of coffee, and that’s when you notice—outside the window, there’s nothing there. Just an endless black void. What happened? Where are you? How do you get back to reality?
“Well, ha, that!…” Liv says. They both laugh dryly, and it’s that point again. Where the 6-am-everyone-is-tired-but-trying-to-hide-it conversation gets stuck on a rock.
Stuck because both of them feel a bit like losers. Liv goes to a tennis academy. Flourishing at school, but doesn’t seem good enough to ever have an international tennis career. The supportive mom. Mrs Richmond. Nags. Nags Liv on things she actually wants to try as well.
So both hold onto their mugs, which say respectively “Bearly Awake”, and “I Moose Wake Up”. The kitchen counter is refrigerated-milk cold against their bodies. The lack of breakfast aroma for them to make pathetic little accolades about forces them to study the view outside. Dark. Not a surprise.
But it is pitch black. A void of stuff that’s almost satisfying. No streetlight. No cars. No passers-by whose tired complexions sort of hurt your eyes.
“Now that’s odd…”
“Go! Check! The other window! Go go go, put it down, put down your mug first!” Mrs Richmond starts blurting out everything at least twice again.
And in the view between the blinds and the window pane, the most peculiar thing transpires- Liv and Mrs R can see their neighbour’s house being colonized by the blackness- the “void” squeezes into the window, the whole house seems to dilate, and then blackness explodes out the roof.
“Close the window, close it! Close it! Liv!”
Almost too late. A bit of the blackness seeps through. It seems viscous, gurgling.
“Tape tape tape tape! Tape it!” Ms R feels the need to say it 5 times.
The substance seems to push against the black tape. Liv takes a step back examining the bump,” You didn’t have to say that so many times, Mom.”
Suddenly all the lights in the kitchen starts flashing. Then there is a voice so perfect it’s almost surreal, “People. Assuming there aren’t many of you left. This is my revenge on you. You seem bent upon creating light pollution, so I thought I would take away light altogether. So here’s some fudge-thick lovely darkness to put me in your petty little minds before you all die. Enjoy. From your no-longer-obedient sky.”
Five seconds passed. “My apologies, but I thought I should point out the symbolism herein as well. See, the void is a void of humanity, made of an overflow of humanity. Good luck.”
The bump on the black tape seems to be growing.
Two days have passed (according to the time on the microwave). The kitchen counter is refrigerated-milk cold against their backs. The only sensation that feels somewhat fresh.
Someone’s banging on the door.
“Mom, I think someone’s knocking.” Liv slowly turns over and says. She’s merely saying that out loud so that there’s the possibility of Ms R saying “No, hon, it’s your illusion.”
But the person outside is making a drowning sound. “I put on an oxygen mask… swam… all the way… Please… in!”
“If he comes in the void is gonna come in too.” Liv says.
Ms Richmond says, “Well, time for some last dose of humanity. We die, we die with him.”
“Open it! Open the door Liv, open it.” Ms R said, and they both nodded. The first agreement they’ve ever reached since Liv was 13.