Darkness #4 — Frank

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Sorry for the late post...life got away from me last week. Here is #4 in the Darkness Series!

Joanne!” Frank yelled up the stairs. This was not the time to look in the mirror and count how many new lines had magically appeared sometime during the evening hours. His wife was driving him crazy with ‘I am getting so old’, ‘I wish I hadn’t run out of my moisture cream’. She was forty-five years old and still looked like a china doll. A few wrinkles would give her a look of experience, not that he dare say that. Their couch was lumpy and he had spent a few nights on its’ hilly surface already since the blackout. “Hurry up, we have to go if we are going to leave today.”

Joanne looked back at her reflection, she didn’t want to look old. Her husband had always been faithful but the beautiful women that were always coming to the clinic were young and more beautiful than she could ever be. Mid-life crisis Women’s Weekly called it. Her husband called it hogwash. Life had change drastically since the blackout six months ago and she knew all of her fears from that life were self-pity at its finest. They had food, water, and electricity which is more than a lot of people could say but she couldn’t shake the feeling that her husband was hiding something from her. Her worst fear, he had found someone else to warm his nights. Joanne shook her head. It had to be something else, he was the one insistent on leaving this place.

“Alright…alright, already.  I am coming,” Joanne put the last of the small bottle of moisturizer in her bag before heading out the bedroom door.

Frank grabbed her hand as she reached the stairs and quickly pulled her out to the car. Opening the passenger door, he impatiently waited for her to get in. “Aren’t you going to lock the front door?”

Frank gave her a not so gentle push into the car, never looking back at the house they were abandoning, the front door still wide open. “No…if someone wants it, they can have it. We won’t be back anyway. Now put your seat belt on, we have got to go. We have wasted too much time already.”

“You are acting weird. You know that, right? We have a beautiful home, food stocks in the basement, electricity and you want to leave.” Joanne just sat there, feet dangling out of the car as she looked at her husband, praying for some kind of rational answer. He gave none as he put her feet into the car and shut the door.

Frank knew what no one else did. He knew what caused the blackout. They had been safe for a time but he knew that time was running out. People were beginning to die in the dead of night. When the safety of the electric light was turned off. They had come and there was nothing anyone could do to stop them. Once they hit the power grid and permanently shut down the electricity, there would be nothing left of this small town. They had only delayed the inevitable.

He had packed the car to the hilt, leaving only enough room for the two of them in the large SUV. He had stored enough gas for the long journey north and only hoped they would make it there before nightfall. The sun did not protect them but only the bravest dared venture out into the warm rays. It was the electric light that burnt their skin. He had been conducting experiments on why but the answer eluded him. All he knew for certain was that his team had caused this, not only here but in every major city in America.

What was supposed to be life altering event of ease and convenience for the 21st century had turned into a nightmare. ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ was their company logo. They had convinced each of the state’s capitals and congress that their product was completely safe and they would be able to spend more time in session and less time away from their families. It had been an easy sell once they witnessed it for themselves. They had family doctors, neurologists, even a digestive health specialist, give everyone a clean bill of health. Not one neutron was out of place or so they thought. It wasn’t until later that they discovered how wrong they were. By that time, it was too late. 

It was the president’s decision to shut down the US power grid. It was the only option they had left at that moment. They had to stop the creatures from creating more and it took them too long to figured out it had been the teleportation machines. Most of the government, both state and federal, had been turned into these creatures by the time they found the source of what had happened. These beings were smart, cunning, and vicious. They started teleporting the military first, then the doctors, scholars, and anyone else they felt could stop them. Those that refused, died. It had left them no choice. They had to acted before they lost the power plants as well.

Shutting down the power grid stopped the creation of any new creatures but it also made them vulnerable. The only thing Frank had found, the one thing that could stop them was electric light. Once that was gone…

The last hope for the human race was to outlive these things. They couldn’t fight them, bullets didn’t work. Fire didn’t faze them. They couldn’t drown and their skin was like a hard, transmutable shell. The only thing that kept his hope alive was as yet, they have been unable to reproduce successfully. He had seen the stillborn children along the roadway. Whatever caused their mutation, affected their ability to reproduce. Discarded like a piece of trash, he had brought one or two of the infants back home to test some of his theories but only came up with the same answers.

He, alone, knew what had happened to the rest of the country and he saw the same signs happening here. They didn’t have much time. The lights would go off and when they did, their little sanctuary would be turned into a horror show. Only the lucky would be granted a quick death.

Hitting the gas pedal, he turned to his wife, “We have much to discuss…”

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