The sun has set and the remaining light is slowly receding into the approaching darkness. She stands under the cold shower, shivering and gasping for breath as the icy water hits her. She has been standing under the water spray for so long, all the hot water has run out and she has to make do with the cold water. Her unknotted muscles now contract under the cold water.
She twists the knob to turn of the spray and slips into a towel robe, knotting the sash tightly. Just as she steps out of the bathroom, the lights go out. She clenches her eyes shut and stands there, hugging herself tightly in defense against the demons that might lurk in the dark. They really just reside in the crannies of her grey matter, the demons. Her fear lurks as she stands there motionless. The light returns and she sighs in relief.
This has been happening for quite a few days. It’s probably just some electrical shortage that occurs in the whole area, because the darkness isn’t restricted to her house alone. She has been meaning to get it checked. It started with a few minutes a day and the dark intervals grew rapidly over the days.
The dark lapses are way more frequent today. It such a dark night. She blindly makes her way to the window and pulls away the curtain in search of stars only to see a night so black you couldn't even see the faint shadows hovering. Just pitch black and sometimes a faint spark of light so unreal that it could only be an illusion.
These periods of darkness grow longer, momentarily still and longer and she wasted time flipping the light switches in each room. The world just plunged into darkness for seconds that lasted for an infinity. This certain one was lasting way longer than the rest. She had a weird feeling that this problem was deeper than she perceived. There is an odd feeling gnawing at her mind; a sense of cold seeping into her bones, giving her a warning, maybe.
The bell rings and she hears as the faint thud of footsteps near.
“Whose there?” she calls out.
“It’s me, Ruth!” She sighs in relief, hearing her neighbor’s name.
“Oh, hi! Come over, why are the lights all out? I mean it’s been ages and not even a speck of light is in sight.”
“What? No honey, they lights aren't out. Actually I came to ask you why all your lights are on in the middle of the night. Is everything okay?” She could hear a worry in her neighbor’s voice but her words made the world stand still for her.
The air left her throat and she stood in her dark world, hand flailing in the still air around her. She felt someone clutch her tight, whisper something incoherent, reassuringly but the sound of her own screams were the only thing she could here. It filled the entire house, echoing back at her deafeningly, sounding louder in the darkness of her mind. The darkness that was not just restricted to her house, it had spread to her entire world.