Dreamt of a woman in her early 20s living alone. It was late afternoon, the sun was low and golden, and the shadows were getting long. As she walked toward the refrigerator, she noted some movement in the shadow next to it. As she watched, the shadow got deeper and deeper until was so black she thought it must actually be nothing. Except for the figure of a man slowly moving towards her, out of the shadow. She screamed and ran. But wherever she went, the shadows deepened to the pure black of nothing, and the man reached out towards her. Finally, the woman called her mother.
When her mother arrived, the woman was almost insane with terror. Her mother, however, was calm. “You’ve seen the Darkness, haven’t you?” her mother asked. “Here, take these.” The mother hands the woman a bottle of pills. “These are what I use to keep the darkness at bay.”
Jump ahead to when the woman is a mother herself, of three children in their early 20s. She had been taking the pills for decades and her children knew her to be a little loopy. Until her oldest daughter saw the Darkness for the first time. “Mother!?” she called out, “Is that what you’ve been seeing this whole time?!”
“Yes, my pills keep me from seeing it. But they get weaker over time…” Having said that, the woman takes a whole bottle of pills and slips fully into insanity, babbling about the Darkness and the man inside it.
The daughter is terrified, but determined. She can see that her mother’s bills eventually fried her brain, and she didn’t want to live in fear her entire life. She takes my hand and asks me to walk with her.
We walk along the crest of Pill Hill, the forest on our right. The sun is up and bright, but the forest is filled with shadows. Shadows that get darker and darker. The Darkness is there. But I cannot see it. The sunlight is too bright and I walk with my eyes closed as the daughter leads me through the edge of the Darkness.
We finally arrive at her house. The daughter is ecstatic. “We made it! We came out the other side! We are free!” She opens her front door to see nothing but blackness. A blackness so deep that it is nothing. The man reaches out his hand and the daughter knows she has to go with him. She steps through the doorway, into the Darkness, and turns to look at me one last time. Her face is smooth and expressionless, but her eyes are filled with horror.
I wake up.