She awoke with a gasp, bolting upright in bed. Gathering the soft fabric of her nightgown about her neck, she clutched tightly and frantically searched the room.
No. The room was devoid of life, aside from herself. And Darkness.
She tried this every night, to no avail. Every time she woke from these furtive but desperate attempts, only Darkness and her own haggard panting greeted her.
They were partners in an arranged marriage. One she didn’t want to be in, but Darkness was insistently insidious.
The visit to the weathered old woman was a pointless endeavor. Give up. That’s what the old woman had said. “You’ll find no light there, no redemption. This isn’t hope; it’s desperation. Stop now before it’s too late.”
If the old crone wouldn’t help her, she’d go it alone.
From that day forth, she spent every day in bed. Flat on her back, hands clasped over her heart, she sank into a trance state.
Through the void, she reached, fingers grasping at the viscous mass of nothing. But they found no purchase; what she sought simply wasn’t there.
For days she was like this, until finally. Finally, something happened.
She stood at the foot of the bed looking down upon her own sleeping form. The brief flutter of hope immediately crushed under the weight of what had actually happened.
She had peered too long into the darkness, mining its depths for some glimmer of light. Only now did she realize she had faced the wrong way.
Of course! There is no light in Darkness. Darkness is the very absence of light, cast aside by it. It was all consuming of those who plumbed its depths for answers to futile wishes.
And now? Now?
She was Darkness.
By the time the reclusive woman was found some months later, her corporeal form had withered into a corpse.
Only Darkness remained. Insistent. Insidious. Lifeless.