…in the heart of darkness, something stirs. The air, cold and thick with the weight of years, flickers like water as the movement sends ripples flowing out, removing the veil of fleeting eternity that once held this place frozen like a clock without hands. Then there is light.

The light is faint, and green. It illuminates the face of a man aged somewhere in his early thirties*, wearing the expression of someone who finds something amusing in everything- also known as a jerk, to those of us who are familiar with their pedantic approach to meddling and insufferable ability to recognize the good in everything. He stares into the dark, smiling, like an idiot.

“I know you’re here.”

I’m not falling for that. Based on the law of averages**, anything could be here. I’ve met plenty- bogeymen, spirits, gribbly things with lots of tentacles and too many teeth, to name a few. None of them answer back either.

“I know you can hear it.”

You don’t. You’re guessing because you hear the Darkness’ voice calling too, a voice only known to those who have had the misfortune of hearing it speak, and you know that I’m somewhere.

Stick with someone through life and death and you’ll know that feeling too- the sense that somehow, you’ll know when that someone ain’t alive. I don’t get it myself, but I’ve heard about it from others. They knew, just as I know, just as this jerk surely knows. It’s been damn troublesome, to be honest. I’ve been waiting for him to show up. He ain’t the sort who wouldn’t.

“The universe needs Womble.”

Sixteen years have passed since I last heard that name. To be honest, it’s been sixteen years since I last had a name. It’s not important here. Things…well, things just are. You survive or you don’t. It’s simple.

…more things are stirring. I can feel them now, homing in on his damn light. I wouldn’t call them friends- food, more like -but they’d do better than to get involved. Simplicity has been their life, and they’re going after something for whom simplicity is a concept. Who knows what he’ll end up doing. He’s smart, but he’s not a fighter, and he messes with time like sculptor carves stone.

He shouldn’t be here, but he’s here for me…and me? I can’t risk what the Darkness would do to them. Damnit.

I guess this holiday’s come to it’s unfortunate end.

‘Womble’, indeed…

Seems I’m still picking up other people’s shit.




*Albeit, the kind of “early thirties” that could mean anything between the age of twenty and fifty; somewhat youthful but lined, as it were, by either age, experience or some haphazard combination of both.

**Beloved of gamblers, budding entrepreneurs, scientists and the type of priest who treats atheism as a challenge


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