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Beckett is having such great success with the episodic storys, I figured I would give it a shot.

The Hal

Darker Than Dark

It was around midnight when the power went off. The moonless, overcast sky failed to provide even the slightest bit of comforting illumination through the open windows. It would have mattered little if the curtains were drawn or not, there was simply no light source, a complete, unrestricted blackness. It fit in well with the abrupt absence of sound that accompanied the power failure. From the haunting guitar solo of the Dire Straits song, Telegraph Road, to absolute quiet in the blink of an eye.

No one said a word. They just sat there in the dark, silent room as the empty seconds ticked by... Finally, Ben spoke. "Did we all just die, or was it only me?" Ben hoped like hell someone answered.

There were three of them sitting there in Ben's house trailer, Dan, Carl and Benedict. Benedict usually came out Ben's-a-dick after the three of them spent an evening passing around the JD and chasing it with mass quantities of beer. They got off to a slow start this particular night and the Jack Daniel's bottle was still three quarters full. So for now, in their still -more or less- sober condition, they called him Ben.

"I ain't dead or I wouldn't have heard you Ben. Unless we're both dead and gone to hell together." Dan always had to try to rationalize everything.

"Well I heard you both," Carl said. "And this isn't hell because there's no fire. I'm not going to hell anyway, so this definitely can't be hell. You two probably are, but I'm not."

"Where's my lighter, I can't even see enough to find my damn lighter... there it is..." Ben flicked his lighter and the room was lit in a weak, dancing light. "I've got some candles stashed around here somewhere," Ben said.

Ben disappeared from the room for a few seconds and rummaged around in the adjoining kitchen. You could hear him opening and closing various drawers. Finding what he was looking for, he walked back in with a lit candle. He tipped it sideways to let a few drops of hot wax fall in the ashtray, and stood the candle up in it. He sat back down.

"That's better. I'm scared of the dark you know," Ben said.

"You lying asshole Ben!" Dan laughed. "You're not afraid of anything. You're all the time trying to scare the shit out of us... not a week goes by that you don't try some smart ass trick out on us, trying to get us to shit our pants..."

"Damn skippy," Carl added. "Ben's a dick, Ben's a dick!"

"Shut up dumb ass. I just know how to have fun, that's all." Ben wiped the sweat off his forehead. "What happened to the breeze anyway? I thought a storm was blowing in a few minutes ago. The wind probably knocked a tree into a power line. Happens all the time out here."

"Hey, you're right, the curtains aren't moving at all now... can't hear the wind anymore either... You messing with us again Ben?" Asked Carl. "Always messing with our heads. I told you last time, I..."

Ben interrupted Carl. "What the hell you talking about Carl? You think I can stop the wind from blowing? You think I can cut the power off just sitting here? How can such a big head be so damn empty?"

"Wait a minute Ben, Carl has a point. The lights go out and the wind stops blowing at the same exact time? Rather odd, don't you think?"

"Yeah, what he said!" Carl was looking around the living room suspiciously. "Still can't figure out how you did it though. Ben's a di.."

Ben cut Carl's chant off before he could get wound up again... "Look you two. I'm not god. I know you worship me like I was, but I'm not, at least not this week. Sure, I could probably rig the lights to go out. But the last time I tried to get the wind to quit blowing was when I was raking the leaves last fall. We had 45 MPH wind gusts the rest of the day, remember?"

"Well why did the wind just happen to quit like that? I mean it's dead calm out there." Dan had gotten up off the couch and was looking out one of the front windows. "I can't see a damn thing either, and I mean nuthin'!"

Carl reached over and picked up the phone. "Phones are out too, there's no dial tone, no static, no nothing. Good trick Ben, you jump through flaming hoops too?

"What is it with you pansy asses! It's just a damn storm and the power got knocked out by a fallen tree or something. You don't ask me why the wind is blowing, what the fuck you asking me why it quit blowing for?"

Dan was still staring out the window. Carl had got up and went to the other front window and was looking out. "Jesus, it is dark out," Carl said. "I can't even see my car. I've never seen it this dark before. Come look at this shit Ben... It's darker than dark. It's like a black fog..."

Ben started to reply but instead, got up off the couch and walked towards the front door. He stopped a few feet away from it and looked at his two friends. A big smile spread across his face. "I think it's you guys that are fucking with me. You expect me to believe that the world just suddenly disappeared? Darker than dark," he mumbled, shaking his head. He took the last few steps to the door.

Just as he was reaching for the handle, something thumped up against it from outside...


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The following comments are for "Darker Than Dark"
by The Hal

i'm not a great judge of suspense...
I'm not a great judge of suspense, but i think this is a great beginning!

am definately going to keep reading.

Ju =*_*=

( Posted by: De`esse [Member] On: March 3, 2002 )

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