We found out what happened to the bird, there’s a man that houses wild birds that cannot be released back into the wild, so he is taking it in, so good news!
Just something to brighten you day before the whole “reading a short horror story” thing.
Anyway, on with the show!
Living In The Dark.
It was raining when it all happened, when his parents had to go away. He remembered that, though he didn’t remember how long it had been since they left.
They told him they left enough food for him while they were gone and he hadn’t run out yet, so that meant it might be awhile before they got home again. He was given strict instructions and he was a good boy so he followed them exactly. One can in the morning, one in the afternoon and then one in the evening. Sometimes he wasn’t that hungry, but he opened and ate it anyway, like he was supposed to. There were a lot of cans left still. He knew that the closer he got to the end, the faster his parents would return. Sometimes he considered opening them all so they’d come back quicker, but they might find out and then they’d be mad.
He lived downstairs, as usual and occasionally he thought he could hear someone walking around upstairs, when that happened he moved into the corner, clutching his blanket, hoping that the monster wouldn’t get him. That’s what was upstairs, his parents had told him. They could protect him from the monster so he could go out with them, but he couldn’t go out himself. He was safe down here, they’d said so.
He hadn’t been out since they left, but before that he had only been out once or twice that he could remember. Both times it had been warm and there was a breeze. He liked the breeze outside, it felt nice. He sometimes stood in front of the air conditioner, but it wasn’t the same. There were trees outside too, covered in beautiful colours, bright red, brighter than he could believe, he had gone with his father, but then he got scared and they brought him back inside. The sky was just so big and wide, it stretched so far and there was nothing he could see holding it up, not like the room downstairs. There he would be safe if they sky fell as it seemed it should.
It had been getting darker the last few days, the light bulbs needed changing but he didn’t know how. He had seen his father do it, but he was told never to do it himself. It was dangerous. The air conditioner seemed to be having difficulties. Before it was just a light, low hum, but now it made a deep, thick rumbling, like a giant clearing it’s throat.
He worried the monster might hear, but he was safe here. His parents had said so.
Sometimes he played video games as a treat and there were videos to watch too, he had played some video games at first, but they got boring. He watched the tapes, they talked about great big animals that lived outside, in the sea. A giant stretch of blue water, like the sky had fallen to earth. It was so large and vast and deep that animals had lived there for thousands of years before being discovered. He thought he might like to be an undersea explorer, swimming with giant, gentle creatures. He stopped watching the videos after a while. Occasionally the TV would flicker or grow hazy for a few moments before going back to it’s brilliant colours. When this happened, the lights flickered too. He was worried what might happen in the darkness. Light kept monsters away, everyone knew that, but what happens when the lights stop?
His parents didn’t live down here all the time with him. Only sometimes. Sometimes they stayed for a few days, but usually they had to go away for a while. He was used to it, they always returned quickly. Sometimes he could hear the thudding of rain above him, when he was younger he didn’t know what it was and it scared him. His parents had explained it to him, but he thought maybe they were lying. Water couldn’t fall from the sky, how would it get up there?
He was getting tired again and sat down to rest. It was happening more and more recently. He would do something that shouldn’t be too strenuous, or hadn’t been before and suddenly he found that he was tired and gasping for breath. When this first happened he was frightened. His mother told him it was ok, that he’d be ok if he just rested and he believed her, not noticing the way her eyes watered. It had been getting worse, but it would be ok, it always was. There was a clock in the room, but no real sense of time, of day and night. His parents had tried to keep a sleeping schedule, one that he tried to follow once they left, but he was getting more tired and found that he would sleep more. At least, according to the clock.
The room was the same temperature as it always was, the air conditioner was working but he still found that he was getting cold and sometimes, he sat wrapped in his blankets, occasionally watching TV. He didn’t watch it too often for fear it was using power, but he occasionally indulged himself. Sitting, wrapped in his blankets, eating a small amount of the chocolate his mother sometimes gave him for treats. There wasn’t much left so he ate in little nibbles, trying to make it last.
He didn’t notice how thin he was getting, it was such a slow process. His skin was getting tighter, he looked gaunt, skin stretched tight across his face and ribs and still he did as he was told, Three cans a day. He was getting colder and he didn’t know how to turn up the air conditioning, so instead he slept with his parents blankets piled on top of him, luxuriating in the warmth. The blankets still contained their scent and sometimes he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, pretending they were still there. They would return of course, they always returned.
It was a lovely day outside, the sun shone warmly on their skin, a slight breeze making sure they were not too hot. Trees swayed and rustled, birds chirped and sang as they went about their business. They sat outside together, enjoying the sun, she lay against him, his hands encircling her body and resting, with hers on her large, swollen stomach. Soon she would give birth and they would have a child. He hugged her tightly, then smiled and whispered in her ear, “Won’t be long now.” her mouth smiled, but her eyes looked sad. He was right, it wouldn’t be long. Her mind flicked to the basement. Soon they would have their own child. A real child.