Light Stories for Patreon

So, I was trying to beat a whole herd of tiny monsters on the 4theWords writing game, so I asked for a few prompts. Here are the words that stuck with the Light theme in some way.


Regaining Light Powers

The world had been dark for weeks.

She hadn’t seen the dark since childhood.  The minute her powers began to assert themselves, she was surrounded with a world of brightness and color.  She saw sparkles between people who liked each other and could make the dreariest day light up like a summer noontime.

Then came the flu, and the sweats, and the days and nights of darkness.  She had recovered, the doctors said.  She was physically completely better.

But she hadn’t been able to see anything, had been as blind as she had been before her miraculous “recovery” at the age of eleven, since the flu first attacked her.

She moved awkwardly through the halls of her school, her stick once again sliding across the floor.  She hit someone’s foot, and then someone bumped into her.

“Watch it – oh.  Hey.  I missed you.”

Sparks began to light up her vision again.


When she had been young, her vision had come all at once, so brightly that she had not been able to make out anything but light, light everywhere.

This time, she watched patterns flicker in the dark.  The way one of the teachers really didn’t like her made red lines and sparks.  The way one of the younger boys was a little too interested in her made green-and-blue lines.  The school itself was an underlying made of white and yellow which she could follow like a map, room to room.

Her other powers weren’t yet back under control, and like in elementary school, she found herself in the back of the classroom as she sometimes strobed, lighting up the room in flashes even she could see.

The teacher with the red lines sent her to the principal’s office after the third strobe.  She found her way there on streaks of grey, dim, illumination, trying not to cry.


The Light

People are afraid of the dark.

They think they know what lurks in the shadows, what hides under beds — or worse, they think they don’t know, and that fear of the unknown haunts them, drives them towards the light.

What I can tell you, however, is that we know exactly what hides in the dark.

We do.

You, me. The mother of five down the street, the teenager on their phone.  We hide in the shadows.

We let things get covered under the mist of forgetfulness.  We leave things we’d rather not think about in the shadows.  We let the darkness of time pass over things that are a little too sharp for everyday life.

We let soft whispers pad things, we look the other way when it’s polite or expedient to, and we sweep things under the carpet when it would just make everyone more comfortable.

It’s not the dark we should fear.  The Dark protects us.

It’s the light we should be worried about.

The secrets scurried into the shadows to hide.  Only the desk lamp was on, leaving a pool of light while the rest of the room was flickering in the dark.

Tad knew the secrets were there.  There were the ones in the closet, draped off of hangers like some sort of absurd skeleton metaphor.  There were the ones under the bed, hiding behind shoeboxes – fears, and those shameful things that nobody was supposed to know.

There were the ones in the bottom of Tad’s bookbag, the sort that stuck to you and seemed to get out at exactly the wrong moment.  That’s why you weren’t supposed to bring them with you.  They were supposed to stay safely ensconced in your own shadows, not move into the public space where anyone might shine a light on them.

But it was too late for that.  The shadows might be holding all of the secrets and covering all of the sins, but from the window, Tad could see it happening.  First the Smiths, their lights all flipping on in a blinding glare.  Then the Alistairs.

It would be here soon, the light, and then there would be no hiding at all.


Eat the Dark

The creature brushed against an angry human, fingers just barely touching skin.  The human shifted, swayed, and kept moving, leaving behind a trail of darkness that slipped into the creature’s mouth and down its throat.

By the time the human was a block away, the dark-trail had vanished and the human was smiling, humming a little to themselves.  The creature licked its lips and moved on to another snack.

All humans had darkness in them, shadowed thoughts and impulses, midnight wishes.  The creature – call it a vampire, it’s close enough – thrived on those shadows, pulling them out until the stained the inside of the vampire black as night.  The human might notice two marks on their wrist, like little bruises, where the darkness had left them.  Most never noticed at all.

It brushed against another human and licked its lips.  This one was nothing but darkness and shadows, awful urges and remembered deeds.  If the creature sucked all the dark out of this one, there might be nothing left but a husk.

That was fine with the creature.  It existed on its urges and its hungers, after all.  It touched two fingers to the back of the dark one’s neck and let the shadows slide out.  It would follow the human for blocks, supping on delicious darkness, licking its lips at the taste of all that evil.

The streetlights flared brightly for a moment, reacting – as lights sometimes did – to the presence of two beings of complete darkness.  The vampire shied away.  The human barely even noticed.

A police woman did, however.  She paced the vampire and his victim, watching them from the other side of the street.  Her gun was ready, armed with ammunition her supply chief called FlashBangs and everyone else called “silver bullets”

But the evil flowing from the human gave her pause.  There had been a couple murders lately – not the quiet fainting death or coma of a vampire’s victim, but gross things, bloody, violent wrecks.  And this one, he was so dark.

A good-hearted human never suffered too badly from the vampire’s kiss, she told herself.  She holstered her gun, never noticing the little darkness lodging in her own soul.

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