We find ourselves sitting in the waning hours of dusk, speaking softly and optimistically to comfort ourselves. “Things will be okay, things will be alright.”
Rocking back and forth on the front porch, we angle our chairs toward the west to get a view of the setting sun as our hearts fill with dread. As a thread of smoke escapes the last extinguished photon of light, we hustle our families indoors. “Hurry up! By two’s and four’s. Everyone inside. Nothing good normally happens outdoors at night.” Said Ma.
Checking the windows, we locked the doors and comforted the children before putting them to bed. Cupping their faces, we told them, “There’s no reason to be afraid of the dark. Monsters aren’t real.” But we are afraid of the dark and monsters are real. And sure as shit the children can see the truth in our eyes. Our words composed of nothing more than fear induced, empty hope.
With the arrival of the darkness comes the monsters, eclipsing the land. Among the shadows, we can see faces with sharp teeth and sweaty claws pressed against the windows. We kneel in shaking form with clasped hands or extended reach, prostrate on the floor, to save us from ourselves. We pray to make it through the night, to see again the comforting rays of the Sun reemerge, casting its light through the windows and casting away the demons of the dark. But for now we sit and watch. We sit and watch as their greedy eyes dart back and forth, peering at the prey huddled inside.
Oh yes, we should be afraid of the dark because the monsters in the dark are very real. The monsters are free to roam in the darkness to oppress, persecute, and kill; split families and grind human souls and bodies into flour to nourish the insatiable demons they’ve become.
The monsters bring war. The monsters rape and commit genocide. The monsters enslave and enlist children to take up arms. The monsters greedily grab from those who huddle in their homes at night, ignoring cries for help, hoping these angels of death don’t hear the sounds of their breathing, pumped with fear.
But the dark brings with it nothing supernatural. It brings men. Not demons. Not super humans, just men. The monsters, the Ones, who have been allowed to bring the darkness by the few who gleefully gave the strongmen power and the many people who looked away for fear of the Others while saying “They want good things like I do. They are like me. They are like Us.”
The Others, who also thrive in and cheer for the light, also drop to their knees at the coming darkness of the night. Each household to its own never realizing we are simultaneously the Others and the Us. Doomed by our own hands.
By malakhai jonezs
(C) Copyright 2016