The Dark Returns

With heavy breaths he stopped to rest, leaning against a streetlamp. It was in this position that the darkness found him. He felt the chill run over his clammy skin, felt his guts liquefy with fear, as the presence of the darkness came upon him. It never quite spoke, but it could make its thoughts, its crawling thoughts, known in some unhallowed way. It remembered him.

“It’s no good,” the man said. “You’re too late.” Pulling up his shirtsleeve, the man tapped the metallic armband grafted onto his flesh. “There’s no more power; I burned it out killing you.”

The frustrated emotions of the darkness flashed into the man’s consciousness.

“You can kill me, you’d probably be doing me a favor, but you’ll never get your revenge.”

And as precipitous its entrance, the darkness was gone. Spying a bench, a bus stop, the man huffed and puffed his way onto the seat. He poked at the useless interface attached to him arm. No more adventures, he mused. But now what? The darkness was back, and this time, he couldn’t stop it.

He remembered:

It possessed him, as it had always planned. Flowing from the hostage, the darkness was a thin, vaporous black line. When the line touched him, he felt its coldness pierce through his suite, through his bones, into his very heart. It was his mind, though, for which he fought. The darkness didn’t seem to care, and he felt his consciousness sinking into the fathomless depths of nothingness. In its wordless way, the darkness gave a monologue: It had his body, and the interface; it had the most powerful weapon known to man.

It had less than it thought. Seeing with his eyes, hearing with his ears, the darkness looked at the wrist mounted device, wondering what that beeping was. The overload was irreversible at that point, and the darkness screamed as the metallic band began to spark.

It tried to jump back into the boy, but he held onto it. They wrestled, their spirits bound together inside one flesh. The beeps grew closer together, their shrill siren warning of the inevitable—the circuit broke. Through his entire body the full force of the strange power flowed, leaping off him in dazzling arcs of blue fire.

And here he was, back on earth, powerless. He couldn’t even warn the others.

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