Outside, the darkness is coming. I hate when the darkness traps us in its cocoon because there is nowhere safe to run to if hiding is not enough. But inside, Grams is able to help me forget for a moment or two what is coming…what always comes whether we are ready or not.
She is a natural storyteller, and every night she starts her story, “Once upon a time there was no Sickness…” I watch from the floor next to the table as she checks the boards across the spaces the windows once were, making sure they are still secure. I wish there still wasn't any Sickness. That I could go outside and see the moon without fear
I’d like to believe that there was such a time and that time will come again. Often as she is checking the house and making sure my bed is a hidden fortress she tells me “it wasn’t always like this. And it won’t always be like this so you have to be prepared”.
I’m not sure what I should be preparing for but I like hearing about how things were before. Mostly I like hearing about other people and how they could go out at night and see the stars. I’d like to think that the stories she tells me are true, but as far as I know, they are only fairy tales to give me hope and to curb the nightmares.
Gramps use to be the one who checked the windows and doors before the dark encased us while Grams would tell me stories. But lately he's taken to his room. Grams’ says he is a good man and he is only ill but I'm afraid. What if he's not?
She swats my behind, shushing me as I climb up into the loft that hides my bed up above. She says, " Now don't you worry no more and get some sleep. And remember no matter what you hear don't get out of your bed until the morning light." as she takes away the ladder and heads upstairs.
Curled up under my blankets, I can't sleep. What did she mean that he's good and ill; and not Sick? I don’t understand. Maybe it's something she told me in one of her stories. If I could only remember.
Ba-bump! The sound of something big and heavy falling crashes into my silence. What was that!? My heart starts thumping madly; drowning out what my ears might hear. Magnifying what I think I heard and what i imagine. The Sick know we are not affected. That we are alive. I just know it. They are coming for us. They are coming for me....