The darkness never bothered him. Some may say that he was born with the darkness, the cold being part of his very essence. So standing alone in the alley was more like home to Zander than being in his room ever was. He enjoyed being in the unseen, being hidden, being free. That is the exact reason that even at home he had removed all lighting fixtures from his room, closed all outlets, and covered up his windows. So that the night would allow his room to enter into the darkness he thrived in.
But that was when he was still at his house. It had been 3 weeks since he left, caused by his father demanding his son to “put on some damn light”. This had been Zander’s final straw. His parents were his polar opposite. Both needed the light to feel safe, could not allow for darkness to infiltrate their lives. For them, every room had to have light reach every corner and leave no shadows or spots for darkness to reside. This had always been a point of tension between them. Where Zander could handle having to be in the light most of the day, when it was his time of the day, he would retreat to his room and to the darkness. His parents never dared to tarry near his void, consuming all light. A place where your eyes saw nothing, and nothing saw you. That was at least what Zander had always thought. That was until something did see him.
Zander remembers the night when we had finally retreated to his room, his void. Where he thought nothing could be seen and nothing could see him. It was the night the golden eye of a cat, but far too large appeared before him. It spoke nothing through sound, but through Zander’s mind. A link that was established that night and has kept held since then.
“You have found peace in darkness” it spoke with a ghostly whisper directly in the mind of Zander, who was transfixed by the eye’s appearance, its glowing presence, and how it entered his void no through the door. “You are confused, we can sense that,” the entity continued, “we are of the darkness too, yet we have been formed by true darkness where light is forbidden to approach. You have entered its lesser appearance through effort of your own.” The eye blinked out of existence as Zander sat against the wall, the feeling of the solid object aiding him feeling grounded.
If there was darkness beyond this, Zander had to know. He had for so long been bound to find solace in his void, to know that this was his home’s brightness to this creature was a thorn which buried itself in his side. He must find a way to enter this world of complete blackness. It was that night which began a downward spiral into the world of dark. Zander did not know, but he had opened a doorway which was only able to be shut from inside.
He spent weeks learning all he could of darkness, of beings once thought to lurk in it, creatures and monsters believed to have come into existence in the presences of nothingness. Between myths, legends, folktales, and any other literature he dove into the world he had already built his comfort in. It was also through this, that Zander came to hear rumor that those who were accepted by the void were gifted. They were able to form and warp the void, the liminal space, to their desires. Travel instantaneously. Disappear without trace. Consume light like a black hole.
The further he studied, the more he knew, the more the information began to change him. At first it was near unnoticeable. His already jet black hair began to consume all light and not reflect it back in the sheen his peers had come to expect. His fingers began to darken, as one may expect to see a dark witches fingers to occur, nails and fingertips blackened to the same all consuming blackness of his hair. It was only when his left eye began to change that the changes became known. Slowly his eye lost all color it was born with; changing from its once blue-green to a darker tone, and finally to black. If one was to look it would seem that his pupil has consumed his entire iris. Yet, it did not stop there, day by day it expanded and consumed more of the white in this eye. It took not even a week before it was only if he strained his eye that any white could be seen.
He had learned that he could control the discoloration of his hands, making them appear normal during the day and allowing the blackness to overtake them as he entered his void. His parents took notice and attempted to infiltrate his room with light, but even with lamp after lamp plugged in and the bulbs known to work, the darkness persisted. Not allowing the lights to even show in the darkness. His parents grew more and more fearful of their son, as he was constantly in his room. A room that now would eat any ambient light before it could cross the barrier of the doorway.
It was the night that his parents saw his eye had turned completely black that they chose to speak with him. Feeling whatever was going on was hitting a climax. That soon whatever was taking hold would be all consuming like their son’s room.
They took their son, who had once simply been an oddity into their living room now flooded with lights from all angles and sat him down. “What is going on with you?” his father asked. “What have you done?” his mother begged. Neither taking notice that some of the lights had stopped shining and slowly a shadow was growing in one corner. They became so invested in interrogating Zander that they had forgotten to check behind them as the shadow reached them, sending a shiver down their spines. But it reached not for them but for their son. It met his foot and as he reached down inviting it into himself, that was when his parents saw what their son had become. As in a moment, Zander once sat in front of them was gone, as was the shadow which called to him.
It was then he stepped out into the alley, consumed with the blackness he loved. Yet still too bright for him to find absolute comfort. But it was not time for comfort. It was time to be free. He heard the footsteps wander towards him, he saw the eye he had seen once before, and he heard the voice.
“Welcome dear Zander, I am pleased to see you have not failed us.” In the shadow sat a pitch black cat, one eye golden, the other consumed with the same darkness Zander’s eye now held. “It is time we speak in private about the future.” With that they both stepped into the shadow Zander had only recently emerged from. It was that night that the local power station failed and thrust the town into a true darkness. Yet it was still bright to Zander and his companion; soon, so soon, the town would see the peace in the darkness.