“I’ll tell you in the morning… if there is one.”
That’s the last thing she said to me. Then I woke up, to darkness. My watch said 0800, the sky outside said… nothing. No sun, no moon, no stars.
I’d like to pretend I acted normally. I did not, I totally freaked out. I checked my clocks, I tried the TV, nothing. I cranked up my laptop, no internet connection, no power. I checked my phone, no signal, I let it drop onto the floor. I looked outside, darkness, no lights at all.
I’ve been in pitch black, in the Cairngorms when the clouds are lowering and it’s the middle of the night and it feels like the morning will never come. This was darker. And scarier. And then I remembered what Lyssa had said. I thought it was nothing, she was mumbling in her sleep, I’d asked what and she’d answered.
I didn’t think she meant it.
I found the whisky bottle by touch, perhaps not something to be proud of, then when I couldn’t find a glass I just took a couple of swigs. I’d been buying slightly cheaper stuff recently. Own brand supermarket if you’ll believe. The burn as it went down my throat helped, and I tried to think. Where had Lyssa gone? I felt around her side of the bed. Checked her things, it seemed that she’d dressed and left, taking her not-a-bag clutch thing with her. That made me feel a little better, she hadn’t just disappeared, unlikely like the whole world… no I had to hold it together.
I couldn’t stay in my flat much longer. It had been a few hours since I’d woken. The whisky was gone.
Where could I go? Was there anywhere… no thinking, first: prepare.
I put on my clothes, including a coat, found my phone again, which I now realised could at least function as a torch. A rucksack. That’s what I needed. I found one, put in a water bottle, some old cheese, and a kitchen knife. Well, I didn’t know what I’d find out in the darkness. But I was guessing it wouldn’t be my slightly grimy London street.
I opened the front door. And looked down where the stairs had been. Nothing. I turned the torch of the phone on… and still there was nothing. The beam was swallowed up by the darkness. I retreated into my flat.
Was that the front door? Hours had passed. I’d been huddling in my bed.
It was the front door. Someone. Something? Was banging on it, slow methodical knocks.
“Coming…” I croaked out.
I stumbled to the door. Opened it. Lyssa was there. Smiling.
“Ryan, are you alright?”
“Lys… where… where’ve you been?”
“Searching for the morning. Don’t worry. I’ve found it.”
She opened her hand towards me and a bright light burst out. Overwhelming me.
“Ryan, wake up sleepy-head. It’s time to go to work…”