The Darkness comes suddenly. It can hit me anytime. I could be having a quiet dinner or just be curled up on the couch with a book, after a long day at work. And suddenly, the world around me grows dark. A deathly silence engulfs me, swallows me and takes me to places I’ve never been to before. Sometimes it is not Darkness, just Silence. I would be sprawled on the floor, watching some mindless TV, the volume turned up to drown out the constant whirr of the neighbour’s mixer grinder or the FM station blaring from the tailor’s shop opposite my house. And suddenly, there would be silence. An eerie, deathly silence. These attacks come with a warning sometimes. I’d be having my morning coffee, turning the pages of the newspaper, and suddenly, I would know. A premonition. I would just know that it will attack me sometime that day. Still, it makes no difference whether I am prepared or not. There is no escape. From both—the Darkness and the Silence.
The Darkness is the worst. It is like being trapped in a coffin. I never try to fight it because I know I will not win. I quietly go and lie down, trying to overcome the black with sleep. I toss and turn and try to shut my eyes tight to block out the Darkness. But it gets worse. The room starts growing hot and humid around me. It is like being trapped in a dark chamber with a constant flow of steam. No, not like a sauna. I can suddenly feel something chewing on my flesh, man-eating monsters. An ominous buzz begins and it gets louder and louder until there is nothing but that in my ears. I flay my hands wildly in the inky blackness around me. I don’t know what I am trying to chase away, the Darkness, the Silence, the buzzing or the flesh-eating beasts gnawing at me. I touch my hand and I find blood. I cannot scream. And then, without any warning, a wave of cool air wafts in from somewhere. I breathe. I calm down. And the coolness lulls me to sleep. They say prayer helps. And so, I pray. I pray to all the powers that be.
I pray that the power crisis in Tamil Nadu ends soon.
This was ‘published’ in Femina Fast Fiction http://www.feminafastfiction.com/story/black/361/