The human whose memories I am analyzing is in a state of shock.
What woke him up was the constant cry of his dogs. They had been whining and barking for some time, but being in the garden their moans did not bother the ears of the owner, who is used to hearing them barking for insignificant reasons.
When he woke up he thought he had done it in a nightmare though, he thought he had taken really strong acids during the previous night, but at the same time he was aware that that hypothesis was quite unlikely: he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t even drink, and the previous night finished with him lying on his bed, the place from which he got up.
So he wasn’t kidnapped. He wasn’t drugged. But if so … why was it still night when he woke up? Why was everything so frighteningly dark around him?
At first he thought he had slept a whole day. He went to bed when it was almost five o’clock in the morning, and waking up he seriously thought he did it during the next night, but he found it strange: it’s summer, so the night comes very late and he found the idea of having slept since five in the morning until ten in the evening quite unlikely.
He got up confused and a little worried because of the dogs, which seemed to be going crazy out there.
<<I’M COMING, WAIT A SECOND! >> he yelled to them annoyed by their moans, and still a little sleepy he paused to reflect on the possibility of going to open the french window of the garden to let the dogs enter the house and calm them … but watching the window the intention to do so went away immediately.
It was dark out there. Very dark.
He looked around as if to be sure he wasn’t actually sleeping, then turned on the light in the room and picked up the phone to check the time: fifteen.
According to the phone, it was three in the afternoon.
But it was night out there. Deep night.
The thing that worried him the most was the missed calls and unread messages though. The phone was in silent mode, he always leaves it like that when he wants to sleep without being disturbed, so when he picked it up he found an unusual amount of messages to read, most of them sent by his parents.
It is the forty missed calls from his father that really caused him to panic though. If he has called him that many times then something really serious must have happened.
Normally he would think of a sudden death in the family or some unfortunate accident, but considering the darkness around him and the dogs that were still barking and whining, that wasn’t his first thought. In reality he did not have a real thought, it was more a succession of fears and anxieties that he had never felt before and to which at first he could not give a logical explanation.
He was afraid but he didn’t know of what.
He found himself with the phone in his hand and his mind apparently turned off for a few minutes. He thought several times about the possibility that he was still asleep and that he was in a nightmare, but the more time passed the more he realized he was awake. Awake and increasingly scared.
The darkness around his house was beginning to disturb him now. Not only was it unusual, it was also unnaturally heavy. It’s really too dark out there. But why? What is happening? And the dogs barking and whining in the distance weren’t reassuring him at all, their moans were taking on much darker tones.
It almost felt like they were… crying?
His subconscious was already screaming in despair at that moment, he was terrified of something but still couldn’t shape that thing. So his level of fear and tension skyrocketed, as did his level of paranoia: from that moment every single noise was picked up and perceived as possible danger by his ears, and he started to feel like when he watches horror movies alone.
After five minutes of inactivity and confusion, he took the courage to call his mother. He looked around paying particular attention to the windows and the bedroom door, which for him was dangerously open: he knew that there was no one in the house, but a threat could enter from that door at any time, as well as from the window.
<<Mom?>> he asked in a low voice, as if to avoid being heard by any thieves inside the house.
< Lorenzo? Oh my God, Lorenzo! Are you ok? Thank goodness!>> the mother’s voice was tense and terrified, which made her son anxious too.
<<Mom… what… what… happens?>>
<<I-I don’t know! I do not know! It’s all dark here! But they say it’s like this everywhere!>>
<<In… in what sense?>> Lorenzo threw a glance at the window as he said it; he knew what his mother was talking about, and even if he didn’t want to think about it or dwell on it, he knew what the origins of all his fears were << In what sense is everything dark? What does it mean?>>
<<Isn’t it dark at you? Is the sun still there at home?>>
<<Ehm … actually … I think it’s night here …>>
<<No, it’s not night! It’s been like this since this morning! You can’t see anything anymore, the sky is dark, it’s dark outside … There’s a mess here! People are all scared, they started screaming…>>
The mother’s voice was broken with fear and perhaps even tears. Upon hearing her in that state, Lorenzo’s heart was in danger of stopping. As she talked and told him what happened he also stopped breathing for a moment.
<<Everything was fine, it was daylight, I was at work and then … and then … I don’t know, all of a sudden it got dark. The sky turned black. All black. It’s never so black at night! But where are you? Why don’t you talk? Why didn’t you answer earlier? What are you doing? Are you at home right? You didn’t go out, did you? Today is your day off, you don’t have to go out, you don’t have to go ->>
<<Yes … yes, I’m at home mom …>> he managed to say with a bit of effort <<I’m fine do not ->>
<<Oh my God, thank goodness! Stay there! Do not go out! I don’t know what is happening but I will also try to go home. Stay there!>>
<<Stay there! Close the doors! Close the windows, close everything! Then call me back, understand? I’ll call you back too! I’ll call you back shortly. All right? Now you close everything. Do not open the door to anyone, and do not go out! Got it?>>
<<Y … yes.>>
<<Please, be careful! Please! And don’t go out! Not even for dogs! Not even in the garden! Got it? I don’t know what’s going on so stay inside! And keep them inside too. Even if they have to pee, okay?>>
<<Sure. All right. Calm down now.>> Lorenzo’s voice was calm, but this was only because he was in shock.
<<Okay, okay … so … I’ll call you later. And wait for me! I’ll be right there! I promise!>>
And so the mother’s call ended, with the dogs continuing to bark in the background and Lorenzo’s heart that didn’t want to stop beating.
The boy had never felt like this in his life. What he is feeling is not comparable to any emotion he felt in the past. His is a fear so deep that it risks leading to the realm of despair and madness, but it is also a fear without a precise target.
The sun has disappeared. And so what? He’s afraid that it will never come back? He’s afraid that everyone will die? He’s afraid of being permanently in the dark? Perhaps he is afraid of all these things at the same time.
Or maybe he’s just afraid of the unknown, of not knowing what is happening.
With his ears whistling and his vision clouding over, Lorenzo slowly made his way to the garden of the house. Out there he found the dogs, one large and young while the other smaller and older; they were howling and barking at the sky devoid of celestial bodies.
Lorenzo didn’t have the courage to look up though. He didn’t want to see what was up there. He opened the french door leading into the garden and simply ordered the dogs to enter.
It took them a while, but in the end they obeyed. Lorenzo closed the door behind him and decided to go back to his room, where at least there is still light.
And now he’s on his desk in front of the computer. Still in shock. Still deeply terrified.