Stories in the Dark

We sat together for a few frightening moments when the shroud of darkness fell. Some people would call it a power outage. Those who huddled before incandescent boxes, longing to watch the latest episode of American Idol. My grandchildren and I stood before the French doors, staring out upon a black horizon.

Once there had been a curved hillside, sprinkled with diamond lights. Other homes scattered across the undulating bosom of Southern California. Now there were only moon and stars, and a universe of the unknown.

Within minutes I had candles glowing, a safe pathway of light that led from the kitchen to the bathroom, while the living room became the safe haven. Wrapped in blankets, not because it was truly cold, but because the darkness seemed to steal part of our souls, we curled together on the sofa. Nearby tables stood bathed in golden flickering light. Somewhere, a clock ticked away, a loud rhythmic reminder of how alone we were.

We were stuck in this black envelope, but we were together. That brought us hope. Made us smile as we snacked on “raw” marshmallows.

In this shadowed land I was the Old One, the Great Leader, the Only Adult. Four gleaming eyes peered up at me for wisdom, for encouragement.

So I began, with the only power of distraction that I had within me, the only method of making time pass more quickly.

I began to tell them stories.

Stories of dark and lonely places, tales of lost souls, legends of heroes.

“This is the beginning,” I said in my best Grandmother voice.

And it was, it still is.

It is the beginning of the Dark Age in Alien Dream.

The time of the stories . . .


Mark Goodyear said...

First, you have grandchildren? No way. This is fiction, right?

Also, we love story telling at my house. Currently, my kids and I are telling the epic adventures of Pic the Cabin Boy (his full name is Picture) and Captain Smalley Towel, the Pirate. The kids chose the names.

Merrie Destefano said...


Ha ha. No grandchildren, although I certainly could have some. But my son isn't married yet, though, so no replicants running around.

Yes, I'm playing around with a story beginning for my next book. A story within a story. Maybe.

Story telling with your kids sounds like too much fun! I love the character names.

I bet you and your kids would love the books that Andy McGuire is working on. They sound fabulous and he's writing and illustrating them himself. I can't wait to see his first one.

Talk to you later!