Books say things like darkness blanketed the city. But blankets are comforting, and there is nothing comforting about the darkness that fills the forest surrounding our village. That darkness walls us in, infinitely high, leaving only a gray ghost of sky above us. It skitters and slinks along the ground. It clings to the trees like tar-covered tentacles, entwining the branches. It saturates the air, thick and heavy.
Maybe it is like a blanket, but only if that blanket is being used to smother you.
I’ve been told that things were different at one time. There was light beyond our village, light from a source other than the lantern centered in our village. No one knows exactly what happened. The darkness crept in, bit by bit, until eventually it surrounded us. Since then, no one who has left has ever returned.
Which is why I am shaking now, standing at the edge of the forest. Today I will enter the darkness in search of a way out.