I used to be an overnight worker. While the world around me slept, I was awake. I thought then that the darkness was my friend, an intimate friend. I would watch over the world when the light faded and I would protect it until Dawn and then seek my own darkness behind closed eyelids. It was an intimate relationship, one that I always felt was borne out of mutual trust and respect. I was a fool.
The darkness I embraced then was one of my own making, it was of man's making. Not a true darkness, only the darkness I had come to comprehend and fail to truly understand. In the end, my dark mistress betrayed me in the way that only a fool can be betrayed...by believing that any such thing can ever be your mistress when in fact you have always belonged to her.
The betrayel was simple. I had felt she had shown me her true face and I had fallen in love with that...but the truth is that the darkness showed me only what I was willing to see and when the lights of man went out...her true face became revealed.
The dead roam her dark wastes in ever increasing packs of feral, vicious and bloodthirsty killers which seek only to take warm flesh and turn it to their own ends, make more soldiers in their infernal army of walking appetites. She has done nothing to save me. I do not feel she has turned her back on me, I just feel that she has done nothing to turn her back on those things...and that is what hurts. As far as I have been able to tell, they have no weakness that relates to light or darkness, no weakness that relates to any human frailty such beings may have had in life. The method that they use to seek their prey does not seem to follow any pattern that I can tell. They just do what they do, swarming out over the earth and devouring any living person they find in whatever way that they find them.
When the lights of man were finally extinguished and true darkness showed her face there was no light to watch her eyes turn to face another direction and it was then that I, standing alone under the useless streetlamps, knew longing for the world I had known and loneliness folded over me like a crushing weight. The absence of even artificial light was sudden and grotesque and I realized in my despair that the night I had felt so intimate with was not what I thought her at all. What I had loved was a shadow cast by a streetlamp and the sudden belief that I had known the night at all seemed silly and tragic to me.
Alone in the darkness I mourned the loss of those that I had neglected in my former life. The wife that loved me, the child that should have been but was never born. My parents had predeceased me years ago and I wondered if they were rolling in their graves now, not out of some despair for me, but did this effect all of the dead or only those exposed to the plague? I did not wander far enough from my home to answer such questions, but instead sequestered myself inside my apartment and stared out at the darkened streets looking for a sign of light, something that would tell me she was still there, not lost to me. The night, that mistress. All was black and featureless. She was defined by moonlight...the absence of it drank me in, belched me out, sicked me up. I was lost, I was hiding...hiding in my cramped apartment, sitting on a tiny sofa...she couldn't see me cry, nobody could...the last light of my life was that of muzzleflash...