Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
Friday 13th November, 2015.
At 3:42pm GMT, it happened. The world descended into a sudden, complete darkness.
Chaos ensued. In our little office on the 10th floor, we huddled together in that ominous pitch black, awaiting the light. There was a television in our break room, and someone found the remote control. Using the memory of our fingers, we managed to change the channel to news.
For a long time, there was just silence. Then, through the seemingly endless dark, came a voice. A newsreader, bravely finding her desk and attempting to reassure her viewers, spoke to us in her soft, trembling voice. They had no idea what was happening, but people needed to remain calm, and keep together amid reports people are disappearing in the dark; wandering from their friends and family and becoming lost or finding danger.
We spent the next three days in the office, finding our bearings in the dark and managing to eat and sleep in relative comfort, despite the feeling that we were frozen in some kind of alternate universe.
Then, exactly 72 hours after the darkness came, it was gone. Our eyes burned from the sudden light, but we soon adjusted and agreed that we should, as a group, head downstairs, and outside.
Descending the stairs, a smell greeted us. Retching, I knew immediately what it was, and reluctantly turned the corner into the last turn of the stairwell, thinking perhaps someone had fallen down the stairwell and died from their injuries. I was wrong.
I think she had been a woman, though I can’t be sure. She had been flayed and gutted, though I don’t know in which order. Every inch of her skin was missing, though her eyes and teeth remained, turning her corpse into a grinning, staring monster.
I wasn’t the only one who threw up. Needing to escape the sight, we burst through the main doors into the foyer, and froze. Skinless bodies were strewn across the small foyer. Almost fifteen of them, by our reckoning from the brief look we had at them. We didn’t intend to stay for long, but found the foyer doors were locked and we couldn’t break the glass.
Someone – I don’t remember who – had the idea of heading to the security room and seeing if we could radio for help. Picking our way past the bodies with churning stomachs, we found the security room open and the guard flayed inside. By mutual agreement, we heaved his body out and shut ourselves in.
While one of the others tried to make contact, some of us started looking at security footage of the foyer from the last three days. We couldn’t believe what we saw.
It hadn’t gone dark at all. We had gone blind. And while we were blind, they had come.
Sinewy, smoky black shadows without faces, only eyes. Strange, glowing eyes.
They were flaying people, and wearing their skin as a disguise.
We tuned into the CCTV on our floor, and watched in horror as they walked among us, but chose none. To this day, I don’t know why. At one point, they were gathered together watching us, but soon after, they departed and caused havoc in an office on the floor above instead.
We were soon rescued, but in the following weeks, the world descended into lunacy. Everyone knew about the flaying, about the imposters, but no-one knew who was real and who wasn’t until it was too late. Without trust, humans cannot survive side by side.
I remained with two of my colleagues – those I knew were not changed. We packed camping gear and decided to make our way to the wooded area outside of town, to keep away from society as it became more and more volatile.
We had it all worked out, and we had high hopes for the recovery of humanity.
Then we woke up one morning, and we were blind again.
Three days later, the light came back, and I was with both of my friends – and one body.
I don’t know which it is, but I’m sure it won’t be long until we find out.