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In the Darkness

Waiting for the Light

By C. Rommial ButlerPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Los Entering the Grave by William Blake

It’s dark and cold. I’m pressed up against plastic, laying on a metal grate, and I can’t move. I don’t know how I got here. I’ve never been so completely submerged in darkness.

In what kind of debauchery did I engage last night? Where did it take me? What did I do? How did I get here?

Too many benders, dammit. Too many journeys on lonely roads seeking misadventures in dangerous places, from dive bars to deep dives. Maybe I fell down my last rabbit-hole and this is what it feels like to die. Just cold and dark and alone with plastic and metal and nothing else.

Is this some makeshift coffin? Am I buried in the earth? Did I finally take one too many shots, snort one too many lines, pop one too many pills? Did a jilted lover poison me or an enraged spouse shoot me?

I am not proud of myself, but this is the life I lived.

“Everything happens for a reason,” they say, but what reason could there be for a wretch like me to even exist? I poison myself and everything with me everywhere I go. I don’t fake it til I make it. I fake it so I can take it and then I get the hell out of Dodge, as the old saying goes.

But maybe the lawmen in Dodge City finally bagged their man! Or maybe some of those cutthroats I crossed caught up with me, and I’m buried somewhere in an unmarked grave off highway 65.

Yeah… somewhere between Indy and Chicago, in a shallow grave, that’s probably where I am.

Or maybe I’m stuck on a grate in a drainage pipe. The water will swell with the next rain and flush me into the light.

Damn this consciousness! I spent so much time trying to blot it out when I was ambulatory only to find myself still stuck with it when I can’t move!

What is the point of this? I spent my whole life being told by every preacher and pundit that this was the end, even if it was the beginning of something else.

I can’t say I was prepared for Hell, but I was more prepared for that than this! Just sitting here waiting… for what?

Wait! What’s that? I hear something just beyond the veil. It sounds like a voice.

“Goddammit! Where are they? I don’t have time for this shit!”

Some giant creature is just beyond the darkness, making a lot of noise. Footsteps heavily fall, doors bang shut, faulty old drawers scrape along their runners as they open and close. Yes… all these sounds are familiar to me. I feel like I’ve been through something like this before, but when?

Sudden silence. A long pause in the action. Then I hear the giant say:

“No way. Surely not. I couldn’t be that stupid.”

A sigh escapes the creature, and I recall the voice, and what I am and… but where am I then?

A cacophonous rending! The world is torn open! A blinding brilliance floods my senses!

The giant looks down upon me. Another sigh. There’s no one else around, so all this time he’s been talking to himself.

“Why in the hell did I put my keys in the fridge?”

I’m just a collection of keys on a ring sitting next to a jug of milk on the top grate of the refrigerator. He’s never lost me here before!

He picks me up. One key locks the deadbolt at the front door and then I feel all tingly as he rifles through me for the car key.

Completing my communion with the turning ignition kicks the engine into rumbling life.

What misadventures await us today?

I wonder if he’ll ever learn…

Short Story

About the Creator

C. Rommial Butler

C. Rommial Butler is a writer, musician and philosopher from Indianapolis, IN. His works can be found online through multiple streaming services and booksellers.

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Comments (5)

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  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Ha ha! Melodramatic keys! Love it. I did keys as well!

  • Hahahahahhahahahahahaha those poor keys! Misadventures! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Gosh this was hilarious!

  • Keys in the fridge? This has a tragic tinge. Good work! Keep it up!

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Fabulous!!! Love this!!!♥️♥️💕

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    Great take on the challenge, good luck! 😁

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