Moments of Darkness-Scratchings of Light
What would we do to end the injustice? What part of ourselves would we give in to? What moments of darkness do we embrace to give space to scratchings of light?
Rebeka carefully winged her eyeliner and stood back to take in the whole effect.
The black liquid had dried quickly and the dark line complimented her eyes beautifully.
Darkness could often compliment things, yet so few people every really understood that.
The moments of darkness they focused on were usually foreshadows of danger. A dark storm front threatens a tiny villages food supply, a dark alley echoing footsteps threatens violence, a dark shadow in the water could threaten life.
A heavy sigh and slight shake of her head was the result of her thoughts. It weighed on her that few people ever saw the cleansing that the storm brings, or the tranquility of absolute silence that can come in the dead of night. “Dead of night” she mouthed, why was the darkest part of the night associated with death?
Another application of red lipstick and she whirled away from the mirror and back out into the office corridor.
“I adore that lipstick colour!”, Svetlana cried as she approached Rebeka, shiny black stilettos clicking along the varnished floor.
Svetlana placed an expensively manicured hand on Rebeka’s forearm “What shade is it called?”
Rebeka barely parted her lips when Kimberley interjected “the blood of thy enemies!”
Rebeka let out a little giggle at what she thought was a well timed joke, but Svetlana didn’t feel the same and made it clear. A raised eyebrow from 6ft sass Svetlana made Rebeka feel like she was an insect ready to be impaled by the pointed heel of Svetlana’s black stiletto.
Rebeka walked on, almost turning the shade of her lipstick, Svetlana was unpredictable she thought and imagined her gossiping to everyone about how immature she was, how she laughed at dumpy Kimberley’s weird joke.
“Ignore her” said Kimberley with a smile “she takes things too seriously”
“I wish I could, but she’s been targeting me for months, Haven’t you heard her talk about me?”
“I have, but someone loses credence when they talk about everyone! She even bad mouths Yazzie. What monster talks bad about a coworker who brings in cookies for everyone each Monday?”
Rebeka thought on this, and pictured Svetlana’s brain as a monster, a dark monster.
She worked hard to ignore Svetlana and to be kind to everyone over the coming months. However, Svetlana’s bullying escalated. With devilishly calculation she slowly chipped away at the esteem of her female coworkers. “I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to do my hair like that if I had your face shape” she backhanded at Yazzie, who had clearly started showing signs of depression from this relentless persecution.
Rebeka would always try to heal these emotional wounds, but she just didn’t seem to have the same impact positively as Svetlana did negatively.
“It’s too much” hissed Kimberley
They watched Yazzie take another Valium, which they knew she hated doing because it made her gain weight. Yet it was Svetlana’s constant jabs at her appearance that had started her on the Valium in the first place.
There were other casualties too, and Svetlana had started turning more psychological in her attacks.
“We’ve tried HR and they do nothing” continued Kimberley, “for crying out loud, Susan’s on mental health leave, that means she’s getting half pay whilst trying to heal and raise a child alone because of that she-beast.”
“We just make sure we kill her with kindness, we slay that beast by giving it nothing to feed off. If you don’t react, they don’t eat” replied Rebeka. This was not the kind of darkness she would justify.
“And how’s that going for you?” Kimberley’s question was laced with sarcasm.
“Don’t turn on me, it’s probably one of her sick goals”
“Well I’m doing something about it.”
“Do I want to know?”
The next day Svetlana came in late and shaking. Rebeka overheard her saying she had found her Mercedes’ tyres slashed and a dead cat tied to the bonnet with a belt
“Tell me that wasn’t you!” Rebeka whispered to Kimberley as she poured coffee in the break room.
“Why do you think I’m capable of that?”
Rebeka toyed with the loops around her waist band, “just because of what you said the other day.”
“Well it’s stopped her strutting in and beating Yazzie with the proverbial thorn bush for once, so whoever did it has done the office a favour for the morning. Besides, it’s pleasing to see her so shaken, it’s about time she suffered the way she made everyone else suffer.”
Rebeka could neither agree or disagree, it was awful what she had done to so many, but she struggled to get behind Kimberley’s callousness.
Day by day, Svetlana came in looking paler, dark rings appeared under her eyes, she was rattled.
Rebeka felt pity for her and took her peppermint tea. “Are you okay Svetlana?”
“Do I look okay?” She hissed through gritted teeth.
“I thought some tea may help”
“Oh sure, that’ll help everything! That’ll get my car back from the shop, the windows fixed on my house and stop the letters!”
Svetlana shoved a handful of dirty A5 pages in front of her. They were roughly written, with various threatening statements or questions. Rebeka was concerned as to whether it was paint made to look like blood for effect or if it was the actual stuff.
“I’m so sorry, have you told the police.”
“What difference does it make to you, is your life so sad and boring that you need my tragedy to entertain you?”
With that Svetlana sipped the tea and spat it onto Rebeka’s skirt. “You can’t even get hot water and a tea bag right.”
Rebeka walked away, nursing her bruised esteem and wondering how to make her skirt presentable for the work day ahead.
“That’s assault you know” Kimberley appeared. “It’ll only escalate.”
“It’s escalating because of whatever you’ve arranged!”
“How could I have ‘arranged’ anything as you say?”
Rebeka was vigorously washing up to try and calm her nerves.
“Just whatever it is, I think it’s time you stopped, that was blood on those letters!”
Kimberley smirked, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone start bleeding from washing up”
Rebeka looked at her hands and saw she had gashed her palm.
Kimberley shrugged and walked away.
Suddenly a shriek and a crash pierced her thought bubble. Rebeka ran out of the breakout room and found Svetlana on the floor clutching at her ankle. The heel of her stiletto had come off, Rebeka grabbed the broken piece and saw the faint knife marks on it.
“How did she manage that?!”
“Who manage what?” Svetlana barked “I managed to fall over because of poor craftsmanship.”
Rebeka felt Kimberley’s gaze burning, giving her away at this point could lead to jail time. Something that Kimberley felt Svetlana would have got if there was proper documentation of what she’d done.
“These are peoples lives Rebeka, I’m making sure no more innocents are affected. A cleansing storm to get rid of the toxic dirt from the farm.”
They were in the bathroom and Rebeka herself was starting to develop involuntary muscle spasms, she was concentrating on her eyeliner but she could no longer steady her hand.
“This long game is too much for you I see, I’ll stop it.”
“Thankyou Kimberley, it does need to stop.”
“You have nothing to worry about.”
It was already night and Rebeka had her scarf loosely around her neck for the walk to her car.
Svetlana stepped out of the shadows.
“I know it’s you”
“I’m sorry, but what’s me?”
“You stopped wearing a belt, the gash on your hand, there’s a small knife in your desk you psychopath. The blood of thy enemies indeed.”
Rebeka was gobsmacked, out of nowhere Kimberley appeared, whipped the scarf from her neck and took it to Svetlana with animal like aggression.
Rebeka stood helpless, frozen by the entire situation. Once it was done she just stared at her reflection, “Kimberley, what have you done?”
Her reflection blinked back at her holding the scarf. “We sacrifice ourself to moments of darkness to give scratchings of light to the others.”
About the author
Honest feelings, fears and bizarre imaginings releasing themselves through fiction and perhaps soon some non-fiction. I hope to one day have my writing make someone else feel maybe not so alone, not so weird and go “hey I felt that too!”