Night is supposed to fade in by degrees as the sun disappears from the horizon, then as its glow slips away. Night is not supposed to roll literally in. This time it did. It wasn’t fog or some cloud, but a visible darkness that coursed along. I had been in storms with massive dust clouds that swallowed up the light and cut all visibility, but that wasn’t this. Nor was this the absence of light. It was darkness. The only way to tell the difference was that all lights became oppressed. The darkness pushed the light back towards its source, refusing it to penetrate.
The light in my office, which was perfectly suited to keep all the shadows at bay, normally, became a pale glow no brighter than a nightlight. I turned on my phone, and the screen was nearly pitch dark. I could barely discern the outlines of icons. I hit the app that turned the camera’s flash into a flashlight, and it might as well have been a lighter.
The office phone rang; Jen answered it. I had to give her credit that she didn’t freak out at the darkness. I gave myself credit, too. Curiosity delayed the onset of terror.
My own phone rang. The screen was a little brighter, so I just make out the right icon.
“Matt Allen,” I answered.
“Matt!” Jen yelled, “Belport PD on the line for you.”
“Matthew,” I recognized Nikki’s sultry voice, “at your earliest convenience, I hope you will investigate this darkness which has swallowed the entire city. I fear things will turn ugly very quickly if this continues.”
“Yeah. Got another call.” I disconnected and fumbled for the desk phone, prepared to hear Detective James Collins yell at me, trying to understand what was going on.
Yeah. This sounds about right. What happened to my simple cases?