The Dark

The Place of Awareness

When Asher was a child, he was afraid of the dark. Not so much the dark as the sense that it seethed with intelligence, and that intelligence somehow wanted him dead. This aspect of the dark would linger a while even if one suddenly threw light upon it, as if to say "I am only blind, not toothless". "In the dark", thought Asher, "it can see me".

When he was older, Asher realized that he too could be formidable in the dark. He could see in it, if he let his eyes adjust. He taught himself to walk without sound. He could restrain his breathing. He could put the enemy on equal footing. Therefore, he could hide not from but in wait for his enemy. "The dark too can be prey."

Asher now feels most comfortable after dark. He still lights lamps in order to read or write, but he is at home in the night; it is his world. Whenever he feels a slight chill at the neck, he pulls his hat lower, his scarf tighter, softens his steps, holds his breath, and slips into the black... waiting. Sometimes if he seems short of breath, he has probably forgotten to resume normal breathing.

The Ashernet

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