What Lies Behind The Dying Sun?


Trapped on this mountain…Will death come before the next sun rise?
9:45 pm
Eden City Coal Corp., Mining site No.3

From the open wound of a dying sky, the blood of sorrow and death rained, dripping slowly, falling far away from the corpse of a rotting paradise; splattering down on a dead world of fear and disorder, a world where the gods of man have long since, faded away into the dark grave of nothingness, leaving only the remnants of creation to rot inside the shadows of their own self made hell.

Alone in the darkness, only the unseen hands of the cold, suffocating lonely remained, only the grip of madness gave comfort to the tattered, old guard shack that shivered in freezing winds of isolation and abandonment. At the foot of ruins, it lay; crying into the night.

William exhaled slowly.

Into the night, he quietly gazed, glaring into the dead unknown that lie in wait just beyond the false safety of the dust covered window. Beyond the vast expanse, something dark watched from the unseen corners, something terrifying and hungry; something that watched and waited. Tension seeped from every pore of his face.

As he sat, staring on in a calm panic, shadows of nothingness crawled into the small, dirty room, weeping in unheard horror; cowering behind him, as their hands grabbed tight, his shoulders; as if to escape from the thing that stalked them, even the ever dimming lights seemed to wail out in panic, as they beat against the glass. From somewhere outside, lonely cries of old machines echoed out, humming a song of fear in the face of the coming death.

Into a dark place he stared.

Every mound of coal that lie abandoned, every truck that sat, long separated from a once, living soul; every shuttle car that once carried someone, now felt as though the sinister unseen were watching just beyond them; felt as though they, themselves were watching, waiting to let go, the hungry death, which would soon find its way to him, and eat him alive.

In the darkest corners, nothing but the worm exists; slowly crawling, slowly stalking those that are dying the slow death; those who lie in the grave and rot from the inside out. Nothing in a long dead world exists but forgotten remains.

I can’t stay here forever…but if I can hold out for a while, maybe I will live to see another sunrise…another day that I’m not one of them.

Though the dim, amber lights still burned, and the melancholy hum still sang out in the void, the mouth of the mountain opened wide, crying out in agony of isolation and reality of abandonment. Where once it was greeted by the strong and proud, and those who came to it for livelihood, now it sat alone; left to suffer in the darkness, and die at the hands of the savage and the diseased. Even the greatest creations of man will someday lie in ruins.

Trapped from the chaos that devoured the world, deep in the belly of the mountain; no other life except his remained. When the day of demise has met the sons of rebellion, all that lies in the wake of disaster, is the long, cold night, which cries down upon cadavers of the dead.

Another day that I’m still my own.

From the faded comfort, of the old, worn out office chair, William nervously looked away, taking his heavy, aluminum flash light in one hand, as he leaned over to turn on the battered, old radio, that rested in front of the window.

As the rest of the world had died around him, the darkness seemed to close on him, wanting to keep in its grip, lusting after the very fear of the unknown, that he harbored inside. Gazing down on the small two-way radio sitting on the desk, he sighed in slight anxiety.

Useless; completely useless.

Into the silent chasm, nothing but wild static echoed out. He gripped the torch tightly in his hand.

Same thing for days…is this ever going to end?

In the darkness, a silent enemy awakened. Against the rising fear that stirred within his mind, he fought bitterly. His job seemed to have kept him alive, yet in his thoughts, he wondered if it would be his death. Around him the world had fallen into oblivion, leaving only him alive to witness the death that had come, now he remained; trapped in the bowls of the mountains, far away from the civilization that once was.

His thoughts waged a battle between wanting to survive and the helplessness of that unseen demise. Would he be able to find his way out by morning? Would he remain in his sanctum till someone came? Or would he die a horrible, lonely death, in the face of his own of fears and weaknesses. William closed his eyes.
What am I going to do…I can’t leave but I can’t stay.
In the dark serenity of his own mind, it seemed as if he could find a safe place to hide; a place where he lock his fears away, and hide his sanity from an outside world that threatened to tear his soul into pieces; that threatened to drive him into the deepest hell of loneliness and torture.

When those who are left scattered after the chaos, find themselves alone, the only hope for survival rests inside their minds. The only way to survive is to vanish into the darkness; into the corners left untouched by the disease; by the eclipse. Determination gives birth to hope, location becomes the cradle of life; or the death of it.

Am I dead already?

As he sat, pondering on things unseen, a cold, dead wind leaked through the open seams of the old building, wrapping around him tightly, as if to protect him from the sickening stench of the rotted shadows that grabbed at his feet in wild horror; as if to keep him from the suffering. Their contorted hands chilled him to the bone.
Even in the cold space of nothing, fear of the unknown can create powerful monsters. Monsters that become alive and eat away at the soul, and thoughts in one’s own mind; leaving nothing more than a hollow shell to wonder around in the night. William calmly turned the old radio off.
Just static…there’s nothing left out there.
Down from its cross of sorrow, an old, long forgotten clock looked on in terror; pure dying hell, as it cried out into the great nothing below. As though to escape the invisible thing that chased after them, its hands ran in a never ending circle, shrieking in undying fear of the horrible unseen. Each tick that passed seemed one step closer to an unavoidable grave. He closed his eyes.
Nothing can outrun death forever.
In the deepest recesses of his mind, his thoughts ran wild; dancing in a panic induced state of confusion and terror, standing on the thin line between living and dying, giving up, or holding on. Each passing minute seemed to tease him in its own morbid delight, as time took slow steps away from, fading into the unknown.
What would the next hour bring, would it bring hope, or death? Would his choices save his soul or walk him through the gate of oblivion?
I have to get myself together…I will not die here.
Around his feet, crawled the shadowy worms of decay; the worms that salivated over the moment of his dying, the worms that waited to eat away at his dead soul and leave his carcass to rot among the industrial ruins that he relied on for protection. Eventually our sanctuary will give way to the thing that seeks to get in.
What was that....?
From beyond the distant ruins, something stirred. From somewhere beyond the abandoned trucks, and coal mounds, something unknown moved within the dust bowl, carrying with it, a solemn cry of pain and confusion. William’s eyes grew wide with terror.
Oh no…
Standing slowly, he backed away, pushing the tattered old chair as he sought to put distance between himself and the old window. Somehow his fear had come to find him. No longer was he safe in the isolation; now it had found him.
His eyes desperately tried to focus in the darkness, a cold, stale wind leaked through the open seams of the old building, wrapping around him tightly, as if to protect him from the dead, stiff hands of the rotting nameless that grabbed him tightly in complete horror
Out of the shadows of death, the coming faceless bled, seeping through the darkness like a face rising from the depths of a black ocean; pushing slowly through the cold wind that struggled in vain to flee from the bonds of fear which held it down. In panic of the dead, it became violent in its own struggle.
Harder his heart began to beat, pumping blood into his ears. Each step became louder; his sight became shaper. As the sound of flowing blood fought the sound of the chaotic noise in his ears, his hands trembled. No one knows what waits at the end of the unknown.

Beyond the rotted innards of the decayed old building, the thing that walked among the dead, staggered in unknown agony, carrying with it, faint cries of suffering and loneliness from which there could be no relief. One always finds themselves just a step from hell.

Could it be…

Somehow the very illusion of safety came down. The darkness he looked to for hiding, pushed him out; the battered, forgotten walls of his cold sanctum had fallen to the ground bellow his trembling feet. The cry of dead became louder in the night.

I thought I was safe…

Pulling the heavy aluminum baton from his side, he gripped it tightly. Between his fragile life and the savage unknown, only a single thin wall stood; only a wooden barrier kept him from the fate he’d long feared. With a viscous snap, he opened the baton.

Unable to see, yet able to hear; he knew it was close. The heavy breathing, the faint, painful whimper of torment; the confusion in each slow step; it was coming closer, and in a short time, it would find him.

How could it find me…

As he crouched down to hide once more in the darkness, he gazed on in desperation, hoping to use every last second to stay within the shadows; hoping it would pass on into the unseen. Sometimes silence can be the difference between life and death.

Just keep going…

Though it offered little hope, the cold comfort of the night gave shelter; at least for a moment, allowing him to hide within the chasm, allowing time to think, time to plan, time to breathe in the stale, dank air, if for nothing more than to feel alive for that one moment of his life..

It is coming closer…I have to do something. I can’t sit here and wait to die.

As he sat on the cold, dusty floor, his mind became flooded with confusion. What should have been a simple decision became a war of choices within his mind. The walking infected was nearing, as each tick of the clock gave way to the next. With every passing of the hand, his time to decide was passing with it.

The doors are locked…maybe it will go on by…but if not, should I try to kill it…but what if there are more…what if it draws them?

As his eyes became more focused in the darkness, he gazed down on the baton, still gripped tightly in his hand. Knowing his survival came down, not to the weapon he held, but the very will to live; to his desire for the life he once took for granted, William sighed a nervous sigh of mild relief.

Whatever comes, will come.

Continuing to sit, he found himself in a daze. The ravages of sleepiness and the draining fear seemed to wear his body and mind, as if to weaken him before the coming death; as if to take his strength so that there was no way to fight against his fate. Shaking the sleepiness off, he fought to keep himself alert.

Come on…don’t let yourself go.

Sometimes, even in the hours of the coming death, one’s own mind can drift away from the dark, harsh reality that seeks to find them. One’s own soul can fall victim to the weakness, even as the body and mind give in to the same.

Oh no…

As he was fighting his own weakness, the shadow of death crept across what light remained on the floor near him, as only his little sanctuary remained in the darkness, the rest bathed in the dim glow of loneliness. From the eternal unknown, a low cry of misery echoed out from just beyond the dirty glass window.
Slowly, he looked up from the dark abyss; into his worst fear, locking eyes with the dead which salivated in morbid lust as it appeared to look on into the void. Pressing against the glass, the soulless eyes seemed to scan through the darkness, as though they were watching for something; waiting for it to make itself known. Just as the wild animal waits for its prey, so to, do the eyes of the stalking death. Even the shadows of sanctuary cannot hold one forever.

Those eyes…no life in them…just black…pure darkness. They don’t move. They just stare, as if they know I’m here somewhere.

Gripping the baton ever tighter, his hand began to tremble. The sweat from his palms ran in fear of the hungry dead, running down into the abyss. Even the dark unknown is better than the reality of facing the eyes of hell. William continued to watch.

Just keep on going…there’s no food here.

Vanishing back into the nothing, the looming figure faded slowly away, leaving only a faint reminder of where it stood; a streak of bile which had spewed out in a mess of worms and tissue.
I hope it’s gone…

Finally the tension began to fade, his heart beat softened up. In his mind, death had left him alone for another day, and though still leaving him to the hideous silence of a dying world and the unknown that still existed, at least left him alive. William sighed with relief.

That was close…it almost found me.

A sense of peace fell over him. The darkness felt like sanctuary again; the fear had slithered away. For another moment, he felt safe; he felt like his life was in the hands of something greater than even the death that stalked from the reaches of hell.

Suddenly, from somewhere beyond his sight, a loud crash echoed through the dark, tearing his moment of calm from his very soul, ripping it away like skin from the carcass of a dead and forgotten animal. As he jumped up in panic, a horrid cry of torment and undying hunger bellowed out from beyond the shadows of the unseen.


View shadow_season's Full Portfolio