Chapter 1: The Beginning of The End
"Man this shit is irritating." Benjamin James grumbles aloud to himself. "What'd you say honey?" his wife asks in passing as she enters the pitch black garage skillfully carrying a lit candle in her left hand. "Nothing Annie... don't worry about it. Watch out for the ladders hanging on the van." Anne James could read her husband's moods like an open book and he was pissed. He watches as she deftly maneuvers around the white paneled van parked before her and the past boxes he'd strewn across the floor. Slowly her beautiful face draws closer illuminated by the soft cone of light from the burning candle. There in his hand he felt it the massive flashlight he used during his days as a gravedigger. One of his many careers before finding his calling as a small business man. "James and Sons construction" was his life blood now and it had made things better for him and his family. He depresses the switch on the portable lantern's handle. In a brilliant flash comforting white light pushes the dark back into the musty corners of garage. "Found it!" He exclaims unintentionally shining the blinding beam at his wife . "Ah my eyes........ " the tall slender woman yelps shielding her face with her free hand. "Sorry babe" he blurts turning the light away just in time to see his wife tumble forward. With the grace of a man younger than his 40 years Benjamin vaults over boxes to catch his wife. While she struggles to keep the candle upright. Pressing in close to his wife "gotcha" he whispers into her ear.
With no power running the garage is a dusty dank sauna. She wipes the sweat from his brow then leans in gently to kiss his bronze cheek. "What's wrong Ben seriously?" She prods her husband of the last eighteen years. The husky man sighs deeply "Its just that the powers been out for over an hour now and EdCon has no eta on when it will be restored. I mean the kids are all over the place like this is a big game and all we can do is sit hear and watch several hundred dollars worth of food go to waste." Shaking his ample head in frustration he relaxes his grip on his wife but she doesn't move. "Babe this is exciting to the kids they don't realize the financial implications of a power outage they're kids honey! Relax our home owners policy will take care of us you saw to that." She smiles pushing a lock of blond hair from her face. Finally she sees a smile cracking the corners of his mouth. "Come on Jr. Wants to play a board game."
Together the couple heads back into the main house to a symphony of children laughing and tumbling about. Together they make their way to the front of the expansive house. Upon entering the living room Benjamin James brings the offending beam of light down upon his children. "Aw dad! Come on!" Shouts a preteen boy diving behind a love seat. He catches a pair of sock covered feet pulling themselves behind the sofa. The only child left is his eldest "Jr. Or Chip" as he was known in the James household. The boy held one hand up to his eyes using his remaining hand to steady his wheelchair. "Come on old man put down that beacon get over here and take this Monopoly butt kickin' like a man!" He chuckles rolling carelessly to the table. The entire house was set up to make it easier for Chip to glide through freely. Several hours and multiple jovial accusations of "cheating" later. The James children were sound asleep surrounded by their camping gear on the hardwood living room floor.
Ben and Anne sat on the couch snuggled together as Anne again took notice of her husbands inability to relax. His head seemed to be on a swivel all night which only served to increase the children's anxiety level. "Those were some bad storms weren't they honey?" Ben asked "yes babe but you have got to get over your irrational fear of tornadoes Ben. We have a solid storm shelter you built downstairs." She whispers rubbing his smooth bald head. "you want me to take your mind off of the weather babe?!" Pushing herself up on her husband's muscular lap. "No Anne.." he fumbles nervously "but I do think I should grab a gun from the safe just in case." Easing his wife gently off his lap back down onto the couch. He stands snatching up a small flashlight cautiously making his way down a long dark hallway to their bedroom. Emerging minutes later black revolver in hand.
Anne calls from the couch just above a whisper "honey why do you need a gun?! You're declaring war on twisters tonight?!" The tone in her voice made him awkwardly aware she was not happy with his rejection of her overt advances. "No Anne.. " he answered sheepishly "I checked the news on my phone earlier and the power is out to everything west of the Mississippi even in places where there was no storm." He leans forward using the guns muzzle to part the curtains on the large front bay window. The street was silent devoid of any life it seemed an unnatural shade of black. It appears foreign nothing like the street that had been their home for the past decade. Ben didn't like not knowing in fact he hated it. In his mind Phil Collins played on repeat reminding Ben that he too could "feel it coming in the air tonight." He withdrew the guns barrel letting the curtains close once more.
With our first post on "The Living Dark Facebook Page." We meet the James family our main characters in this ongoing Facebook serial. The family is in their home somewhere west of The Mississippi. They are suffering through a mid summer power outage thanks to some powerful "storms." So far we have met Benjamin James an African American forty year old self employed General Contractor. Ben has done physical labor his whole life so as a result he has considerable muscle mass on his husky frame. His wife Anne James who is in her late 30's and a native of Vermont. Benjamin James Jr.(Jr. Or Chip) is seventeen and wheelchair bound but still very much like his father. There are two yet introduced James children whom we shall meet in our next installment on Saturday August 4th!
The Living Dark