short story from
Enlightened by Darkness
Robert Friedrich on Smashwords
short story from
Enlightened by Darkness
Copyright 2013 by Robert Friedrich
Cover Copyright 2013 by Robert Friedrich
A little boy is playing and laughing with his sister in the back seat of a car. The mother in
the front seat enjoys the atmosphere and beside her the father is steering the car through a
mountain road. They all look happy on this family trip. The sun is shining and bright light
streams into the car. As it dazzles the boy, the father loses control of the car. The boy only hears
the sound of a loud horn.
I don’t know if that is a dream, a memory or something else. It’s the only thing I remember
besides waking up in this dark city. I don’t even know how I got here, who I was before; I don’t
even know my name. All I have is the number 47. That’s how they have called me in the hospital
I awoke in few weeks ago. It probably means my age or something, I am not a child, and I know
that. Even though, the last memory before this place seems to come from my childhood.
The official word around is that the planet was destroyed in a Nuclear War and this city is
the only remaining safe place. Other survivors from scared wastelands got their memory
damaged by radiation or some bullshit like that. I don’t even want to get into the complexity of
half the things they told me here.
But there are others, far too many others, which tell different things. Specifically the one in
control of this city brainwashes people to restrain them easily. I don’t know whom to believe, I
just follow what resonates with me. And what I feel especially is that if this is the only city left to
man, it should not be run by a Dictator sitting somewhere up in his Citadel. Using fear and
oppression and the help of his private army to control the city and manipulate its people. I don’t
even remember when the last time I saw the sun. Strange, it does not shine through the clouds
here; all we get is darkness and rain. The only time I see the sun is when I think about that dream
or whatever it is.
But what puzzles me is the girl that appears at times by my side. I keep seeing her around
the city. Always among people, she stands there with her long black hair in the rain. Her face is
obscured by a shadow and her blue dress is dirty and drenched. I see her just for a second, for
when I blink, or look away she vanishes into obscurity. It’s like she is there and not there, as if I
could see simultaneous existences. And I feel her; she is watching and looking out for me.
I chose to believe in freedom, that is why I became part of the Resistance. Even if I didn’t
fully understand a lot of things, I am here now; confused from the blood of the dead soldiers,
since I am not the one that killed them. The plan was simple, most of the Resistance would create
havoc and riots in different parts of the city thus spreading out and thinning the enemy lines.
Me and my small company would then infiltrate the armory, take out any enemy soldiers
that stayed behind. Half of my company would take loaded trucks to the entrance of the
Presidential Citadel Palace, while the rest of my group would go from below the ground through
the sewers. We would all eventually meet up at the fortified palace, storm the wall and gate and
fight our way in, capture that sack of shit Dictator and free this city.
It was all going according to plan, my comrades got to the armory and we were about to take
out the small company of soldiers that got left behind. There was a noise; a strange static noise
before the soldiers started to panic. Next thing we knew they were all dead, as if a grenade
exploded among them. Their bodies were torn apart and liquefied. Yet there was no sign of any
It was strange, confusing and deranged. Yet my company wanted to continue as planned.
They garrisoned trucks that we loaded with weapons and sent them off to the rendezvous point. I
and two other men stayed behind to go to the Citadel using the sewers. We didn’t know about the
sewer search patrol though, they were looking for the Resistance. We were outmanned and
outgunned. There was no way around them as they were covering the only ladder leading to the
right sewer junction.
Out of nowhere, a fiery like vortex or wormhole opened up above the soldiers. I had no idea
how or why or even exactly what it was. My company was as speechless as me; we watched the
vortex suck air, the soldiers and even parts of the guardrails and metal into before disappearing
It seemed that it was only me afterwards that heard a little girl’s voice say “You are Safe
Now!” once the vortex had disappeared. We had no time to spare anymore, the fighting on the
road was intensifying and we had to hurry through the sewers to join the fight.
The smell and the rain water complicated our progress but eventually we made it. It looked
that the rain was getting heavier and heavier as the fighting increased. The Citadel was heavily
fortified and the defense wall around had many platforms and a full arsenal. There were
casualties on both sides as we kept on pushing. Even though it was the first time for me to hold a
machine gun, or at least first time I can remember. It felt natural. Many enemy soldiers fell as we
kept pushing on. Our reinforcements finally arrived and we managed to destroy the defensive
platforms and breached the front gate in the wall. Finally it was time to storm the Citadel and to
end this bloodshed.
The plan was right on track, and then I got shot in my lower abdomen. The pain was
immense and I could not even stand. It struck me down. I was hearing my own piercing voice in
an excruciating tone while bleeding. The blood on my hands was mixing with the heavy rain. I
knew I was going to die there as more and more enemy soldiers were pouring out of the Citadel.
Amidst the fighting and our relentless enemy, out of nowhere the little girl appeared.
Something though was different. She stood there among the enemy soldiers, and this time
everyone could see her and everyone was just startled. She began to change, twitch and twist as a
black veil engulfed her, defying the rain and scene. She transfigured before our very eyes.
Her straight long black hair got longer and turned to thick cable like dreads. They were
smooth and had sharp ends. Her blue dress turned into a black veil like dress with a thick black
aura. It covered her body from under her shoulders till the feet. Only the shoulders and neck
were still pale skin. Her hands changed as well, as if she was wearing gloves with long claw tips.
The veiling black dress encircled her body like a skin. Yet the aura made it more obscure. Her
face disappeared behind a metal face mask. It covered only her face and part of her head; the
mask had no eye sockets or openings for a nose or even a mouth. It was like a straight sheet of
metal, plain and complex, though I could feel that she was looking at me.
The enemy soldiers out of fear tried to resume the fighting and opened fire. That was not
only useless but futile as well. She had some kind of strong psychokinetic powers. For she didn’t
even move, the bullets never reached her. They just disintegrated in midair.
I could only sit on the wet floor as I witnessed her unleashed rage. My company didn’t know
what to do either. Enemy soldiers were flying through the air like ragdolls. Blood was gushing
everywhere as they were dismembered, split in half or ripped to bits before our very eyes. Some
of them she just threw around, smacking them into walls or ground. The pouring rain was mixing
with blood more and more as nothing could harm or stop her. Some soldiers tried to run away,
they were crushed by their own vehicles she threw at them.
Nothing and no one could match her power. Suddenly, for the first time she started to walk.
She walked among the remains of the soldiers she just butchered. One soldier she tossed was still
alive and tried to fire whilst aiming at her. She just ripped him to bits in the blink of an eye.
Next thing I knew she was standing before me and was looking down right into my eyes.
The aura around her back started to vibrate and created a glittering shimmer as two wings swiftly
formed on her back. They were not angel wings, for she was no angel. I could not think straight
and was both scared and calm.
She stretched out her arm towards me, as if she wanted to hold my hand. I could hear her
voice in my head; it was soft and comforted me. I held on to her hand and trusted her. A pistol
was lying not far and she made it float towards me. I grabbed it with my other hand. The rest of
the Resistance didn’t know what to do and just stood there silently as she helped me to my feet.
She put her hands around me and held me tight. Once I have regained most of my balance she
lifted us up and held me as we flew to the top of the Citadel.
The Dictator was on the roof with his bodyguards as we landed there. I can only guess he
was waiting for something to take him away before we appeared atop the platform. He was
shocked and surprised to see us and his men didn’t hesitate to open fire. Their bullets though
could not stop us, for she was there with me. This time all the bullets stopped in midair before us.
Right before she simply disintegrated them. The enemy soldiers were shocked and about to
reload. Just like that in a blink of an eye she tossed them all off the platform.
Bodies rained down among the water as the Dictator faced us alone. In panic or just pure
stupidity he tried to grab a gun, but all he could witness was the gun melt away. He stood there
alone, so I raised my hand with the pistol.
Everything became clear for me at that time, as all what happened, happened for this
moment. I had a clear shot and I decided to take it. My wound kept on bleeding as I cocked the
Suddenly a gunship appeared from behind the Citadel and aimed straight at us. She just
simply looked and in that very moment the pilot was ripped from his chair and tossed through
the windshield into the rotating blade that kept the gunship steady beside the platform. Like
paper she tore it to multiple pieces before it exploded not far from us. The light from the
explosion lit up the scene.
Water droplets were breaking on the pistol as I took aim and fired at the Dictator. The bullet
penetrated his chest. He stood there in shock and disbeliefs, before tripping over his own leg and
plummeted down. Weak yet satisfied I fell to my knees. It was finally over. I dropped the gun.
Unexpectedly the rain began to ease down more and more before it finally died out. She
stood there all the time with me, but then she took a few steps forward and turned to face me
once again. As she stood there and kept looking down at me, the clouds gradually began to clear
out and it seemed as if finally sunlight would pass. And so it did, slowly but surely it began to
shine through the dark clouds. I could hear the voices, cheers and screams from the Resistance
below us. I kept on looking up to her, even though I might not see her face, I felt it. I felt her
gaze through that sheet of cold metal.
She raised her hands slowly and grabbed that metal face cover she had. The clouds were
passing more and more as she finally removed it. She had no face below the mask, only a bright
light shined from where a face should have been. The light passing from the clouds and her face
engulfed me whole.
A small boy awakes from a coma in a hospital bed. He looks around, sees his parents and
finds his sister sleeping beside him while holding his hand firmly. He scans the room more and
notices a report on the TV across. He can’t hear it but can read the line;
“Boy still in coma 7 weeks after family car accident.”
In that moment his sister awakens and begins to weep in joy to see him conscious.
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