Broad Daylight

Carol and Joey snuggled on a bench, kissing with their eyes open. The sun rose with an odd affliction. The park light blared brightly against a tunneling hazy darkness. The sun shined like squid juice. Carol answered her phone.

“Mom?”

“Come home. Bring Joey.”

Carol blushed. Joey was supposed to be a secret. Carol and Joey staggered back to Carol’s home. The living room lit up as the door closed. Mom watched CNN. Joey opened the blinds. The darkness came through the window, destroying visibility in its path. Unnerved, Joey closed the blinds.

“It’s coming from the sun.” Joey said.Broad Daylight: A park under a cloudy night with a street light struggling to shine

Father was a student of Herschel. He took a prism from its case, opened the blinds. Sunlight banded into colors. A black band lay in the center. Father took out a light meter, put it in the black. The needle nearly pegged.

“Somebody’s changed the light.” Carol said.

An unseen reporter spoke. “A new frequency of solar radiation, noir, disrupts visible light frequencies, causing conditions of low to zero visibility during the day for all animal species. Residents are urged to stay indoors.”

No optical technology or biology could adapt to see though the effects of noir radiation. Most People traveled outside only at night. Carol and Joey embraced the day, learned to navigate the new sunlight by ear and touch alone. Carol and Joey saw things in shadows: Luminous centipedes flying on dozens of flickering wings.

One day the two of them discovered the scale of the insects buzzing in the noir. As they watched, one of the creatures dug its dozen legs along the length of a teenager’s spine, gnashing at the neck of the torn and bloodied corpse.

Tripping and bruising, the frantic couple ran home. They sat in the light, disbelieving. The news began reporting disappearances, murders, deaths, found remains, but only the internet mentioned the bugs; explained the low buzz that was now inseparable from the noir.

Enlightened by knowing, Joey and Carol never ventured into daylight again.

 

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