Darker Than Darkness

Here is my response to a challenge I set myself:

Describe a darker shade than black. 

How should I describe to you a darkness so intense that it goes even deeper than black, more intense than nothing? There is something I could say, an example which I might give, but I will be trusting you to follow my lead.

Imagine you are standing at the bottom of a deep well, out in the countryside at the direst hour of the night. But no, the moonlight glimmers on the surface of the water and even that is too light. Come out of the well.

You are lying on your back in a large pit, dug from the rich soil of an often-tilled field. The walls and base of this pit are not quite black, there is some touch of colour to the fertile earth.

Of course, above you there is the glittering quilt of the night sky, bright with star and moon. But it is not the dark earth and the night sky which are the blackest. It is the space between them, the void of emptiness which covers you like a blanket. Even that is not dark enough.

I hope you will forgive me, but you must be buried.

The first shower of thin grit sprays across your body. Even as the tiny particles patter against you the world seems to grow slightly dimmer. That is fear which begins to draw a shade across your vision, and knowledge of what is to come.

With each shovel of earth the clods fall thicker and heavier, the soil darker as it rains down from above. You are entombed, covered to your neck by wet soil. Even the passage of earthworms through the disturbed ground seems loud in your ears.

And the final load is thrown down into your grave. Utter darkness now. If you could open your eyes, if they were not shut fast with the weight of the world resting on top of you, there would be nothing for you to see.

Now you’ve read my attempt, why don’t you give it a go?


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