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the dark - geneviève laprise

When all hope is gone, most people shut down. They forget about the beautiful things that have happened in their lives. They forget about the moments of joy, the birth of their child, a relaxing vacation on the beach. They forget about me, but I am still here, hidden in the darkness, waiting for a small beacon of light, inviting me into the light.

Not only do they forget, but they push me away as far as they can. They live - not as intended - they breathe and go through the motions. They just are.

I cower in the dark, an old man shivering from the cold and loneliness, struggling to stand, fighting off demons of the mind. Sometimes, all people need is a moment of quiet. When this happens, I stand firm and allow them their moment. The darkness is not heavy or cold; it is just a small shadow, and I can still see the light. When I emerge from that moment, I am a child, ready and willing to bask in the luminescence and bring laughter into their lives.

I almost forgot to introduce myself as I quiver in the shadows of your mind. I am a concept. I am not a thing, nor am I truly a person. I could be if you let me, but that would go against human nature. I am the ever-elusive concept of happiness. I am a child, an adult and an old man. I will bring you joy. When you let me peek into your heart and step out of your mind's heavy, burdened darkness. Would you be so kind as to let me in?

I don’t mind the shadows as long as there is light. I keep myself busy dreaming of the night sky and the moon. I remember all the places you have taken me; the darkness seems to recede. Sometimes, I can even poke through the veil you put up between us.

I am still a young man at this moment. What I thought was a needed moment of quiet appears to have become a longer walk through the shadows. I wonder if perhaps you would let me in. I would love to become a carefree child once more. I am your creation. I am a part of you. I came into being because you needed me. I know you still long for my presence. Fear not; I am here. I can be restored. We all create our own happiness. Sometimes, it can be hard to find me, especially when I am old and tired, but I am always here.

Oh, I know. You want nothing more than to be happy, and I want that for you too. Do not apologise for sending me back to the dark recesses of your mind, but let me remind you of something before the dark veil wraps itself around me.

You are not alone. I will always be here for you, and I believe in you.

Geneviève is a Canadian writer. She writes short-form fiction, which often includes dark and mythological elements. When she is not working on her first novel, she is learning editing at a local college. She lives in Ontario with her military spouse, three children and their cat, Thor, God of Thunder Protector of Asgard.


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