The Darkness


Each Christmas, I write a children’s story for my great-grandchildren. I write one story, but customize it so that each child has a copy in which he/she is the personal hero. This year, because the kids are getting older (all around 6), I wrote a little adventure. There was a big, bad guy on another planet they visited.

In a quiet moment after he had read the story, I asked Daniel, 6, if it frightened him when Kaos came after him. He said, no, he’d just kill him to protect himself. I’m thinking blood, guts and gore galore as I said, “How?”

And he said, “I’d kill him with The Darkness.”

Hmmm. What a concept! Although childlike in its simplicity, it’s actually an adult-designed product of the video games Daniel plays all the time, The Skylanders. But, isn’t it perfect? Isn’t The Darkness one of the worst things we have in our lives? Maybe even the deadliest?

Darkness descends; it envelops; it smothers; it overcomes us. It wraps us in misery and loss. It deprives us—of light, of warmth, of cheer, of health.

If there are 50 shades of gray, there are a hundred shades of Darkness. There is gloom, melancholy, anger, fury, depression, rage, hate, vengeance, grief, sorrow, illness, death. I could go on, but it’s too… dark.

If we look at history, we see periods of Darkness. We remember that Darkness when we hear the music, read the novels (think Russian) and see it in the art. The Darkness can be all encompassing and can affect thousands at once. Today, we can see it in the news, day after day.

At first I thought Darkness was mostly a result, a reaction, or like a passive verb, something being acted upon. But then, I realized it’s also a thing, not just a subject, but a force, a power, an evil. A killer.

And it’s there. It’s out there. It’s waiting for you. Be careful. Be very careful.