Daylight: A Story In The Dark
(special thanks to Dru for Editing. loosely inspire by character by the Rook)
That day, and into the next, Keiko turned off her phone and played a computer game. Bioshock Infinite. She remembered liking the original a lot, there was a kind of interesting tale of obsession and desire, a character study of a man who wanted, but lost sight of his goal.
This sequel game just seemed dumb and violent, with too much science-fiction but no real heart. She felt nothing at the end.
She wondered sometimes if she was this violent. She knew Daylight was not the type to kill baddies, but she wondered how it felt or the opposite. She knew she had experienced death, but Daylight must be too innocent, too far removed from it. To Daylight, death must be disgusting and horrible.
Then there was a moment in the game where she shot someone in the face, and her elfin game companion expressed delight. She turned it off.
And sat in the dark room.
Then played Peggle, which was at least more cheery.
It was around 4 o’clock when she heard a knock on the door. She put s sweater over her naked chest, one would be truly unsurprised Keiko didn't need a bra. The hallway had a bit of a light – perhaps a tad, but she could stand it.
And she knew who had knocked.
"Hello,” she said as she opened the door. It was Alberto, of course, which was good as it let her move into her prepared speech without stopping to think. Thank you very much for your letter last night. It was quite touching … but there’s nothing you can really do. The gesture was very nice, but …”
"I do have a medical condition. But it’s not cancer. I’m grateful for …”
"But there’s not much you, or anyone, can do for it."
"I'm sorry." Alberto shook his head. "Though I suppose it doesn't make much of a difference."
"It’s okay. Your concern is again …”
"How long do you have … or don’t they tell you? It took a long time for the doctors to tell her. It’s uncomfortable for them."
"It’s not a question of how long," said Keiko. Now she knew that she would have to lie to Alberto. She was hoping that she wouldn't have to lie like this.
"It’s not a question of time. I am going to die, but you know … so are you.”
"Why is it so dark in here?" asked Alberto, looking past her into the room beyond.
"Light is kind of painful for me," explained Keiko. "Even the hallway is slightly painful."
There was some truth to this. Pain would be a word to describe it, even if it wasn't precisely accurate.
"Is it getting worse?" said Alberto
"I try not to focus on that."
Keiko leaned against the doorway. "I just want to be left alone. I’m sorry Alberto.”
"Okay. Though it’s I who should apologise," offered Alberto.
"Will you fucking stop apologizing!" Keiko snapped, slamming the door.
And then she realized something.
She had just lied. Not just to Alberto, but to herself as well.
For Keiko didn't want to be left alone.
Two nights later she was having dinner with Alberto. He had accepted her apology without making her cry and beg.
And he cooked.
As she had noted, he was Hispanic. She had thought, or assumed, that dinner would be something, well … Mexican. Burritos. Tacos. All those wonderfully and completely original Mexican cuisines.
Instead he had prepared them steaks. Good steaks at that. Juicy steaks …
"Steak is all about the marinade. I added some lime juice to it."
They talked. Well, Keiko let him fill the conversation, letting him talk while she mostly listened.
Alberto, it turned out, was an elevator repairman. He had been for 15 years.
Were they safe?
Very, of course, A couple of times a month he did one that where stuck but they were never in danger.
"Occasionally the ones that are trouble are ones you see in rich people’s houses. They occasionally go on the fritz, but only because no-one maintains them. An elevator that’s over 6 storeys tall would only fail if the building collapses. And people have been trapped in elevators, only to be later rescued when literally everyone else in the building has died."
She nodded, and smiled. More then that, he was a sweet man. He talked about his love of Mariachi music. He had been born in the US. His parents had not, both moving here before he was born. She felt it best to ignore the issue of his Hispanic background. As a minority herself she felt it unseemly.
And their conversation was pleasant. When she finally started talking about her background she talked mainly about the movies she was watching – she had just watched "Analyse This" for the first time, and it was pretty bad. But it had the charm of fake reality. He listened and nodded in all the right places.
A pleasant time was had.
She woke up under a woman. Literally under her. The women looked like a model or some version of her. More beautiful then she had ever been.
This was always awkward. Keiko had never felt a desire for women. Not in an 'I’m curious' or 'I’ve had way too much to drink' way. Her desires had been strictly hetero all her life. But, well, Daylight …
She shook her head. The woman had the distinct appearance that she was currently suffering from dehydration. A woman could please Daylight for much longer … and that telltale slightly raw sensation on Keiko’s bottom suggested that this one had lasted longer than most. Still, the model was only human, but human couldn't handle superhuman. And so she presently seemed lost a daze.
A surprisingly heavy daze.
This was uncomfortable. Keiko slowly and methodically pushed the hot model off her body, using the last of Daylight’s fading strength. She wondered if, when she was completely normal again (hah) she could have done it. Probably, but well …
The fall made the woman, if not fully wakened, attempt to speak.
"Please … "
"Sorry," Keiko shook her head.
"Please," mumbled the girl. "I love you … "
Wow. That hurt. That really hurt. For a brief moment she considered an idea which pondered several times before. Why not stay? Tell them everything? There was a vampirism to her unique sexuality after all, and wasn't that the trendy fantasy? Find an attractive women drink their blood and stay forever …
But no. Keiko didn't want that.
And besides. Agian. Chick.
She got up and found her costume even as her body started to morph. A little slower then before this time. Occasionally she would transform a little slower turning back. Her hair was pretty much still all in. She wondered, if she had stayed in a lab, she could study the process more. Transforming back wasn't painful in the least. Not pleasant, and certainly odd. But not painful. She walked out the door.
Only to run into a person. It took her a couple of seconds to identify them.
“Daylight! What are you doing in my daughters room?" the Mayor asked her, clearly as surprised as Keiko..
"No one time to talk, there’s superheroing to be done," intoned Keiko. "I’ve got villains to clobber!"
And with that she ran as fast as her legs could carry her, down the stairs, and out of the house.
It took her a couple of blocks before it truly sank in, causing Keiko to start laughing.
She wanted to tell Alberto all about it, but of course didn't. You know, secret identity and all that jazz. She wondered what the mayor, if anything, would do. Daylight was popular enough that going against her may be a bad idea. And the girl was 19. She wondered if Daylight should maybe ‘do’ the Mayor?
Keiko was sitting in a restaurant eating a French-fry. She had managed to find a dress that was appropriate for this kind of place, and had wanted to go out. There was a lot of people here which she liked some.
But just her French-fries and a cheese toast burger. She liked the cheese toast burger, and knew that she didn't have to worry about her weight … well, other the fear of getting even thinner.
She was pleased.
But felt lonely.
This wasn't the place where people had scintillating conversations about Proust, or even HBO shows. She heard half-filled conversations about sports blended with conversations about people who weren't there. Even one about Daylight.
"Isn't she amazing?" some guy was saying.
Yeah, wasn't she just …
Keiko half listened to them, but couldn't relate what Daylight was doing to what Gandolfini was saying, or how the Hawks were doing (well in theory she could have done the latter, but no).
So instead she ate large toast and drank coke.
At least the refills were free.
That night she didn't get home until very late, walking around the city. She looked at the stars a lot.
Elsewhere Professor Robert Blackstone sat in a chair. The beautiful thing about tenure was that he could continue to call himself professor even after he didn't teach a class any more. It was a title, and he liked titles … even titles that he got from blackmailing a dean. It was just like him. For Professor Blackstone could be said to be an intelligent man, and very methodical, but it could equally be said he had no compunctions how he achieved his goals.
Right now he was watching a tape. He was intending to test the limits of Daylights invulnerability using lasers and high-powered cutting tools. His research footage had ended up as pornography. Not even good pornography. It was embarrassing to watch. He was no longer a young man, and he’d never been a very fit one.
But it was educational if he let it be. He knew already learned that she could emit an unnaturally potent pheromone that attracted men. Next time he would need to prepare.
But he also noticed that towards the end of the tape … Daylight started shrinking.