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Exercise Wednesday: Hello darkness my old friend

February 4, 2015

Imagine, if you will, darkness.

Not the typical darkness of nighttime in your bedroom, where the light still invades through the blinds, leaving a series of parallelograms across the floor and the bed. Not a darkness where the clock tells you it’s 3:02 and if you want to get more than a tiny bit of sleep, you’d better get to it.

I’m talking about a darkness that’s so complete it almost becomes a physical form. A darkness you feel like you’re swimming in, that presses down against you from every direction and makes you feel like you can’t breathe from the pressure, even though nothing’s touching you.

What’s it like to be in such darkness? You can’t see anything, though your eyes might try to convince you otherwise. You may have to feel your way across a floor–maybe a flat, even floor, or maybe a more precarious floor–one that could drop away at any instance.

What do you smell? What do you hear?

Do you extend your hands in front of you as you walk zombie-like, shuffling stiff-legged?

What do you feel? Is your heart beating faster? Are you sweating? Can you smell the stench of your own fear?

Or is the darkness a useful cover for you to get something done that shouldn’t be seen?

And what is that noise you hear?

Today’s exercise isn’t to make anything happen. It’s to just write of the experience. Make your reader feel the darkness as its own character.

Time limit: 20 minutes

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