The Dark

Tallulah Woods family disappeared (somewhat ironically) in the Dark Woods years ago. She now lives with her aging grandmother and lives a solitary life, only talking to her mysterious neighbor. In a land where there is no day and there is only darkness, candles are the only option. But when something tragic happens, and a wondering Tallulah ends up the one places she doesn't want to be, where she is encased in darkness, what will happen?

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It was dark, or nearly dark all the time. To combat the impossible darkness from seeping up on the people, they lit lanterns. They strung them from house to house on the streets. They were placed in nearly every window. They were carried around and placed outside doors and along the streets. No one ever stole them since even the smallest flame was helpful.

It took years to build new houses due to the darkness and somehow whenever Tallulah Woods went on a walk, whenever there was barely fleeting daylight or if there was an especially bright moon, she would always find more houses. Houses were dark colored, shades of black and white and gray. Occasionally she would find a dark blue house. 

The streets were a sort of cobblestone and it always made Tallulah trip. Even in the candlelight, which flickered just enough to see the streets, she still tripped. Her grandmother, who lived with Tallulah, always tripped as well. As well as her grandmother's friends. The old would wander around the streets, sometimes tripping, sometimes barely seeing, to each others houses, where they would sit and drink the midnight sap until it was time to visit someone else's house. 

Everyone else would work, by lantern light they would go where they needed to go, they would feel when it was too dark to see. Darkness was a friend. Sometimes, when Tallulah would think about things that she didn't want to think about, she would stare into a candlelight. The flames would hurt her eyes, the brightness would light up her face and make her feel warm, which was an...unusual feeling. 

When she had been young, her mother, her father, and her younger brother had all went to grab something. They never came back. Someone had said that he had seen the three of them wander into the woods nearby. The woods where no one left any light to see. It was said there was wolves there. It was also said that there was much worse things than wolves. How ironic, they said, that Tallulah Woods' family disappeared in the woods. The woods. They were dangerous. So dark that one couldn't see. Windy so the candles blew out. Barely any made it in there and escaped. There were horror stories about it. Her family had gone in. And they hadn't left.

Tallulah didn't really remember them. She remembered a curve of a candlelit smile, she remembered a soft hand and she remembered absolutely nothing of the whomever was left out. At 16 years old, Tallulah Woods was somewhat more mature than those her age. Growing up, she had taken care of her Grandmother, a once vivacious woman, who was now no more than a thin and sickly woman. The other elderly visited the house often to keep her grandmother company. Quite often did those quick visits turn into over-nighters or sometimes even more. When that did occur, it was up to Tallulah to wander over to their houses and tell their families that their loved ones didn't wander into the dark woods, but instead were at her house. 

Her house, had two floors. It was small and various shades of gray. The roof was somewhat drafty and so were the two windows, which kept breaking and kept wandering open. The windows were in the middle of the house. On the second floor the large window exposed Tallulah's room, which kept it extra cold, as her way to keep her Grandmother warm. The second window, was towards the side of the first floor. It was still facing front, but it was right under Tallulah's room. 

The house was somewhat shabby. All the furniture was old and hadn't been moved in at least 13 years.The sofa, once red and white striped was now some orangey color, or that was what Tallulah thought, as she didn't dare bring the candles closer in fear than she set the sofa ablaze. It had been patched up so many times that it might've been more patch than sofa.  The floors were worn and were fading away. The doors creaked a lot. So did the stairs, even though they had a carpet on them. The carpet was faded and was once a dark shade of blue, but it was now a lighter shade with multiple holes on it. The railing was fading and when Tallulah held onto it for too long, it would either splinter or the paint would stick to her hand. Tallulah hated it. 

She hated the fact that everything around her was rotting, the house, the furniture, her grandmother, who was getting weaker with everyday. She got annoyed at the darkness. She got annoyed when there was barely any light out. She got annoyed when her window was drafty and she got annoyed when she tripped on the street. To vent, she would talk to her neighbor. 

Gwendolyn was a couple years older than Tallulah. Gwendolyn was a good listener and offered good advice. On those rare times, when the sweet and gentle Gwendolyn needed an ear, Tallulah was there for her. They would sit on the doorway to Gwendolyn's house. When Gwendolyn would sit, she would look elegant. Her hair would look perfect and she wouldn't look uncomfortable. When Tallulah would sit, she would hunch over her legs and rest her arms on her knees. Once, someone mistook her as a strange cat. They would sit, and talk, and Tallulah would listen to Gwen as Gwen would talk about her life and the person, whose name she would never tell, who she was going to marry. She would always just say 'He'. No name, no descriptions. When Tallulah asked her about it, Gwen simply shrugged and continued talking. 

Tallulah both hated and loved her life. She hated everything she loved and for some unexplainable reason, her favorite thing to do was to walk around the streets. When the night was inexplicably dark or when the moon was full, she would wander. Back streets and around houses. Rows and rows and blocks and blocks. She would find new houses. She would find old houses. She found various stores and she found little bridges, that led to nowhere in particular. Across the road or up to a house. She also found strange objects, that sometimes she would take with her. An illuminated watch, shiny and gold and precious looking, yet when she opened it, she found the clock face missing. She found various other things like that as well, and on her window sill, she would place the objects. When her grandmother, who walked slowly and barely went into Tallulah's room because of the coldness, would walk in and see the objects, she would always move them. Tallulah's explanation to her grandmother, when confronted, would be that the objects kept the windows shut.

Tallulah didn't know why she lied everytime. She just knew that she did. 

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