A power outage gothic

Humour_power outage

No revival of a battery’s death

By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor


The lights flicker. The wind howls outside. Rain batters against the windows.

And then you find yourself in darkness. A darkness so deep and so eternal that you would not be able to see the very hands in front of your face, if not for the faint light of day piercing through the clouds and filtering wanly through your bedroom window.

The power is out.

You know that daylight will not last for long, though. The night cometh.

Quickly, quickly you find the candles, strike a match, and sit in the soft yellow glow. Light. You can only hope that the salvation of electricity will return to you before you are consumed by the all-encompassing night.

You do a check. Laptop at 51 per cent. Phone at 72. A few half-used AA batteries and a fogged-up flashlight. This will have to do.

You wait. With the router out of life, your WiFi is shot. There’s nothing to do but watch the movies on your hard drive, a pitiful collection of last year’s Oscar nominations. The time ticks by as your battery drains, the sun setting, and the darkness growing.

But wait, hope! Three whole Gs of it, sitting in your phone. Damn the extra data charge, and damn you for not realizing your bounty sooner. You sit and browse Twitter, then Instagram, then Facebook. By the time you’ve done all that, there’s more to read on Twitter, and then to see on Instagram, and then to watch on Facebook. Life finds new meaning, the day has been saved, no reason to panic, no reas-

Warning, battery at 20 per cent.

You feel a sinking, hollow feeling in your chest. You check the time; it has only been three hours. You put the phone away and continue watching that boring movie you have suffered through once already. The laptop is sitting at a pitiful 15, then 10, then 5 per cent.

And just like that, it turns black. Gone from this world until a time comes that it may be revived. “A useless hunk of junk!” you think, absentmindedly pulling out your phone, cursing yourself to see that it has been drained of life as well. If only you hadn’t been constantly playing music in the background this entire time. If only you hadn’t been so blind.

The sun sets. You gnaw on cold, buttered bread. The candle flickers, and you realize that watching the wax slowly melt down into nothingness is the only way you are even sure that time has been passing. No battery-powered clocks. No numbers on the microwave or stove.

You gaze in contempt at the two bookshelves full of literature lining the walls. You don’t feel like reading.

Eventually the flame splutters out in a warm pool of wax. A line of smoke rises from where there once was light. You don’t see it, but you can smell it, as though it were a burning funeral pyre of all that you cared for in this life. The minutes drag on, though you have no way of knowing they do for certain. The night only plunges further into darkness, no sign of dawn approaching.

You close your eyes. A dream is your only escape.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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