Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

art by Ron Sanders

Darkness Becomes You

In every instance that Peter A Schaefer has a bio published for himself, it is new and original. Observant or clever readers might find the secret messages he hides, maybe just for fun, maybe to practice his improv. Each story also plays a role in his secret mission, to understand Earth culture for his masters from a distant star. Or, very likely, they are both, for he has grown fond of this green and blue orb. If anyone wants to read more of his perhaps-steganographic stories, they are available at catachresis.shoelesspete.com without omission.

He climbed into bed and turned out the lights, then said, "Darkness becomes you."
"That's either really rude, or terribly metaphorical."
"Uh, what if it's portentously supernatural, and you're about to learn something about the world you never thought was true?"
"Well if that's true, you're going to be in trouble for not cluing me in years ago."
"Unless I'm, like, a ghost possessing this body to give you crucial information."
"And it's only now the stars have aligned to free you and give you this chance to communicate."
"Oh, or instead of being a ghost, I'm part of a secret society, and it's only now you've proved trustworthy enough for me to give you this secret information."
"In which case you're in trouble again."
"Not if it wasn't my decision! My shadowy masters deemed you worthy after my years of pleading and released me from the magical compulsion that prevented me from telling you."
"Okay, I guess you're off the hook. So, what's this secret?"
"Well, if the clue is that darkness becomes you--and it's obviously not an insult, because you look great--it's either a personal, prophetic warning, or a philosophical statement. Like, a great evil will take your shape or possess you and do terrible things."
"What's the point in telling me, then? You really ought to just kill me and deny me to the enemy."
"Uh, maybe we can't break the prophecy?"
"Nah, prophecies are dumb. How 'bout the other option?"
"Then it means something like, our consciousnesses are generated from the stuff of the void, so in a literal sense darkness becomes us. And then telling you would unlock some power in you, as contemplating this truth changes your perception of the world."
"Thanks," he said.
"It's actually kinda close to the truth. I mean, light years away, still, but close enough that you could figure something out, given time."
"Unfortunately, I can't let you try."
"I'm sorry, but it's a magical compulsion. You understand."
"What're you talking--"
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Author Comments

This story is a sort I love to write, where natural dialogue simply flows between two people. To me, it feels very like some of the conversations I have with my loved ones, who are frequent catalysts for inspiring fiction. There's no one weirder than your family, really. This one, I believe, stemmed from a midnight conversation starting with the very same words as the story.

- Peter A Schaefer
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying Darkness Becomes You by Peter A Schaefer.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction is not accepting memberships or donations at this time.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.1 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):