((I found this note in one of the older houses in town. I wouldn’t call it “trespassing” so much as “Adventurous urban exploring!” The note was in a rusted safe, wrapped in plastic baggies over and over again until the ball was roughly the size of my head. In between each layer of plastic baggie, hundreds of silica gel packs were stuffed. I brought home the huge ball and the bottle of liquid next to it. The outer baggies sort of… Crumbled, like they were brittle, but the inner ones were normal. After I read the note, I immediately knew I had to post it here.))
I remember when the rains first fell. Thankfully, I was inside at the time when the skies cried. From a clear blue sky, rain fell. That wasn’t too odd in Kansas, where the winds could blow rain from storm systems miles away, but the sheer amount was the first surprising aspect.
I guess we should have realized something was wrong immediately. For one, the rain didn’t stop. Two, it was icy-cold. It felt like sleet falling on your bare skin, but this was the middle of July. Thirdly, and this is what really got meteorologists involved, and later the rest of the scientific community, the rain was black. Not pitch black or oily black, but like lake water on a dark night. Just that deep, still-watery darkness. Even single drops held the color, no matter what light you shone through it, no matter how much you diluted it.
Man, we were stupid then. Stupid and crazy. We’d take drops of the water, put them in jugs of tap water, and just watch as the rest of the water faded to match the black, inky texture of the black raindrop. But, what were we supposed to do? It had been raining for weeks at that point, and no one was willing to go outside. Shit, for all we knew, that rain could’ve been fallout or some new biological warfare tool. So, we just stayed inside, our pitifully prepared supplies dwindling.
The reports we got on the news were unhelpful at the best, and confusing or misleading at the worst. Scientists had done everything to this water, they’d examined it under electron microscopes, broken it down, analyzed for any virus, bacteria, protozoan or parasite, and just could not find anything. The only two ways this water was different from any other water was the diluting aspect, and its freezing temperature. The water seemed to have no known freezing point. Scientists said the expected its freezing point to be absolute zero, but had no way to test that theory.
I’m… Rambling a bit, but that’s because it’s hard to explain what happened next. People began going outside, into the now-waist-high black waters. They were reassured by the government and the broadcasts that this water was “essentially the same as any water”. That, I can tell you, was a crock of shit. People began dying. By the hundreds. As soon as they walked outside into that black tsunami that had been raging almost two months, they pushed their own heads underwater until we could no longer see any inkish black bubbles rising to the top. I watched my neighbors kill themselves, quite literally, trying to go and get food.
So, I did the only thing I could. I reinforced the sandbags and the water sealant around every entrance and every exit of my home. The real hell happened about half a week later. You see, that water did not dilute, and in fact managed to turn any surrounding “regular” water into the exact same thing that fell from the skies day and night. From day one, pools had turned black, rivers too. Since we lived in a landlocked state, we never thought about the oceans. Could they have turned black as well? I recieved a picture from one of my friends that lived on the coastline. For miles, all you could see was black. Dark, deep, horrific black water. I ended the call and curled up with my pillow.
People began talking about the end-of-days, of the reckoning and how this must be Heaven’s ashes leaking through the clouds. Lucifer must have won, the churches proclaimed. Bedlam lived in my small town, suicide seemed the only option. Police could do nothing, paramedics killed themselves the moment they tried to leave to help anyone. Wherever you were, you were stuck there.
I thought that this was the end, that my house would just… Crack under the growing water pressure. But no. The black rain did not force itself upon people. It would wait for you to come to it. I had began to think of it as an entity, instead of an anomaly. It had to have some sentience, right? To make people just… Kill themselves like that. To override someone’s survival instincts and push their heads underwater, fighting not only the need to breathe, but their own buoyancy. I would not give in, I swore. I would never give in.
Then, the black rain found a way to make us crack. Somehow, through all the torrential downpour, some of that hellish water had made it into a water reservoir. And that water went through the treatment facilities. And those treatment facilities sent it through the plumbing, to my city’s houses. I jumped back the first time I turned on the faucet and saw black water running down my drain.
It had found a way to break us. Now for all we knew, all water in the world was now this stuff. I don’t know how many people killed themselves or went outside after that. I had lost internet connection weeks prior, and cable and phones had been out since the third month.
I… I survived as long as I could, until it started playing dirty. I looked out my window, where the water was almost up to the glass outside. I had been looking out every day, seeing how much the neverending skyburst would let down. It had become a morbid ritual, a daily reminder that my time was at an end. This day, I looked up, and someone looked back.
Standing outside my window, was a woman. She was soaked, and her clothes were muddy, but she was human. And alive. I almost wrenched my window open, but then I saw who it was.
It was my neighbor, the same one who drowned herself almost six months ago. Her skin was pale, not “seven months indoors like the rest of us” pale, but a ghastly, spectral white. And under that morbid marble, I could see each and every one of her veins and arteries. All of which were etched in obsidian blackness. I stepped back, drawing the curtains for the first time in seven months.
I’m leaving this note here, protected by every desiccant I could find in the house. I’ve also left a bottle of that damned water, sealed and capped. If you read this, store it for the future. Maybe we can figure out what killed us. Maybe it won’t have to happen again.
I can feel them all staring at me, behind the blinds. I don’t know how many there are out there, but they’re patiently awaiting me. I won’t leave the fuckers anything to take control of. I’ll win this, in my own way. Now, if you excuse me, I have a date with a shotgun.
I pray that the water can’t take me if I blow the top of my head off.
((The note was signed illegibly, but I could make out only bits of the the date. ?/?5/2?18))